When it comes to running a business, assuming you know what customers want, what your competitors are doing, or what trends will stay or go can cost you a lot of wasted resources. You can waste time, money, and effort on implementing business actions that simply won’t work. Then, you get frustrated because you don’t know where you went wrong. Well, you started on the wrong foot because you made assumptions.

So, what does every entrepreneur need to make good essential business decisions? Data. That’s precisely what market research provides you with: plenty of valuable data from your industry and market.

In a data-driven business world, market research is becoming increasingly popular among business professionals simply because it gives brands access to the information they need to know how to do business in their industry and market.

Keep reading below to find out more about what market research is and why every business needs it!

Market research explained

First things first, let’s make sure we’re on the same page with what market research is.

Simply put, market research is all about gathering data, analyzing it, and getting valuable conclusions from it that can help you make informed business decisions. It implies using a set of techniques to gather the information related to your market and industry, such as surveys, interviews, focus groups, or observation.

Now, what market research reveals definitely differs from one industry and market to another. However, as Savanta Market Research experts explain, “Broadly speaking, market research reveals insights that can help a business design better product, improve user experience, and develop a marketing strategy that actually engages and sells.”

Think about it: how can you satisfy your customers’ needs and expectations if you don’t know precisely what they are? Or, how can you stay ahead of your industry rivals if you have no idea what your competitors are doing? Or, how can you stay relevant in an ever-changing market if you’re not sure what the latest trends are? The answer to all these questions is “you can’t.”

Maybe you can make one or two accurate assumptions, but that’s not enough to make excellent business decisions. And, once again, you’ll be wasting resources.

Why your business needs market research?

Now you know what market research is. But you may be on the fence on whether your business really needs it or not. Trust us. It does, just like every other business. Why? Because market research:

It helps you test your business idea

If you’re just starting your own business, you need market research even more than you’d imagine. That’s because it can save you from a lot of time, money, and effort wasted on a business idea that won’t sell.

You may be really confident in your business idea’s potential. But, do you know for sure that it will sell? If the answer is “no,” you need market research to find out.

One of the best advantages of conducting market research as a startup is the fact that you learn early whether or not a business idea is worth investing in. Market research will help you find whether there are any potential buyers out there or not. It can also show whether or not the market is too saturated for your business to overcome existing competitors and succeed. In other words, market research can tell you from the start whether or not your idea can turn into a viable business.

You get a clear idea of who you’re selling to

One of the biggest mistakes a business can make is not having a clear idea of who it is selling to. Not knowing your target audience is a terrible mistake that can cost your business a lot.

Think about it: you invest money in a product, a sales, and marketing strategy, only to find out that you don’t sell because you failed to understand what consumers in your market want.

This is when market research takes center stage.

It can help you gain valuable insights about your target audience and the ideal buyer persona your product and marketing strategy should be tailored for. You’ll gain insights like how old your buyer persona is, their gender, interests, where they like to hang out online, and what type of content they find more engaging, and what pain points they have that your product/service can solve. Needless to say, this will help you invest your resources in the right strategies that actually attract and retain customers.

It helps you keep an eye on your industry rivals

If you want to stay ahead of your competitors, you need to keep an eye on what they are doing.

Do you know if and why your competitors’ products/ services are superior to yours? Do you know what marketing strategy they are using? Is there a business opportunity that your industry rivals didn’t leverage yet? You can find the answers to all these questions by conducting market research.

Your target audience should definitely be your primary focus. But, if you want to stand out from the crowd, you also need to know your industry rivals inside out.

It keeps you aware of market trends

Staying relevant on the market can be really difficult when you’re not aware of what is changing and its direction. For your business to be actual and relevant, it needs to be aware of the latest trends that are being set, making a comeback, or out of style.

Once again, market research can also help you with being aware of what’s new, old, or desired on the market. This way, you can be one step ahead of your competitors by making business decisions that cater to the latest trends.

It allows you to make better business decisions

You know what they say, “knowledge is power.” When it comes to making business decisions, this is particularly true. Entrepreneurs face critical business decisions on a daily basis. And, even a tiny, poor decision can cost you big.

As an entrepreneur, you need a lot of data to make good decisions that are healthy and profitable for your business in the long term. Once again, market research can help.