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Issue 6
Sunday July 10, 2011





Letter from the Editor

Welcome back to the latest issue of the Shoestring Entrepreneur Newsletter!

Now that everyone is recovered it's time to get back to business.

We're already past the halfway point of the year and I hope you're on track with your goals in 2011. If not, now is a good time to adjust and get back in the game.

In future issues we'll be introducing our guest writers who will be contributing to the Shoestring Entrepreneur on a regular basis. The content is going to be amazing. I'm very excited and looking forward to all the solid, actionable, business building information they'll be sharing.

In this week's newsletter, I'll share an article titled "Easy Market Research" which is the sixth part of my Marketing 101 series.

To your success,
Brian Carson


Marketing 101: Easy Market Research

by Brian Carson

One of the major mistakes many business owners make is not putting enough due diligence into market research.

Solid market research can do wonders for your business. Knowing your markets needs, wants, frustrations and desires can put you way ahead of the competition - even if your just starting out.

Unfortunately, market research isn't one of the glamorous aspects of owning or running a business, so it gets put on the back burner, or worse yet, ignored.

Many small businesses just open up shop or build a website and expect (hope) people show up. That's a recipe for failure.

Market research is an essential part of any business strategy. Best of all, it doesn't  have to be a painful process.

Here are 7 ways to effectively research your target market:

1. Uncover frustrations
2. Obtain demographic & psychographic information
3. Search the SRDS (Library)
4. Study your competitors (online and offline)
5. Bookstores
6. Google
7. Forums

Let's break these down step-by-step.

Uncover Frustrations

Easy to do. Talk to your customers! Find out their likes, dislikes, what motivates them, what keeps them up at night. How? - just ask. You can do this through surveys, comment cards, etc. Use your imagination.

Obtain Demographic and Psychographic Information

Learn everything you can about your customers and prospects. Where they live, income, age, magazines they read, clubs they belong to. You can find this information out by canvassing your neighborhood and surrounding areas, through mailing lists and on the Internet.

Search the SRDS (Library)

The Standard Rate and Data Service is an awesome reference work for mailing lists of any type of market. It's a very expensive book (around $400), but any decent size library should have one. Go spend a day (you'll need it) looking through this marvel and go deep into your target market.

 


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Study your competitors (online and offline)

I hope you're at least checking out your competitors. If  not, shame on you. Get started immediately. Study them long enough and you'll get a good idea what they're doing right and what they're doing wrong. Study their marketing pieces, sales process, everything they do. Learn and grow.

Bookstores

One of the best ways to do market research. Go into a Barnes & Noble or Borders and check out the books and magazines available on your target market. Look at the ads running in the magazines, study the headlines, read the articles. You'll come out with solid research on your market to put to good use.

Google

Google, the 300-pound gorilla on the net, is a Godsend for researching your market. Type in your keywords and voila, a world of information right at your fingertips. Study the websites on natural search. Check out the PPC sites on the right side and see what they're selling. This is market research already done for you by other businesses in your market! Take advantage of it.

Forums

Search Google to find forums related to your market. Join them and spend some time just listening. Believe me, you'll find out exactly the frustrations, desires, hopes and fears of your marketplace in a very short time.

Take Action

There you have it. Seven things you can do today to learn more about your market. It's easier than ever to gather this information, so there's no excuse not to. Take action and make it happen.

Your business success depends on it.

Brian Carson

Brian Carson is the president and CEO of the Market Ownership Group. Before founding the Market Ownership Group, a marketing consulting/business coaching company, Brian owned three brick-and-mortar businesses that he ran profitably for over 15 years. Brian sold them off to focus all his attention to the formation of the Market Ownership Group, founded in 2008. Brian has created marketing strategies, done for you marketing materials and given advice in a diverse range of businesses, from restaurants to barber shops to online only businesses to small retail stores, and financial advisors. If you would like to grow your business to new levels of profit and growth, or if you need help starting a business from scratch, email the Market Ownership Group at bricar@marketownership.com.

 

The Brian and Lee Show

On this week's episode of THE BRIAN AND LEE SHOW, Brian and Lee interview author and entrepreneur, Kevin Cullis. Kevin is a USAF veteran, currently a business geek and now has become an entrepreneur. He has his Masters Degree in Administration as well as 12 years of face-to-face experience selling both Macs and PCs to businesses. How to Start a Business: Mac Version is his first book.

 

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Brian and Lee Resources

Copyright 2011 The Brian and Lee Show and the Market Ownership Group. All Rights Reserved.