What we learn from market research and customer development
“Assumptions are not enough to start your business—you need solid evidence, and you need information,” said Usha Srinivasan, the vice-president of learning and insights at MaRS, at Entrepreneurship 101 last week.
The entrepreneurs we work with at MaRS have lots of important questions they need to answer before launching their product: Is there a market for my product? How big is the market? Will my product help solve a problem? Who are my competitors?
In her talk, Usha showed the Entrepreneurship 101 participants how to answer important questions like these, and guided them through a variety of resources and methodologies to help them get started with market research.
Most entrepreneurs already know that they don’t have all the answers, so they launch their product and see how it performs in the real world—this is the hard way to answer questions, and it might not work.
Usha explained that conducting primary and secondary research before launching can help you answer the most important questions about your market and customer preferences. It takes time to build and launch a new product; market research allows you to test your assumptions without taking the time, energy and expense of launching. The market research you gather will help improve and refine your solution. This helps to reduce risk and enables you to work quickly and confidently.
Watch Usha’s talk to learn how to use market research, map your competitive landscape, create interview guides and interview customers.
A few of the resources mentioned in the talk include:
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