How To Do Market Research for a Startup Business?

In the world of startups, market research is a crucial piece of the puzzle.

You can have all the best ideas in the world and create things that people want to purchase, but if you don't figure out who your target customers are and what they need, then you'll waste a lot of time making products that don't sell.

The market research phase is one of the essential parts of starting a new business, and it can also be one of the most time-consuming and overwhelming tasks to take on.

Business is a gamble, as they say. You don't want to be the loser of your own game, don't you? You can always turn the tides in your favor. Your business, your rules, your win. Turn that startup business of yours into a beautiful learning journey. Are you ready?

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What is Market Research?

Market research is the process of gathering, analyzing, and interpreting data about a particular market. This information is helpful for startups in determining, understanding, and assessing the attractiveness of a market, identifying potential customers, and tracking competitor activity.

Through market research, you will have a bigger picture of your business as this will allow you to have a clearer view of what’s up the trend in the market and what's the biggest turn-off of your target audience.

There are a variety of ways to conduct market research, including surveys, focus groups, interviews, and online research. The most important thing is to ask the right questions and collect accurate data.

The two most common types of market research that every type of business, whether startups or a corporation, use are primary and secondary research.

  • Primary research collects data from your target market through surveys,  interviews, focus groups, or online forums. This information is specific to your business and helps you understand what potential customers want and need.
  • Secondary research is data that has already been collected by someone else or the secondary data sources. This information can help understand the overall market landscape, identify trends, and track competitor activity. However, it’s important to note that this data may not be specific to your business or industry.

Market research is an integral part of any business planning process. It can help you determine whether or not there is a demand for your product or service, identify your target market, and track competitor activity.

Doing thorough market research for your startup can minimize the risk of making costly mistakes later on. But do you know how to do market research for a startup? How does one conduct market research?

5 Ways to Conduct Market Research for Startups

Now that we've defined market research and evaluated its importance let's discuss how to do market research for a startup.

When starting a new business, it's essential to understand your target market clearly. You can ask your team to 'Who are you selling to?' 'What needs does this group have that aren't currently being met by other businesses?' 'What is your competition doing?' and other more.

But in order to answer these questions, the following significant tips will be your stepping stone in conducting valuable market research for your business.

1) Planning your budget

Planning is key when starting any business, and market research is no exception. By taking the time to plan out your budget and use free or low-cost resources, you'll be able to get the most accurate information for making decisions about your startup.

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If you have a limited budget, it will not hurt to use search engines such as Google, Reddit, and Social Media. You’ll be surprised how much online and free resources can help you benefit your market research.

2) Designating tasks

Teamwork often manifests success.

It’s best to designate the job in order to lessen the pressure and hassle of doing market research alone. Identify who will handle the survey, the interviews, and the analysis.

You can split the team into two for the best results and do qualitative and quantitative research simultaneously.

3) Evaluating your business and prospective customers

Before accurately determining what research is necessary, you need to understand your business and your target customer.

  • What good can I get from this product or service?
  • Can I afford it without breaking the bank?
  • Where can I get the same product?
  • Is it better than the other product?
  • Is there a better offer out there for me?
  • Is this possible for a larger market and franchising?

You can also take note of the SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats) method, which involves determining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of your Startup.

When you finally determine those factors, it will be easier to build a marketing strategy.

4) Determining the Strategy and Tools

It is entirely up to you whatever market research process you want to do,  but always consider the practicality of your choice. After figuring out your method, determine the tools. Are you going to conduct a virtual interview? Will you do a physical survey? Be precise.

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One of the most effective strategies for market research is making full use of social media. This platform is where most of your potential customers actively voice out their preferences and suggestions. Moreover, you get to see their primary concerns, which are mostly stated without filter or very spontaneously.

5) Keeping your To-Do list updated

This whole thing is an ongoing process, so your to-do list should always be in a state of flux. As you acquire new information, update your research goals and methods as necessary.

Doing this on a regular basis will help ensure that you're constantly making progress and moving closer to your ultimate goal.

What's the Difference Between Primary and Secondary Marketing Research?

There are two types of Market Research, namely, primary and secondary.


Primary market research is the direct interaction between you and your target audience. This way, you can have a front seat of the insight of your prospect consumer toward your product or services.

When conducting primary market research, you must also consider doing qualitative and quantitative research. Quantitative research is a method where you can directly gather data through survey polls. Meanwhile, qualitative research includes focus groups and interviews.

The following are the examples of strategies used in primary market research:


Through a carefully-sewn set of questions, you can squeeze out the understanding of a person you are discussing your product or service with about the benefits and his knowledge of your product.

The interviews will help you discover how to market your product or service, and eliminate the unnecessary strategy and information for your startup.

Focus groups

A focus group is a small gathering of people with specific characteristics that you wish to target for your product or service. This will help you understand what motivates them and their purchase decisions.


Surveys are more of a black-and-white market research method that determines the reaction of a customer when using your product or service.

Surveys also create an accountability effect toward your market as they imply progress on your end.


Secondary market research, on the other hand, is a process where you rely heavily on published materials. This type of research focuses on determining what has already been done and finding gaps in-between.

Unlike primary market research, which is more hands-on and interactive, secondary market research is a cheaper and more efficient way to get an understanding of your target audience.

Through this process, you will be able to see the current trends in your industry and how well your product or service stacks up against the competition.

Moreover, secondary market research can help you determine the feasibility of your product or service on a larger scale.

The following are some of the examples of sources for secondary market research:

Non-Government Organizations (NGOs)

You can gather a significant amount of information from governmental and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) websites, which mainly publish reliable statistical that is usually free and updated regularly.

Social Media and Search Engines

Social media platforms, such as Twitter and LinkedIn, are a great way to find industry experts, journalists, and other professionals who may help you with your research.

You can also use search engines (Google, Yahoo! Answers) to find online forums where people are discussing topics related to your startup.

This is a great way to get an idea of what people say about your product or service and how they feel about it.

Commercial Marketing

One of the most comprehensive sources for secondary market research is through commercial marketing databases. This type of database provides access to a wide range of information that can be used for your business, such as company profiles, industry reports, and mailing lists.

Although it can be expensive, this resource type should not be overlooked if you want to have a more in-depth understanding of your target market.

Industry Reports

Industry reports are published by market research firms and offer an in-depth analysis of a particular industry. They can be expensive, but the information they provide is usually worth it.

Trade Publications

Similar to industry reports, trade publications offer insights on a particular industry but from the perspective of those who operate within it. They can be a great source of information for competitive analysis.

Which One Should You Choose?

Conducting market research is essential for any startup business, and it helps you understand your target audience, their needs and wants, and how to reach them.

There are many ways to conduct market research, both primary and secondary.

Primary market research is more expensive and time-consuming. Still, it provides first-hand data from the consumer. At the same time, secondary market research is less costly and easier to gather but offers second-hand data.

Both types of market research are valuable resources for business owners. But as for starting businesses, it's important to note that secondary market research is a great starting point as it can give you an overview of your target audience and the industry you are competing in.

By understanding the different types of market research and how they work, you can make more informed decisions about your business and increase your chances of success.

If you're ready to start conducting market research for your starting business, feel free to fill out our form or reach out to us directly at [email protected].

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