Young business woman with tablet.

Market research

Explore the opportunities and potential for your business. Ultimately, good market research will supply you with a crystal clear image of how to do business within an unexplored territory. Or why not to.

  • Identify the real market drivers
  • Comply with local laws and regulations
  • Use your network and be present in the new market

Market research

The more of the right information you have, the less mistakes you make. Market research is the key that unlocks a new market. Read more about what you need to consider when doing market research.

Hard facts are not sufficient

Go beyond the facts and figures and identify the real market drivers. 

Your first step into the market will be safer if you rely on two legs in your market research:

  • Hard facts like demographics, market data, legal issues, and local regulations
  • Market feel like (business) culture, street level consumer understanding, and mapping of competitors

Your primary tool for finding and gathering market information can be the Internet. Consequently, the difficult part of this process is to keep your head above water in the sea of data and information you will come across.

Demographics are the mere basics, but they are vital for your overview of volume and target groups. And you will get an idea of where to dig deeper for more qualified customer analysis.

Furthermore, you must search through the vast amount of market data that will supply you with insights into countries, partners, suppliers, and consumers. You need exact figures of economics, consumption, market shares, and buying power.

Laws and regulations

A very important aspect of a new market entry is legal issues and local regulations.

If your business or product does not comply, you are at risk that your market entry will cost you a fortune - or in worst case that you will be shut down before you even start up.

For instance you need to investigate if there are restrictions for your type of business and products, and how local tax and VAT rates may affect your pricing strategy. If you are setting up subsidiaries legal issues and local regulations are crucial for the way you organise your business.

Collect your information from trusted sources and advisers. Hook up with experts to get exact knowledge and insights.

Be present

The more feel and flavour you add to the facts and figures you have gathered, the more successful your expansion to a new market will be.

Your search engine will not supply you with all the answers you need. You need qualitative research too. 

Government agencies and your professional network will get you far. Being present and connecting with relevant players within your field of business will get you further.

Regardless if you are exporting, importing or setting up locally, be sure to cover all aspects of your market expansion ranging from customer needs, pains, and behaviour to how your competitors are present in the market. As well as business cultural aspects such as negotiation conduct and etiquettes. 

You will most likely have to engage with local suppliers - e.g. for logistics and transportation, marketing, sourcing, and/or commodities. Your market research will help you establish the right balance between trust and solid guarantees prior to your collaboration.

If you need to have local shops, stocks, or production facilities, consider if it’s more profitable to use local partners instead of investing in your own facilities.