Market analysis is an important first step when launching a new company. Now more than ever, it’s vital for savvy entrepreneurs to have a clear picture of who will consume offered goods or services, beginning on day one. However, just as businesses grow and transition, so does the market. With that in mind, successful business owners know it’s crucial to frequently assess customer needs and adapt practices to meet those desires.
According to Acclr experts at the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal, as business conditions constantly evolve, so should your market analysis. Failure to remain current on market trends can result in profit loss, as even the most loyal customers are quick to turn to your competitors if they offer a better deal or a service you don’t provide.
Michael Beattie, founder and CEO of MBM Consulting, a leading Toronto-based construction firm that operates throughout North America, recommends you always provide a superior level of service, whether it’s by offering a higher quality product, unmatched customer service, or a lower price.
Michael Beattie explains in a recent interview: “Understanding your market and where you fit in and being better – you always have to be better than the other guy – that is #1. Whatever your competitor is doing, you have to make sure that you are doing it better than they are and that your service is better and obviously you’re more economically focused on being cheaper…”
Still, it’s not enough to know what needs you should be filling today — it’s also critical to consider what desires motivate customers in the future.
Keynote speaker and communications coach Carmine Gallo has discovered that leading brands anticipate their customer’s needs and fulfill unexpressed wishes.
“It’s a key component to an exceptional customer experience,” Gallo said. “It happens so infrequently that customers will pay a premium for it.”
Most entrepreneurs, however, don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future.
So, how do you determine what your customers may want tomorrow?
Acclr experts recommend a direct approach. Talk to your customers, as well as to your suppliers and business partners. More importantly, take the time to listen to what they have to say.
Additionally, they suggest staying current on market trends by keeping up with what’s going on in the world. Follow the news and read everything you can get your hands on that pertains to your industry. Subscribe to trade publications as well as to a daily newspaper.
Perhaps your best market analysis can be done in-house. Your employees can be valuable sources of information as they understand your product and – like your customers – they also consume goods and services. Additionally, don’t discount your own experiences. If you have a need or want, chances are excellent that others will have the same desires.
It’s certainly not easy to stay abreast of the latest and greatest, but without adequate market analysis, your business may not succeed.