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Northstar Research Partners is one of the leading consumer research companies in the UK and can provide valuable information to start-ups. Many people who have a business idea want to get started with it as soon as possible and the idea of spending money on market research is very often way down on their list of priorities – even if it makes the list at all.

Yet there are some great benefits to be obtained from carrying out market research before actually launching a business, or if you already have a business, launching a new product or service. This is especially true for small businesses for whom the first few months can often be fraught with danger. New businesses need customers and sales as soon as possible, and market research can help to ensure that the customers keep on coming.

Undertaking consumer research will help you to understand the full profile of your ideal customer. You need to know who will buy your product, what they need and what they want – which are not always the same thing. You want to know why they should buy your product rather than that of a competitor in the same line of business, and the more answers that you can get the better, as it will help you to understand their needs and thus tailor your product to meet them directly.

Knowing what your customers want will help you to understand what it is that motivates them to buy. You can also gain other valuable insights such as market size, customer location, age, gender, and income, which can help you to create the right marketing campaigns and offer the best prices. Ideally, of course, you want to gain recurring income, so you want your customers to come back for more. Assuming you provide the right offer, it is far easier to sell to existing customers than to keep on finding new ones.

Market research will also help you to understand your competitors, how they approach the market, and what it is that the successful ones are doing that you could do even better. It will also identify competitors who are not so successful and show you the pitfalls to avoid.

Of course, market research is not just for new businesses or for the launch of a new product but needs to be carried out throughout the life of the business. This is because things change. Charles Darwin said: “It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” We have seen very recently a number of very large businesses fail – especially in the high street – for the very reason that they have failed to manage change, and doubtless there will be more. In order to keep a business profitable, you need to keep abreast of what is happening in your market so that you can deal with changes in customer requirements.

Northstar Research Partners can undertake the consumer research that you need in order to be successful, whether you are a start-up or long-standing business. It is vital to the success of your business that you always keep your ear to the ground.