There are a few pinpoint qualities that make a successful entrepreneur – one of them being the ability to identify opportunities. For example, acting on an opportunity to expand the business and acquiring the adequate financing, such as a small business loan, in order to do so. However, one of the most beneficial is the capacity to identify opportunities based on market trends.
The most successful business people have a distinct ability to understand the trajectories of the market and then devise strategies that utilize the trends in the market to their benefit.
Having said that, it is also important to understand how one must go about researching the market. This means developing a marked ability to effectively research market trends and actively understand how the market is evolving.
When researching market trends there are three major things to consider; identifying the right sources for research; discovering existing successful strategies and finally; obtaining valuable data and analytics. The below will outline how to research market trends in the most effective and efficient way for your business.
- Identify the right sources for research
There is no handbook for identifying the right sources for research on the trajectories of the market, but it is possible to spot authentic and reliable sources.
The market is essentially a combination of all customers within the market, and perhaps the most fool proof way of ensuring that you receive objective information regarding anything in the market is through using customers as a source. This means that you must actively engage in understanding the customer’s perception regarding the market, and subsequently also understand what needs and requirements the customer has.
Another valuable source of information could be the players within the market. Though you must be weary of deliberate attempts by players to mislead and misinform you, it is still important to attempt to objectively understand their perceptions of the market in order to gain a different perspective on the market.
- Research on the marketing strategies of big players
One must actively work to understand how big players market their products and services in the current industry. This can give you a broad idea regarding how competitors perceive the needs of the market and how they are going about reacting to those needs. For example, if a significant player in the market for sandals is using comfort as the primary benefit of its product, you will use that to infer that comfort plays a significant role in determining choices in the market
More than understanding the needs and wants of the market, you can also understand how competitors in the market are conducting themselves. You can then use that information to establish your strategy. This does not mean that you must conform to the strategies of competitors, but you can use strategies to determine how you are to go about marketing your own products.
- Market trend analytics: Big Data!
What is perhaps essential to correctly understanding the market regarding how it operates and where it is going, is the analysis of growth trajectories. That is, you must know whether the market is growing or shrinking, if the market is expanding into other spheres and the like.
This data can provide you with an edge when developing your strategy. If, for example, the market is expanding into other spheres and integrating with different products and services, it is essential that your business does the same or also moves into that direction so that it remains relevant.
In a nutshell, it is very important for any budding entrepreneur to realise that an understanding of the trends of the market is not a static process where you just sit down and research for a couple of days. For an entrepreneur to effectively adapt and react to the market, he or she must always continuously work to learn more about it and implement their learnings onto their businesses and business strategies.