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Help With Market Validation/Research

Hi Everyone,

I have an idea for a business that involves software and a service for a particular market.  I am looking for help with validating this market to help ensure my product/service alleviates a real need (versus my "percieved" need).  Does anyone have any advice for doing this?  E.g. good methods for constructing surveys, pointers for getting good responses, cold calling potential customers, etc..?

My potential market is the restuarant industry.

Any advice is appreciated...


Monday, May 3, 2004

Hire a marketing consultant.  You wouldn't want a plumber to do your electrical work - right? Unless you want to become a domain expert (and have the time to do so of course,) you hire a consultant or a marketing company to do this research for you.

Monday, May 3, 2004

If you don't want to hire a marketing consultant (to save money or whatever), why can't you just visit a few local restaurants who could be your potential customers, and talk to them about whatever it is you are making? I'd probably take this direct approach first before paying for a full-blown marketing research project.

Alternatively, you could prepare some flyers and drop them in their mailboxes. If they are interested, perhaps they'd get back to you, but this is probably less helpful than talking to the managers face to face (if you can get them to talk to you).

I dunno.. Just an idea for ya to munch on.

Monday, May 3, 2004

Mailbox surveys, potential customer interviews... This is what the marketing research firm is going to do.  I would definitely do at least some minimal research yourself before spending the money on a research firm.  At least this way, if it's a very bad idea, you'll find out cheaply. :)

Monday, May 3, 2004


I also have software I sell to restaurant owners, and I can tell you the best feedback you can get is to just go talk to some. One thing you'll quickly find out- they are cheap! Another thing is, they want to see results, fast, and without a lot of pain of transition, or learning new stuff, because they always feel overworked as it is. If you want to discuss it further, feel free to send me an email- I'd be happy to give you my $.02.

Pro Marketer
Monday, May 3, 2004

You can do market research while selling. In my experience, there's no substitute for your intimate understanding of your customer. So... do your own market research... while prospecting for customers. It's a great approach.

Here's an article on that from Inc. magazine:

Start with Nothing

Greg Gianforte, founder of $30-million RightNow Technologies Inc., learned that bootstrapping is not simply about pinching pennies and cutting costs. Smart bootstrapping is about turning your lack of resources into a competitive advantage.

| By: Emily Barker
Greg Gianforte thinks he knows the single best way to launch a business. Here's his secret:

From: Inc. Magazine, Feb 2002

Groucho Marx
Monday, May 3, 2004

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