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-- Five C's of Market Research
Five C's of Market Research
By Rozey Gean
Concept, Criticism, Competition, Credibility, Common Interest
Every business venture starts with an idea. but, without a good
concept - no matter how passionate you are -- odds are your
business will fail.
Benefit the Customer
Your concept should fill a void in the marketplace, if it
doesn't - find one that does!
A business does not run solely on money, it runs on passion.
You should enjoy your concept and be excited enough to relay
your feelings to your market. After all, how can a consumer get
hyped about your product or service if you aren't?
You can survive in business without a large bank account - but
unless your passionate about your business, no amount of money
will make it sell.
Your concept doesn't need to be a freshly thought idea - but
could be an improvement to an existing market. There are all
kinds of new businesses that have tried and failed. Perhaps, you
could improve something about them and bring them back into the
market as " a new and improved" product or service?
Improvement could be as simple as:
* Better service and quality
* A new method of delivery
* Improved technology, etc.
No matter how good an existing idea is - There is always a
better way to do it!
Example: The tissue was first offered to the market as the new
"face towel." Sales lagged for many years, and it wasn't until
it was reintroduced into the marketplace as a "throw-a-way"
handkerchief did it become successful. Their new slogan, "don't
put a cold in your pocket," helped an old idea get new success.
be prepared to accept all criticism. It will help you to
improve your concept. Because you are concerned about running
your business on minimal dollars, the less expensive criticism
will come from friends, relatives, and neighbors. It's far
better to receive FREE criticism - than to pay for marketing
research that puts a dent in your bank account, but doesn't
yield any useful results.
Be prepared to get LOTS of criticism and to put it to good use.
Perhaps, a survey in your intended market - could provide some
valuable information to be used in making your product better.
Ask questions like: Is there a need? Would YOU buy it? What
price would you expect to pay for it? Is there a better way to
Remembering what we stated above, (there's always a better way
to provide a concept) - your received criticism should be used
to enhance the product or service before you release it to your
market. This step will save you time and money.
check out how they are providing to their market. There's no
doubt in my mind, the expert in the field gets more business.
Create a niche in your market and zero in on an idea that has
potential for growth.
It's important to remember - don't try to be good at everything
- just be good at something! People will remember you for it.
If you are offering a product which is in competition from an
existing business, be prepared to handle your business so it
answers the following questions:
* What makes my company different from my competition?
* Why would my market be better off doing business with me?
* What can I give to my market to insure a more pleasurable
experience by doing business with me over my competition?
* Does my product or service exceed the expectations of my
If you can't answer the above points - and KNOW what makes your
product more unique than the competition, you won't be able to
relay that to your market.
Refine your marketing
Define the needs of your market by listening to the customers
and understanding what their needs are. Does your product fill
that need? Is there something more you could do, to make it more
attractive to your market? Is your product a solution to a
problem in your market? How will you handle customer service
complaints? What are you guarantees to your customers?
An Interesting Fact:
Most companies fail to realize, 80% of future company sales
will depend on repeat orders and referrals from satisfied
customers. Your satisfied customers are the best and cheapest
source of advertising; bringing additional business through
referrals. Exceed your customers expectations and they'll be
back and will refer you to others. Remember, those that have
been referred to you, have been presold on your products.
(Gaining the edge) - Community involvement. People like to buy
from friends. The more involved you become with your community,
the more friends you will make.
I'm not talking about joining the local YMCA just to make
business contacts either. You need to be "sincere" in your
approach and willing to work hard for the community you live in.
Hard work and perseverance will eventually pay off as members of
the community will remember you by your deeds and eventually
will refer you to others that need your services.
If you don't the available time to offer your community, there
are other ways you could provide them with your services.
* Local charities need something of value to give out as
gifts. Perhaps, you could provide T-shirts for the winners?
* Provide special discount cards to other businesses in your
* Talking at a local school or college regarding your business.
* Sponsor a local event where your community would benefit.
5. Common Interests
(Networking) - is a necessity to learn. By networking with
other business owners, you have everything to gain and nothing
to lose. You will learn new ideas to do business and meet other
experienced business owners who can help you exceed in your
Some ways to network:
* Local Chamber of Commerce
* Rotary Clubs
* Lions Clubs
* Volunteering Organizations such as: American Cancer Society,
ADL, Unicef, American Red Cross, Turning Point, etc.
* Business Owners on the WWW - form an online discussion group
or chat network where you can share additional information
It's better explained as "a small community" made up of
business owners, willing to help one another to gain valuable
information to be utilized in their market.
Networking individuals are glad to help those in their group.
You can join any association and in return, receive valuable
leads who will tell others about your business. You could create
a database of the business owners you have exchanged business
cards with, and call them in the future to do business or to
find additional information regarding a need.
If you can't find a suitable networking group to help you - you
could start your own Networking Community - made up of the small
businesses located within a 30 mile radius of your own business.
5.1. Perhaps, delegating a printed roster to each business,
showing them others in their Networking Community that are
available to receive phone calls from another member.
5.2. Or possibly, your networking community could agree to do
business with each other? If there is a printer in the group -
all the rest in that community would utilize the printing
5.3. Is there an accounting person in your community? Perhaps,
this accounting firm would get all the tax business from the
rest of the community members?
THINK.... there are plenty of ways you could gain exposure for
your business. Most ideas, are common sense methods where an
individual takes the initiative to get it started! The best part
of networking - it's FREE advertising for your business and for
* You can turn any idea into a profitable, home-based
business. Most larger companies have started their businesses
from their living room floors, their basements or their garages.
You have the same ability to create a world-wide market, needing
* If you have an Entrepreneurial spirit, you'll find a way to
offer the public something you feel would benefit them.
* It doesn't necessarily have to be a "new invention" or a new
idea. You could take something on the market today, and make it
* To be successful, your business should exceed your
* To increase your credibility, you should become more
involved with your community.
* Networking is free - and could provide the most valuable
exposure for you and your company.
Rozey Gean, founder of the Women Entrepreneurs Online Network,
(WEON), is a thirteen year veteran to entrepreneurship. Her
expertise includes mentoring women in business and sharing her
vast knowledge through written works. These works can be read
in her popular weekly WEON newsletter and other publications
such as Free Electronic Networks and most recently Web Bound
Magazine. Subscribe to the WEON Business News at
mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her ever-changing web site
Copyright 1998, Rozey Gean, All Rights Reserved Worldwide
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Tags: Sales and Marketing