There are many options available to research the market you are thinking of entering. The sources of information vary depending on your industry, but some general options include:
This can be obtained from industry associations, or found in print or online trade publications. You should also attend trade shows and speak to the exhibitors there.
Demographic and Economic Data:
You can look on Government portals like Statssa, DTI or even city guides like Joburg website to find out general information on things like age range, income, number of businesses by type in a geographic area and total sales in your category. A reference librarian should also be able to point you onto other specialised databases.
Contact your local chamber of commerce for assistance as well as government-sponsored small business development centres.
- Local Universities:
Some universities get their graduate students to do market feasibility studies for course credits.
Identify your potential competitors and watch their every move. You could also find a similar business to yours and talk to the owner about their challenges and experience.
Run the idea by informal focus groups which should not only include friends and family, so that you can get objective feedback. When speaking to potential or existing customers you should find out if the market is saturated, does it want what you’re offering, what is the competition doing and how are you going to reach your target audience.