How To Do Market Research For a Startup Idea

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Dec 22, 2017
Obviously, there are multiple ways to do market research for a new startup idea but I'll just share my ways. These steps don't have to be particular to any one field/industry.

Market Research:

  1. Summarize what your idea/concept is (in this case, for your startup)
  • What is your idea?
  • Who would benefit from it
  • Why they would benefit
  • How you plan on making money from this idea

2. Take the problem statement from your summary, and Google to see if people frequently mention/complain about it (blogs, forums, etc). Now:
  • Who are those people?
  • Why are they complaining?
  • Document any surprises to your assumptions (what you expected would be discussed/would happen but this Google search disproves)
  • You should have a rough idea of the people that could really stand to benefit from your idea; these are your tentative customer segments

3. Now Google for reports on your industry, your customers. There are TONS of reports and surveys. If you have access to a public library, they often have subscriptions to report and analytics databases. Ditto for schools and universities. Some general questions that should be addressed by this process:
  • Who are all the stakeholders in my industry?
  • What matters to the stakeholders?
  • Who/what powers stakeholders' decision-making?
  • Do some customer segment analysis at this point. Based upon Step 2, find reports and/or surveys offering more clarity on the customers that have a problem your startup is trying to address.
  • How many people are having this issue?
  • What are people currently doing to get around this issue? How many people are doing this?

4. Competitive Research. The good thing about competitors: you know there's some merit to your idea; the bad thing: well, they are your competitors
  • Google your idea and see if any competitors pop-up

  • Figure out what differentiates you from them and vice versa

  • You should probably do an on-going update of this list so that if someone (customers, partners, VCs, angels, etc) ever mentions it to you, you know who they're referring to and you have a good idea of what they're doing now and, naturally, why your product is superior