If you’re running a small business, or a start up or even just thinking about launching one on an unsuspecting world, the only important measure is, in the end, success: do you successfully find a market for your products or your services. Can you successfully provide what people want and turn a profit on that exchange? Can you keep finding that success every day?
The consequences for failure aren’t just the loss of your own income and job: it’s also unemployment for the people who are relying on, disappointed customers and clients, and potentially debt and fractured relationships that make starting again more difficult.
Looked at more positively, the rewards for success are financial independence, personal achievement and the chance to grow yet further. Added together, these are persuasive carrots and sticks to remind you that success is the most important thing on your agenda. Today we’re looking at one of the paths you can take towards success: data.
If you’re not using data to inform your decision-making process, then you’re doing little more than guessing. Experience can take you long a way, but as soon as you into a situation you’ve been through before (which you should, regularly, if you’re pushing yourself and your business to conquer new horizons) then you’re in uncharted territory and your decision-making process is hamstrung.
What you need is an injection of data. Some research you can do for yourself, as you learn about your own company. You need to know exactly what your teams are capable of when they’re pushed, and how often you can push them before morale collapses. You can also learn about the habits of your own customers both in store and online, and optimise their experience to smooth their journey to the checkout.
For other vital insights you’re going to have to look beyond the confines of your own business. Partnering up with a market research company like Attest can help you learn not just about the people using your business, but those who haven’t chosen you yet: it’s vital to expand your point of view into the wider market and learn how to capture a share of those customers who for some reason haven’t been drawn to your brand yet.
A brand tracker survey, for example, has a cross section of consumers rate your brand and your competitors so you can see where you sit in the market place and, most importantly, why. This allows you to identify opportunities to grow, and also areas where you’d be wasting your resources as the market is saturated by existing brands, driving you to success.