12 days of start up: Day three, Know thy market

By Shirley Hermiston
This series of blog will help us countdown to Christmas providing some useful information to those of you who are considering self-employment and hopefully get you on the right path to setting up your own business.

So you’ve had that epiphany moment, the light bulb is flashing above your head and it’s easy to go in all guns blazing. But you have to make sure that your business idea is actually viable and to do that you must answer your questions honestly.

Is there a market for it? Do your research before you register your business. Flaws you find in your grand plan at the start of your journey are much easier to correct than discovering them further down the line.

There is free market data available, I recommend looking at the Office for National Statistics, you can find information on people’s spending habits, how prices change and demographics to name just a few.

Also the British Library Business and IP Centre also offer a lot of useful information worth checking out.

Take advantage of having social media the internet at your fingertips. The internet is one of the best ways to work out potential demand for your product or business and ask friends and family too.

Once you are happy with the data collected it’s time to analyse. Don’t worry if the results weren’t quite what you expected or wanted, adapting plays a big part of running a business and remember that opinions change so it is worth repeating your research at various stages in your business start-up and beyond.

The start-up team at the BIC can also give you a helping hand.

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