Researching your business idea involves:
- researching your industry
- researching your competitors
- researching your market.
Research your industry
Your industry is the broad category that your business belongs to. For example, if your business idea is a florist shop, your industry is retail.
You can find lots of information about your industry including overall trends of prices, revenue and employment statistics. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has a ‘small business’ page where people can find out more about their industry and the Australian economy.
IBISWorld also provides industry research reports. While you have to subscribe and pay for full reports, they also provide free, comprehensive overviews of each industry sector.
Research your market
Your market, or target market, is your customers. You need to know who will buy your products or services. You need to find out as much as you can about them.
Some things to find out about your market include:
- their age
- their gender
- their education level
- their income
- where they live
- other things they’re interested in
- how much they’re prepared to pay for your product or service.
Business Victoria has some useful tips on doing market research.
Research your competitors
Your competitors are the businesses you’re in direct or indirect competition with for customers.
For example, your florist shop would be directly competing against other florists in the neighbourhood. You might also be indirectly competing with a local nursery business or a large supermarket that sells flowers or plants.
Do an internet search to find out who your competitors are, what products and services they offer, who you think they are targeting, and what prices they charge. You can use this information in your business plan.
General sources of business information
Find out about starting a new business, buying an existing business or a franchise, and running a business.
Provides practical assistance to small business in Australia including your tax and superannuation responsibilities.