This e-book is for those starting a new venture or thinking
             about starting a new business.

  It builds on th...
Market Research on a Shoestring: Get a Reality Check on Your Big
Idea for Less than $100

Copyright © 2010 by Naeem Zafar
...
MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 1




Table of Contents

Section 1: Demystifying Market Research                        ...
MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 2




Section 3: Extracting Meaning From Market Research                                ...
MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 3




The Purpose of This E-book

Most people would never think of heading out for a lon...
MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 4




If you are trying to decide whether it is really worth your time and energy to sta...
Go to
www.FiveMountainPress.com/books.html
          to buy this book
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  1. 1. This e-book is for those starting a new venture or thinking about starting a new business. It builds on the concepts discussed in my e-book The 7 Steps to a Successful Startup, providing practical “how-to” advice for the first three steps of the seven-step process. For more, see www.Startup-Advisor.com.
  2. 2. Market Research on a Shoestring: Get a Reality Check on Your Big Idea for Less than $100 Copyright © 2010 by Naeem Zafar All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form; by any means, electronic or mechanical, such as photocopying or recording; or by any information storage and retrieval system, without written permission from the author. Disclaimer: The content of this e-book consists of the author’s opinions and should not be considered legal advice. Published by: Five Mountain Press Cupertino California USA info@FiveMountainPress.com www.FiveMountainPress.com ISBN: 978-0-9823420-3-9 Printed in the United States of America Other Books from the Author (Available at www.FiveMountainPress.com) • The Entrepreneur’s Legal Guide to Starting Up: 35 Little-Known Facts, Secrets, Techniques, and Tricks to Making Sure You Get Every Penny’s Worth of Value from Your Lawyer • Finance Essentials for Entrepreneurs: A Simple Guide to Creating and Understanding Financial Statemenets for Your Business
  3. 3. MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 1 Table of Contents Section 1: Demystifying Market Research 5 Chapter 1: What is Market research? 6 1.1. Segmentation: Which Customers Will I Start With First? 8 1.2. Market Size: how Big Is My opportunity? 9 1.3. Business Model: how Will I Make Money? 10 1.4. Market Positioning: how Will I Make Myself Stand out? 11 Chapter 2: Why Do I Need to Do Market research? 12 2.1. What question are we really trying to answer? 13 Chapter 3: The elements of Market research 15 Chapter 4: how Much To Disclose While Doing Market research 18 4.1 how open Should I Be? 18 4.2 What Should I or Should I Not Talk About? 19 Section 2: The Method of Market Research 21 Chapter 5: Conducting Customer Interviews 22 5.1. Why Talking to Customers is Important 23 5.2. how to Talk to Customers 24 5.3. Where Do I Find These Customers? 26 5.4. What to Ask While Doing research 27 5.5. 28 Questions To Ask A Potential Customer 28 5.6. how to get the Conversation going 31 5.7. how To Find B2B Customers To Talk To 32 Chapter 6: online Surveys 40 Chapter 7: Using google Adwords To Conduct research 46 Chapter 8: Using Twitter To Conduct research 56 Chapter 9: Publicly Available Data To Conduct research For Free 61 9.1. Public resources You Can Use 61 9.2. hire People to Do Market research 65 9.3. Using Free Data from Trade Associations 65 9.4. Free research Using SeC.gov And edgar.Com 69 9.5. Using 10-k Wizard To Conduct Market research 74 You may not copy, post, reproduce or forward this document in any format © all rights reserved Naeem Zafar—www.startup-advisor.com
  4. 4. MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 2 Section 3: Extracting Meaning From Market Research 77 Chapter 10: Profiling Your Target Customers 78 Chapter 11: estimating Market Size 81 11.1. Implications of Market Size 82 11.2. TAM and Market Size 84 11.3. estimating Market Size 85 11.4. Bottom-Up Versus Top Down Analysis 87 Chapter 12: Identifying A Business Model 91 Chapter 13: Creating Market Positioning 96 13.1. What Segment of the Market to Address First? 98 13.2. Coming Up with Your Company’s Positioning 99 13.3. Validating Your Positioning Assumptions 100 13.4. What if There Is No Competition? 101 Section 4: What’s Next? 103 Chapter 14: Developing Your own Metrics And Validating Assumptions 104 14.1. key Assumptions And Metrics 104 14.2. Testing Your Assumptions 105 14.3. Using Your Assumptions for Financial Modeling 105 14.4. revisit and Tweak 106 Chapter 15: Next Steps for Your Venture 107 Epilogue & Free Supplements 109 List of Trade Associations 110 About The Author 125 You may not copy, post, reproduce or forward this document in any format © all rights reserved Naeem Zafar—www.startup-advisor.com
