Support your business idea: useful research

Last modified:

Thursday 31 October 2019

Preliminary investigation

In the development of a new product or service, it is often necessary to carry out additional market research. Apart from target group segmentation, existing achievements, the progress of the competition, etc. should be reviewed.

People starting up often have a business plan as part of a feasibility study, or they have carried out industry research. It is the first step to determine whether their idea is actually feasible. 

Market research can take on various forms:

  • Sector Research

    An industry survey provides insight into the development of the industry or niche market in which you are engaged. It says a lot about the feasibility of your idea, product, or service. Examples of important questions in an industry survey are: "What is the average revenue?", "Who are the main players?" and "what are the trends and developments in the industry?" You can find information about this at chambers of commerce, trade unions, etc. ....

  • Technological monitoring

    In this regard, you will need to consider specific technological innovations that occur in a certain field. Some interesting tools for such monitoring include patent databases, scientific and technical journals, publications and reports on research, websites of research institutes ...

  • Customer Survey

    With a customer survey, you do an analysis of your potential customers, and how you want to/can reach them. Examples of important questions in this survey are: "which customers purchase your product or service?", "How often do they purchase the service or product?" and "why do they purchase it?"

  • Competition Research

    If you know what your competitors are doing, you can determine how you need to distinguish yourself from them. Therefore, it is important to identify who your competitors are and what they represent: which audience are they targeting? Which products and services are they offering? What is their pricing policy? How do they advertise? What is state of their finances? ... In this regard, the patent databases can be an interesting source of information. Moreover, maintaining a presence at trade shows, following the trade press, consulting financial databases of companies … are additional tools to monitor competition.

The cost of such studies is dependent on the size of the research that needs to be performed to be able to answer the research question. Which research methods should be used? Qualitative or quantitative research? Will the survey be done telephonically, online, or through desk research? More information about this can be found on the page dedicated to market research

Let's stay in touch

Join more than 25,000 subscribers and receive every fortnight in your mailbox our free newsletter (only in French or Dutch), packed with the latest news, fascinating testimonials, actionable advice and an overview of useful workshops and networking activities for entrepreneurs in Brussels !