Who has never impressed their friends and family with a business idea?
But guess what? They’re biased! Your enthusiasm, along with your close connection to them, means this research will not stand up in the real world.
Although many start-ups develop detailed business plans before they launch, much of the research done for the business plan is limited. It’s either secondary research (such as desk research) or it’s biased primary research conducted among family and friends.
Having a great idea is not enough — it needs to be proven. Moreover it must be proven in a reliable way. By simply questioning biased participants, you risk going forward with unreliable figures.
However, many entrepreneurs still do it. Being realistic is the key to business success for start-ups. Objective research is vital; you need real opinions from your target audience. You must target the type of people that you plan to sell your product or service to. This is your opportunity to get inside the consumers’ minds and ask the important questions.
Objective market research delivers unbiased views, reliable statistics and valid results. Proper market research can also help you when you are seeking funding. Start-ups have a series of barriers to overcome when seeking credit. Reliable data is likely to make your business plan stronger and any pitches you make should be more successful.
So don’t make the mistake of just surveying those in your close circle. Independent research should be at the heart of a realistic, impartial business plan.