Doing your research

All you need to know when doing your research

If doing a research is new to you, the following articles and videos will help you get started. You might question whether research is even necessary in your field of business. But you can be sure of this: No matter if you start up as a hairdresser, carpenter, designer or software developer, you need to do the basic research and gain insights about your competitors, customers, and, in case you open a store, about the neighborhood. The more you know, the fewer unaccounted surprises you will meet in the future. From the featured articles and videos below, you will learn how to do a proper research and how to find your place in the markets.

Welcome to the jungle!   

How to find your market

Meet four Scandinavian entrepreneurs and get their insights on how to do market research and find the right market for your business. One is a first-mover within e-sports, one has a tech company with a global market, one is a clothing company on the rise and one produces freshly pressed organic juices for local market, and all have found their unique place in the market. 

Meet the entrepreneurs

Have you done your SWOT?

Are you familiar with SWOT analysis? SWOT is a simple tool to identify and categorize the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats related to your business and your market. We recommend you to our instructions and create one as part of your own research. 

When creating a SWOT analysis, you will be able to identify both the internal and the external factors that might affect your business. Your strengths and weaknesses are always determined by internal factors whereas your opportunities and threats are always determined by external factors.

You can find leverage and prioritize what actions to take by doing a SWOT. Use the tool below to get your new business off to a good start. Begin by identifying and categorizing internal factors.

Strengths

Identify your internal strengths by asking yourself:

  • What makes my business stand out?
  • What makes my product/service/idea unique or valuable?
  • Why will my business attract customers and become a success?
  • What is my competitive edge?

Weaknesses

Identify your internal weaknesses by asking yourself: 

  • Can my business handle the competition? 
  • Do I have the experience/manpower to run the business? 
  • Will my business be able to deliver as promised?
  • Do I have sufficient cash flow to keep my business running?

Opportunities

Identify your external opportunities by asking yourself:

  • Which current trends can match my business idea?
  • What is the potential for taking my business idea abroad?

  • How can I further develop my product/service/idea?

  • What market developments can my business benefit from?

Threats

Identify your external threats by asking yourself:

  • Which political/economic trends can affect my business idea?
  • Can any legislative initiatives affect my business idea?
  • What sort of obstacles have I not yet considered?
  • Are there any competitors I should worry about?

By no doubt, investors and business partners will question you about what you see as your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats, so making a SWOT analysis before meeting with any partner is a smart move. No matter what type of entrepreneur you are or what ambitions you have for your business, the SWOT analysis should be included in your business plan: It will demonstrate that you understand your competitive market. Take the time to address each of the factors identified and lay out what you plan to do about them: both how you intend to capitalize on your opportunities and strengths, and how you plan to head off threats and eliminate weaknesses.

Remember to carefully consider where you could benefit from getting help: If a weakness is that you lack experience within the field, then hiring, consulting or partnering up with an experienced resource may be your way out – and this may even turn into an opportunity if this person brings additional value and skills to your business. 

Your business environment is constantly changing and your business plan needs to reflect the actual situation – not how it was when you started. Revisit your SWOT analysis and your business plan regularly - annually at least - or when your business develops or you face changes in your market or competitive conditions. Remember that these materials don't just serve the purpose of convincing potential partners – they are valuable tools for developing your business.

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Great visions need great planning

Learn from those who have gone before you, and get their insights on why it is so important to have a vision for your business and make plans for how to accomplish it.