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Time to Do Some Market Research
February 10, 2015
Dear

First, let me apologize for being a day late. I have been struggling with the flu and just now am feeling a bit better. I hope none of you have succumbed. It's not fun!

Now, what is this about research? Yes, you need to research your market. You need to know all you can about your industry, your competitors, and your target market.

So let's start with your industry. Chances are once you get started, you will be overwhelmed with information. So you don't just want to go searching for general information. For example, I am currently building a new team of network marketers. If they go look for information on "network marketing", they will find hundreds of thousands of pages. Let's narrow it down.

What is your business? Let's use my network marketing team as an example. Some of them are promoting the weight loss products. So their business is weight loss and health more than network marketing. A couple of them are part of the Puritii for Humanity team. They are marketing the vision of clean, pure water for everyone. Some are in it to help others become financially independent. They are marketing the business opportunity. The questions each of these team members asks while doing their research will be different.

Once you know what you are marketing, it's time to make your research questions. When you are doing your research, you are going to look for answers to specific questions. This will greatly cut down on information overload. Some questions for my team might be:

1. What companies already provide (weight loss products, clean water, business opportunities)?

2. What is the market for my product or service (weight loss - HUGE!).

3. What makes my product or service different from the others already available?

4. Is there an untapped market? Are there people who could use these products or services who are not currently being served? What indications are there that they would be willing to try my product or service?

5. What do other companies charge for similar products or services? How many customers do they have?

6. Are there any laws or regulations that would affect my offering this product or service?

7. How has this market performed financially in recent years?

8. What are the current trends in this market?

9. Who is my target market? What is their age, gender, income, education level, marital status, etc.

10. What are the trends affecting my target market? How do they shop? What are their buying habits?

11. What are the strengths and weaknesses of my competitors?

12. How do they attract customers?

These are just some questions. I'm sure once you get started, you will think of many more.

Now that you know what information you are looking for, start looking for the answers. Use the internet to do online research. Contact industry associations if there are any for your industry. Contact your local Small Business Development Center. Check out the websites of your competitors. Look for news stories about your industry or market. Talk to people in your local community. My team could talk to other network marketers, or people who are trying to lose weight, or other companies promoting weight loss products. But you must be patient and thorough. This is not going to be done in a day.

Is all of the time and effort spent on research really necessary? YES! It can prevent you from targeting a market that is already saturated. It can help you find an underserved niche that can catapult you to success. It can prevent you from making many of the mistakes your competitors may have already made. It can mean the difference between success and failure.


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