Market Research is something that everyone should get when launching a new product. As we’ve talked about before in 5 Tips for Market Research & Analysis, there is quite a bit of information that you can get even from a low level Market Research done by people who know what they are doing. What we didn’t discuss was where and how to get this done for your product. Here are the three best ways to get Market Research for your business or product.
Yourself – This is the lowest financial cost way to do this if you do it right. I recommend that even if you hire a Firm or a freelancer to do it for you, you should spend a little time doing some yourself. If you catch something that is really bad or looks really great, you can tell whoever you hire about it, and they can confirm or contradict what you’ve found. There are tons of resources online about how to do market research, what things to think about, etc. Start there, and of course if you feel confident enough in your product, or business, then go for it. The downside of course is that while you can get lots of resources online and do it for “cheap”, it takes a lot of time and as it isn’t necessarily your day job, you are more likely to have mistakes and miss things than a professional.
Hire a Firm – The best guaranteed way to get all the information you need for your exact projects comes with a price. There are obvious benefits and drawbacks to hiring a Firm rather than a freelancer to do the work. However if you have the funds, a Firm’s benefits outweigh their drawbacks, most of which is price. Often with Firms they have several people check over work and there are checks and balances to ensure the research provided is exactly as needed. With the additional financial investment comes access to better information and tools to determine the information you need to make the decision to go forward or not. Both Marketing Firms and Design Firms can most frequently provide this type of service.
Hire a freelancer – You might be surprised freelancers are listed here based on my post last year 3 Reasons you Should use a Firm and Not Just a Freelancer, but they offer the balancing act that many startups need. Established companies look to Firms for help and any well funded startup, but not everyone is in that position. While some Firms can pull off the work at freelancer rates, they often can’t do it as fast. Freelancers are the in-between area that can benefit someone who’s tight on cash but still want to get someone better than themselves. Freelancers skill can vary widely, as well as their cost and delivery time. As a single person team they don’t have the benefits of checked work as much and usually don’t have the resources to put toward the best tools and databases for research.
If you are bootstrapping, I highly recommend that you at least hire a freelancer to do some basic Market Research on your idea. Even if all they do is confirm how market viable your product is, it’s worth it for the extra confidence in moving forward. If you have the cash or are more established, spend the extra and do a more thorough Market Research process. Always remember to do a little research on your own, even if that means having an intern at your company do some initial research to look at before bringing in a Firm. That little bit can help whoever you hire make sure your potential concerns about the market and your product or business can be addressed and clarified for you.