Though there's a lot of readily available market information, you need to be careful how you interpret it.
External data might not be in a format that's easy to use. It may have been collected for other purposes or be from a range that doesn't tally with your target market.
Take care to avoid the pitfalls of inaccurate and misinterpreted data when using secondary market research.
Beware of out-of-date market information. This can be misleading, as the market may have changed significantly since the information was published. It can be particularly hard to tell how recent any information published on the internet is. Some information on the web can be unreliable or biased.
Remember that statistics can sometimes be misleading and mask the true picture. For example, an 'average' income for the population in your area might conceal a high proportion of low earners - meaning fewer people can afford your product than it appears.
The same principle applies to your own sales records - one or two major customers could distort the picture.
Most importantly, don't make up your mind in advance. Finding market information that simply confirms what you already believe is easy. However, only a realistic picture of your customers and markets will be useful to your business.
Know your legal responsibilities
- Do you need a licence?
- Get the right business insurance
- Comply with the law when providing goods and services
- Know your customers' rights
- Distance and online selling rules
- Understand pricing legislation
- Buying goods from outside NI
- Selling goods outside NI
- GDPR compliance checklist
- Pay your business rates
- Understand staff contracts and your responsibilities
- Taking on contractors and subcontractors
- Health and safety basics for business
- Know your legal obligations on pensions
Understand tax and VAT
Sell and market your products or services