Professional Business Plan Specialists

Market Research on a Limited Budget

Reach new heights

News And Articles

Market Research and 5 Easy Ways to Get Insights on a Limited Budget

Market Research and 5 Easy Ways to Get Insights on a Limited Budget

Table of Contents

Dr Thommie Burger is the Founder of JTB Consulting

Author

Question from a Recent Client:

I am in the process of starting my own business. Part of this process is writing a business plan to present to potential investors, which should include reliable market research. My business is a new Female Clothing Boutique selling bespoke garments, handbags and shoes. I am not sure how to do market research on my startup. I have a limited amount of my own funds available but after a brief discussion with potential investors, they made it clear that they want to see justifiable proof of why I feel my business will succeed. Can you advise me on how I can conduct market research for my company?

Answer:

This is one of the most critical challenges that most entrepreneurs are faced with. On the one hand, you want to start a business but have limited financial resources available to allocate to market research. On the other hand, all investors will require some sort of factual statistics and market research included in your business plan that will prove there is a gap in the market for your products/services.

When faced with a limited budget, consider the following:

Market Research Tip 1: Do The Groundwork Yourself.

As an entrepreneur, you can’t expect a financier to take 100% risk by investing in your business with you not taking any risk yourself. The adage of “putting your money where your mouth is” needs to be kept in mind when preparing your business case. Any investor wants to see that you have enough passion and drive to make your business a success. This includes running around and doing all the legwork required. A great place to start is using Online Survey Tools which allows you to design a focus group questionnaire that you can send to potential customers. As an example, SurveyMonkey (www.surveymonkey.com) offers various packages, including their basic package, which is free. This will allow you to design a survey questionnaire with up to 100 questions and track the results of the feedback you receive. Another cost-effective option is Google’s Consumer Surveys (www.google.com/insights/consumersurveys/home), which starts from as little as R1.00 per question. Not only will the results of the surveys be invaluable to you fine-tuning your business strategy, but it will be factual and seen as primary market research by potential investors, which will go a long way in securing start-up finance.

Market Research Tip 2: Secondary Sources are Much Cheaper.

Even though Google Search has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to search for anything imaginable, searching for reliable research is an art in itself. Unfortunately, it is fairly difficult in South Africa to find both reliable and up to date information on all industries and markets. That being said, websites such as StatsSA (www.statssa.gov.za) provide a detailed library of the latest research and statistics available. Most of these reports are focused on macro-economic factors. Another alternative is searching for Dissertations and Research Studies conducted by students and other Academia. A number of universities have online libraries that you can access, in some cases for free. Using Google Search to source reliable statistics conducted by primary research firms is possible, but it will mean that you may have to browse through Pages 1 to 10 of the search results to find what you are looking for. Although this can be daunting, the information you will find is in most instances free. Use search terms on Google such as “Fashion Trends”, “South African Fashion Industry”, etc.

Market Research Tip 3: Follow Expert Blogs and Research Articles.

Consider signing up for the newsletters of Industry Organisations in which your business will operate. A prime example is BizCommunity (www.bizcommunity.com), which publishes regular articles, blogs and expert opinions on a number of local and international industries. For your specific industry, you can follow the Retail section on their website, which includes a subsection Fashion, Clothing and Textiles.

Market Research Tip 4: Ensure that Market Research is Included in Your Business Plan.

If you have already decided to invest your money with a Business Plan Writer or Business Consultant, make sure that part of their service includes some sort of market research that they will conduct as part of writing your business plan. Although market research is an essential element for ensuring the success of a business, many small businesses do not have the resources to engage a professional Business Plan Company. However, all is not lost, most reputable companies won’t mind answering a few questions (for free), guiding you in your market research efforts or at least pointing you in the right direction. All you need to do is ask.

Market Research Tip 5: You Need To Understand Your Competitors.

A business needs to know whom it is up against; you need to establish who your competitors are and their strengths and weakness when compared with your own business. The least expensive method of acquiring information about competitors is to visit your competitors yourself, see how their Shop Assistant treats you, buy one of their products, and engage them via their website and their social media pages. This way, you will be able to gauge and understand how these competitors operate, their success levels and how much of a threat they pose to you. You will at the same time be able to investigate how they treat and interact with “potential customers”, which will provide you with the opportunity to build your own value proposition around what they don’t do that well.

Read More: The Business Plan and 4 Superb Philosophies when Writing One

market researchstartup research

Established in 2006, we have successfully written more than 13,000 Professional Business Plans for clients across 25 countries. As South Africa’s Leading Business Plan Company, we are confident that we would be able to assist you too. Kindly note that we also offer “Investor Pitch Decks”, “Excel-based Financial Models”, and “Proposal/Tender Writing Services” in addition to our Custom Business Plan Writing Service. Please visit our Services page for more information.

We look forward to being of service to you. Please feel free to contact our Founder, Dr Thommie Burger, on +27 79 300 8984 should you have any questions. He is also available via email and LinkedIn.

JTB – Your Business Planning Partner.

Share this article…

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on whatsapp
Share on telegram
Share on email

Recent Articles

Market Research on a Limited Budget

Market Research and 5 Easy Ways to Get Insights on a Limited Budget

Question:
I am in the process of starting my own business. Part of this process is writing a business plan to present to potential investors, which should include reliable market research. My business is a new Female Clothing Boutique selling bespoke garments, handbags and shoes. I am not sure how to do market research on my start up.

Bookkeeping Mistakes

Top 7 Dreadful Bookkeeping Mistakes made by Small Businesses

From one-person entities to JSE-listed companies, no business can escape the dreaded task of bookkeeping. While it’s definitely not one of the more glamorous parts of the job, bookkeeping is at the heart of small business success, which means errors can be crippling. To avoid the financial headaches that come with bookkeeping mismanagement, it’s important first to be aware of the pitfalls that can ensnare you.

Copycats

Copycats – The Unfortunate Parasites in the Business World

Business Plan Copycats have been around since we started JTB Consulting in 2006. In a world full of fake news, half-truths, scam artists, snake oil salesmen, the question that I often get is “How do you deal with people who copy your work?” How do you deal with people who steal your idea? How do you approach a copycat? I know, it’s likely you want to take them out back and re-enact a scene from the movie Fight Club. But stay calm… Rather re-enact the scene from the movie Bad Boys… Remember what you need to do to keep calm? Woosaah…

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Stay informed and opt-in for our newsletter via email. We respect your privacy and we never spam.