Next to planning ,doing research is one of the most important things you need to do when launching a new business (says my entrepreneurship lecturer Selwyn) there are many ways to do this all of which can be borrrrrrrring, time consuming and tedious but, like University education is to African parents, IT MUST BE DONE!
My mum went to Ghana (west africa) and whilst out there she had a tote bag made from traditional African printed material.when she returned I looked at it and thought currently there's a trend for all things African and tribal so maybe i could sell it. Before i got excited Selwyn's voice popped up in my head so i did some research.
There are several types of research Primary,Secondary, Quantitative and Qualitative
In this case i decided to conduct primary research because i wanted to have information that directly applied to my product ,"Primary research (also called field research) involves the collection of data that does not already exist. This can be through numerous forms, including questionnaires and telephone interviews amongst others"(wikipedia)
I live in the "trendy" part of east London, Shoreditch so i thought it'd be a good place to get some useful information .Also on that day there happened to be allot of fashion events 'Carnival Reset' and G-shock.
I did a questionnaire and the main questions I kept asking was:
Would you buy this bag and how much would you pay for it?
The responses made me laugh,cry,get ANGRY and everything in between.
DO'S AND DON'TS
DO be polite at all times even when people ignore you because they think your trying to chat them up.
DON'T take things personal, a bitter truth is better than a sweet lie
DO think about the issues and problems and define research aims
DON'T steer the answers, let the other party answer the question without outside influence.
DO analyse findings and apply them to your product/service
DON'T take one persons feedback as "correct" ask a wide sample of people
DO have fun!
So what did I learn? I learnt about how much the people were willing to pay for my product,what types of people where inclined to buy my product,i got an idea about where i would sell the product and i also learn't about the adjustments i needed to make to my product . Doing primary research doesn't guarentee success it can help you understand you target audience better. I'm giving away one of the bags on my personal Blog click here to have a chance of winning.