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What Does Market Research for a Local Business Look Like?

As a local business, it is essential that you conduct market research to gain a better insight into how your product or service will be received from potential customers in your target market, ensuring you understand industry trends and the best ways to develop your business idea.

Market research is a step that any local or small business should take before opening its doors as a business, and it should go hand in hand with creating the most powerful concept for the brand. As a result, you won't only gain a better insight into your own business ideas but will also come across essential industry data and consumer behavior, further enhancing your knowledge of the industry you are about to enter.

How to Carry Out Market Research

To accurately conduct market research, it is important to highlight that there are different types of market research that you should be conducting. You should come away from your research feeling knowledgeable and confident, so you must conduct thorough research.

For this depth of knowledge to be possible, you should gather primary and secondary research, ensuring you have first-hand and second-hand knowledge to benefit from and learn from. Below, we will take you through how you can apply both types of research when conducting market research, along with other types of market research to consider using:

Primary Research

An essential element of any small business market research will be collecting first-hand data to gain a better understanding of product performance. For example, you could conduct your primary market research by setting up a focus group in which potential customers come together to try out your product or service. Then, they can provide you with constructive customer feedback, which helps you see which elements of your business idea are received well by your target audience and which aspects may need looking over.

Focus groups are also a great way to deviate from a realistic pricing strategy, as you can ask your group how they would price the product or service you have provided them with and gain an understanding of what customers will be happy to pay for.

Another way to conduct primary research is by conducting surveys to get an idea of exactly what your customers want from your business. For a small business, a survey can be incredibly beneficial and help you make better business decisions, equating to a more successful company that understands its customers' needs.

Secondary Research

Secondary data will give you a better understanding of any market trends you should be aware of in your respective industry. You can conduct this research by assessing readily available information from surveys and government statistics regarding your target audience and industry.

It is vital to keep an eye on the secondary market research you use, as effective market research shouldn't be outdated and should include relevant information about what you need to know. For example, finding customer buying trend analytics in the beauty industry from 2015 will only be applicable to selling beauty products in 2022 if you aim to assess how the industry has changed.

Competitive Analysis

Understanding your industry is essential and impossible without conducting a competitive analysis. When it comes to market research for local businesses, being aware of your competitors and the best performers in your local industry will help you with many different elements of your business strategy. These elements include seeing which platforms your audience prefers to use and understanding how to price and market your products.

You could use market research tools such as SEM Rush to outline the highest-ranking results regarding your industry. Once you have outlined these industry leaders, you can delve into each business and understand why they are so successful. Take note of their marketing strategies, tone of voice, pricing strategies, and best sellers or most sought-after 

While it is critical to remember that your company should be unique and have a unique selling point (USP), understanding your industry and competitors is critical to outlining how you can fit into the industry and take over one of the top-performing positions.What do you offer that your competitors don't?

Additionally, as your primary focus is on being a successful local business, you should outline what is missing from your local industry. There will always be something in your market research that points towards a missing factor that your business can 

Consumer Insights

While you will use primary research to collect data on existing customers for your local industry, it can be good to conduct more extensive customer research to avoid the chances of your primary research being biased or inconclusive. However, as a small business owner, you may not have access to the funding or time to conduct excessive amounts of research, and this is where Google Analytics can help you.

If you already have a website, you can use Google Analytics to determine how your consumers and website visitors interact with your content. Access to these analytics will give you insight into how your business is performing within the first few weeks, helping you make better business decisions that align with how your target audience is interacting with your website.

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Frequently asked questions

    • How do local businesses do market research?

      Local businesses can complete market research by carrying out primary research, such as surveys and focus groups, to understand what their target market wants from the company. This research can be backed up via secondary research that provides businesses with broader industry knowledge.

    • How do you conduct market research locally?

      Market research can be conducted locally by understanding the industry trends in the area where you would like to do business. Trends can include consumer behavior, market leaders, and how saturated your local market is.

    • How do small businesses carry out market research?

      The best way for a small business to carry out market research is by actively listening to its customers and gaining insight into their needs. Consumer research can be conducted via surveys, focus groups, and market research to understand the market thoroughly.

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