  5. 5. MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 3 The Purpose of This E-book Most people would never think of heading out for a long hike in the wilderness without some preparation. They would check out a map, inquire about where the trail leads, or find out whether it will bring them back to the starting location. They would probably carry water and some food with them. They may even talk to other hikers who have walked the same trail. But for some reason, most entrepreneurs don’t bother with similar preparation, even though a lot more than a day outdoors is at stake. They get excited about their ideas, jumping right into their execution and implementation. Some people rush to incorporate their businesses and spend thousands of dollars on legal fees. Some people jump to patent their ideas (and also end up spending thousands). Many even quit their jobs to pursue their ReseaRch YouR Business dreams. They often find themselves without either a market Model BefoRe You staRt! or customers, despite several months of hard work. They pay a high price for this journey in terms of their time, their This may be shocking, but I can guarantee that savings, and the toll taken on their personal relationships. you can have a business that can reach $10 million in revenue within Four Simple Diagrams! six months. Surprised? Think about this: What if It doesn’t have to be this way. Smart entrepreneurs take you sold dollar bills for a different path. They discover the customers first. They 98 cents? Your business would be sure to take arrive at the starting point with a clear understanding of off. Your revenue would what they should be developing and delivering to their rise rapidly, but it would customers—who will then be eager to hand over their be a lousy business— money. If you follow the techniques and advice in this book, you would lose money you too will significantly improve your chances of success. on every transaction. Just four diagrams will give you the data you need. once This is exactly what you can draw these four diagrams, you have completed happens to a business with a poorly formulated your market research and are ready to begin building your business model. Many business! entrepreneurs don’t understand this concept In this book, I will walk you step-by-step through the until they have spent techniques and methods of conducting this essential months developing a research for practically free. product and trying to start a company. You may not copy, post, reproduce or forward this document in any format © all rights reserved Naeem Zafar—www.startup-advisor.com
  6. 6. MArkeT reSeArCh oN A ShoeSTrINg | 4 If you are trying to decide whether it is really worth your time and energy to start a new venture or business, read this book. You might think that many people can use your product or service. But you need to find out with as much certainty as possible whether there is really a group of people who really need your product. Starting a company without sufficient market research can lead to unnecessary hardship, not to mention great risk to your personal wealth and health. You are about to start a long journey. You want to make sure that this journey leads to a clear and happy destination. True, you may take many detours. You may even change your destination at some point. But having clarity about your destination can save you time and money—and make the journey more enjoyable. Performing market research and gaining such clarity is not difficult. For most businesses, spending two to four months doing market research and discerning “deep customer needs” will allow you to learn just about anything you need to know before you quit your day job and launch headlong into your startup. I have been involved in six startups myself and have counseled hundreds of entrepreneurs who were somewhere in the process of starting a company. (See my bio at the end of this book to learn more about my experience.) I have seen more than one startup derail in the absence of sufficient market research. The result of insufficient market research: the entrepreneur-owner lacked clarity about his or her target audience. In many cases, that entrepreneur was going after too small a market. I know that you will find this e-book useful. I hope that you read it carefully and share with me your own experiences and tips. I want to share them with others who seek to start a fulfilling and enjoyable journey: a life of entrepreneurship! You may not copy, post, reproduce or forward this document in any format © all rights reserved Naeem Zafar—www.startup-advisor.com
  7. 7. Go to www.FiveMountainPress.com/books.html to buy this book

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