Conducting preliminary research is one of those primary responsibilities that every wise startup founder should take care of before putting their business plan into motion. Businesses that are started based merely on hunches or interesting concepts can sometimes succeed, but those kinds of endeavours represent significant risks as well. When you know for sure that your product or service is going to be well-received by the intended audience, only then can you reliably expect a satisfactory level of success. With that said, here are four kinds of research tools you can use to make sure your startup is launching from an ideal starting point:
1. Utility Comparison Platforms
If your startup is going to be operating out of a physical office space, you’ll need to start choosing service providers and plans that will meet the energy and utility needs of your business. There are a number of comparison platforms that can help you fetch quotes from multiple providers in your area simultaneously. For example, UK startups can use Utility Bidder to check prices for business electricity. By gaining a thorough understanding of the utility rates you’ll be paying, you’ll have the information needed to devise a highly accurate budget that will help you avoid unforeseen financial hurdles.
2. Market Research Reports and News
Most industries and niches will already have a number of firms, analysts, and pundits who regularly publish relevant reports and news stories. It’s always wise to learn a market inside and out before launch day, especially if your business will be operating in a competitive or saturated sector. By becoming an expert on all the stats, metrics, and factors that shape your industry, you can benefit from making fact-based investments and decisions.
3. Competitive Analysis Software
Knowing the competition you’re up against will always help because you can mimic your competitors’ success and find ways to outdo them at their own game. Conducting competitive analysis can also help you discover whether entering into an endeavour is worthwhile, as you may just find that the market is almost completely cornered. Or, you could find that it is almost completely untapped.
4. SEO Tools
Search engine optimisation (SEO) – the practice of optimising a site’s content and online presence to gain higher search rankings – is an essential duty that every company with a website should perform. SEO tools can help you analyse the kind of content and keywords your competitors have been targeting, so you can cover all the topics they’ve covered and look for new angles in your own content marketing strategy. These tools will also help you see where your competitors are getting links from, how many pages are linking back to their sites, and what kind of social media marketing campaigns they’re running.
Due Diligence is the Name of the Game
Ultimately, all of the aforementioned kinds of research tools should be incorporated into an arsenal of resources that you can reference in order to make well-informed business decisions. Segmenting your research duties into separate steps and processes will simplify the due diligence duties that will put your company in an ideal position to prosper.