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Research, The Key to Success

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Research is a key element of starting a business, but all too often it is either forgotten or ignored. Research is without doubt the key to making a success of a business but it has to be done properly and needs to be relevant to what you are setting up. It also has to be realistic.

For many people who believe there is a need or a niche for their new business idea, that belief is sufficient for them to make the decision to go ahead and start their business. In reality their belief should be just the first step to then proving there is a need for that business.

In Guernsey in particular you also need to be aware of the potential for new businesses, particularly in leisure or creative areas to have a short life. Once we have all tried the latest new thing, we don’t necessarily want to do it again. This can skew first year takings in the business and then lead to downward spirals in income and increased expenditure in marketing as you try to maintain income levels.

As such projections based on your research needs to reflect this and not necessarily view income as a consistently upward trend when operating in those types of businesses.

For more conventional trades and service based businesses, surveying potential clients, researching available statistics in your field, gaining competitors pricing levels and assessing your potential market share are all vital pieces of research to help you assess what you might expect to earn on the income side of the balance sheet. Knowing then what your costs are likely to be enables you to assess whether there is money to be made or not.

For example if you are involved in the building trade, you can probably assess how many projects are happening at any one time by looking at the new Planning Websearch facility on the www.gov.gg website, find out information on how many new houses are built on the island each year through the statistical information from the States and then assess how much of that business, or in other words, the market share you need to achieve to be successful. If the numbers stack up you can proceed with your plans with the confidence of knowing that there is enough business out there to make your idea a success.

One final thought, don’t forget the Internet. As a research tool the Internet is amazing and can be used to research and test all types of concepts, particularly in retailing. A much cheaper option than renting a shop then finding no-one wants your products.

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