Do your homework: Market research leads to business success

You have a brilliant idea for a business and you want to get it off the ground — quickly. Before you jump in head first, take the time to research whether your business model is viable. Conducting in-depth research of every aspect of your business will give you the knowledge you need to make informed — and ultimately profitable — decisions.

Here are some important questions you should consider to ensure your venture is both successful and profitable:

1. Is your idea unique? Now is the time to evaluate your idea and find out if it really has legs. Get to know the market for your type of business and ensure that your business has something unique to offer.

2. Do you know your customers? Researching your target market is an essential part of starting a business. Get to know their needs, likes and spending habits. Using market research methods such as focus groups and surveys can help you find out whether your product or service is something customers are willing to pay for.

3. Will it be profitable? Calculate what you will charge, forecast future sales and estimate the operational costs for your new business.

4. How do you stack up to your competitors? What makes you different? If your products or services are of a higher quality or less expensive than those of your competitors, that is your competitive advantage. Maximize it.

5. Is your business plan backed up by solid research? If you haven’t already done so, prepare a business plan that will guide you as you begin your entrepreneurship journey.

6. Do you have the required permits and licenses? Find out what permits or licenses you’ll need to launch your business by visiting

Visit our Starting your business and Market research and statistics pages to learn more about turning your good idea into a successful business.

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