Market Research is something that everyone should get when launching a new product. As we’ve talked about before in 5 Tips for Market Research & Analysis, there is quite a bit of information that you can get even from a low level Market Research done by people who know what they are doing. What we didn’t discuss was where and how to get this done for your product. Here are the three best ways to get Market Research for your business or product.
This is the lowest cost way to do this if you do it right. I recommend that even if you hire a Firm or a freelancer to do it for you, you should spend a little time doing some yourself. If you catch something that is really bad or looks really great, you can tell whoever you hire about it, and they can confirm or contradict what you’ve found. There are tons of resources online about how to do market research, what things to think about, etc. Start there, and if you feel confident enough in your product, or business, then go for it. The downside of course is that while you can get lots of resources online and do it for “cheap”, it takes a lot of time and as it isn’t necessarily your day job, you are more likely to have mistakes and miss things than a professional.
Hire a Firm
The best guaranteed way to get all the information you need for your exact projects comes with a price. There are obvious benefits and drawbacks to hiring a firm rather than a freelancer to do the work. However, if you have the funds, a firm’s benefits outweigh their drawbacks, most of which is price. Firms usually have checks and balances to ensure the research provided is exactly as needed. With the additional financial investment comes access to better information and tools. It can also substantially speed up the process as opposed to doing this yourself. For those who may argue this, you have to include the amount of potential errors that will cause wasted time down the line. Both Marketing Firms and Design Firms can most frequently provide this type of service.
Hire a Freelancer
You might be surprised freelancers are listed here based on my post last year 3 Reasons you Should use a Firm and Not Just a Freelancer. However, they offer the balancing act that many startups need. I should know, I was a freelancer before I established the Peterman Design Firm. Established companies and funded startups look to Firms for help, but not everyone is in that position. While some firms can pull off the work at freelancer rates, they often can’t do it as fast. Freelancers are the in-between area that can benefit someone who’s tight on cash but know they need help. Freelancers skill can vary widely, as well as their cost and delivery time. As a single person they don’t usually have the benefits of someone double checking their work. They also usually don’t have the resources to put toward the best tools and databases for research.
If you are bootstrapping, I highly recommend that you at least hire a freelancer to do some basic Market Research on your idea. Even if all they do is confirm how market viable your product is, it’s worth it. You’ll have extra confidence in moving forward. If you have the cash or are more established, spend the extra and do a more thorough Market Research process. Always remember to do a little research on your own. Doesn’t matter if it’s you, an intern, or someone interested in your success. Research before hiring a firm or freelancer will make your initial meeting more productive. That research will ensure you can bring up your concerns or questions to whoever you are hiring and let’s them address those for you.