Most major companies spend large amounts on market research and testing prior to launching new products or services, but entrepreneurs in North Carolina and around the country often devote little time and few resources to these efforts before opening their commercial ventures. Market research is basically due diligence for business ideas, and it can provide entrepreneurs with inspiration and insights as well as valuable data.
New business owners may be able to avoid many of the pitfalls of entrepreneurship by avoiding areas where competition is fierce, but they should always proceed with caution as wide open markets could indicate weak demand. Entrepreneurs may also be wise to study the strengths and vulnerabilities of their competition. This information can then be used to develop marketing strategies and create unique selling propositions for new business ventures. Keeping track of the activities of competitors can also be a valuable source of new ideas.
Entrepreneurs are generally action-oriented individuals, and some forego market research because collecting the data required to do it properly can seem like a chore. However, the information age has made gathering demographic figures and financial records much simpler, and entrepreneurs can now use computers to access public library and university databases. Trade associations and groups can also provide useful insights, and polls of potential customers could raise issues that entrepreneurs have overlooked.
Attorneys with experience in this area may also be able to help entrepreneurs thinking of buying or selling a business to make more prudent decisions. Legal due diligence efforts could include checking that business facilities meet all federal and state regulations and making sure that all of the necessary permits are in place.