Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Market Research. How? Why? When...

Sometimes people are amazed when they ask me where to start conducting market research, and I joke around and say, "Well, have you tried typing Market Research into Google?"

Yes of course someone has got a website called, but it still amazes me why people don't take more advantage of online research tools.

Some basic ones to get you started at the birdseye view (A.K.A. macro) end of things:
  • (where is your target market? what's the population count there?)
  • Also Known As...
  • (other people have done lots of work on handy stats - no need to reinvent the wheel! It's not laziness, just efficient! If you do use this site - reference it, make sure people know where you're getting your stuff!)
  • Market Research Dot Com - you can get some basic stuff there but the juice info - you have to pay for. It was someone's hard work!
When you are getting down to the more practical stuff, that's when it gets REALLY interesting!! And just try it...for example, you want to find out about hotel groups. You have a brilliant new service or product that would be perfect for every hotel owner out there - the receptionists, the bellhops, the general managers, the waitresses, the chamber maids. You want to target two markets in particular: Ireland, the UK.

Check these out:
The list goes on.

You decide to target architects. Hairdressers. Anything. You name it, the information is out there. Remember - the more you know about your competitors the better a position you will be in to be better than them. The more you know about your customers & potentials, the better equipped you will be to make their experience with you better, and bring them back to you for repeat business.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Today's Top Tip. Because I've just experienced some.

Efficiency. That's a thing. If you are going into business, make sure you have this item at the top of your priority list. It will make your customers happier, and that will keep bringing them back to you. Having given this a good bit of thought, I can safely say that if your effiency levels are tiptop, then you can charge quite a bit for your service...and that's always good news, hey?!

Hey hey.

Monday, April 14, 2008


Sorry for taking so long to blog... It's been a busy few weeks! I'm delighted to report that the number of people in Ireland considering self-employment as a major life choice is on the up-and-up!

It's great to see so many versatile business types popping up all over the place. The most common questions posed to me recently have been around the areas of marketing - the market research side of things (in great detail, often sector specific!) and the advertising side. Much of the time, people simply just don't know where to start. The best thing to do is a wee spider diagram. It really is that basic! That's all it takes to start. A doodle.

Once you start you will realise it can be difficult to stop! And yes, you will automatically move into the more grown-up sort of scenario, with lists, graphs, diagrams of your target market... The pages of market research will become almost endless.


Because the more you know about your target market, the better equipped you are to service it.

Same goes for competitors.

If you can identify the best and worst bits about your competitors, then you're laughing.


You can make their weaknesses your strengths. And their strengths your strengths too. If you are both catering for the same type of client, find out what works for them and provide it too - do it better than them - and whatever area of weakness they have, learn from their mistakes and make sure it's not your area of crapness too!!!