How to do Market Research For a Business Plan? Steps to Know

For any successful business plan, market research is one of the main pillars. When you think of establishing a business plan, you must understand everything that it entails. In general, it is created for start-ups, but all types of businesses should use it.

What exactly is a business plan? It is a written document outlining the key aspects of starting up and handling a business. This makes a strong basis for the business. A business’s objectives, its financial, marketing, and operational needs, and a roadmap are all mentioned in a business plan.

Priorities and goals are likely to change, so it is important to update your business plan. Whenever an established enterprise shifts to another direction, there would be a necessity for a new or updated plan.

A solid understanding of the art of market research will let you develop a detailed, data-driven business plan. Be ready to taste the greatest success in the fierce competition. Continue reading to learn how to do market research for a business plan.

What is Market Research?

Market research is a set of techniques that are utilized for collecting data and learning the business’ target customers in a better way. There can be primary research on brand awareness and customer satisfaction. It also includes secondary market research on market size and competitive analysis.

For improving user experience, creating better products, and establishing a better marketing strategy, businesses use this information.

It may be impossible to know your target customers without market research. You may have a general idea of your customers and what they want. Still, you have to look into it more to learn what you need to do to win their trust.

Steps to Conduct Market Research For Business Plan 

You can do the market research by following certain steps and incorporating your own creativity and expertise. Let u delve into all the “how to do market research for a business plan” steps:

Understand your Target Audience 

The target audience is a specific group of people or demographic segment who may like to buy your product or service. This group is categorized by certain factors, such as needs or interests, that make them the potential customers of the offering. 

For any business, identifying the target audience is important. Doing so can help tailor your marketing strategies, communication, and product development. 

When you know the characteristics of your audience, you can create more tailored campaigns for your potential customers. 

Size of Your Market 

Market sizing is a way to know the possible size of a target market with an informed assessment. This is the way to determine the potential revenue and market volume that is suitable for your business.  

By knowing your market size, you can assess the opportunity and potential demand for your products or services. 

It is important to know the size of the pie you are interested in. You may get guidance for any goal-setting process and help in forecasting. Your marketing plan, SWOT analysis, market sizing, competitive analysis, and operations can all benefit from this information.

Learn your Unique Selling Proposition 

A unique selling proposition or USP is anything distinctive that your business gives and your competitors don’t. This can be anything distinctive to your service, product, pricing, and so on. 

When your business has a USP, it may stand out from the competition. Since your business outshines, it will get more value from the customers. Not only that, it will even help you with customer retention. 

Create a Research Strategy

Now, you need to create a strategy for designing your study and gathering and scrutinizing your data. This will involve the following steps:

  • Establishment of a budget
  • Preparation of hypotheses
  • Assessment of external factors (environment or economy)
  • Selection of the data gathering methods (For example, interviews, surveys, etc.)
  • Recognition of a sample size and sampling method
  • Deciding on the methods for data analysis.

Collect Data

Data collection can be done in many ways. These can include phone interviews, surveys, or focus groups. The most integral way of any research survey process is to make a survey or questionnaire.

It may take a great deal of time and effort to create questions. Make sure that the questions are good and meaningful. Bad questions can result in bad data.

Also, consider the sampling methods and data evaluation factors you need to use when designing the survey.

Before you ensure that you are fielding the right data, test the survey. There is also an online survey tool available, which makes this step much easier.

Interpretation Of The Results

You must apply the results of your data analysis to your business by viewing them through the lens of your research question. Based on the results, you can make predictions related to future business decisions. These can be product development, marketing campaigns, or pricing strategies.

At this point, you’ll put together all the extensive data you have collected to create a proactive market plan for your bigger groups. 

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Market Research Tools and Techniques For Business Plans

There are certain tools and techniques that a business may need for market research. With these, businesses can collect the information needed to get a competitive edge. They can witness increased growth in their respective industries. Let us explain all these tools and techniques in detail:

Market Data Websites

Businesses often use websites that provide information on the demographics of the target market. It even includes other market statistics. These websites give businesses access to expert viewpoints, too.

Digital Recorder Websites

It is an online tool that lets businesses record online chats and calls of customers. Alongside, it also has the feature to replay them whenever you want. Since it enables you to listen to your customer talk and lets you make improvements, it is an excellent research tool.

Competitive Intelligence Tools

Competitive intelligence tools help you check the sales numbers of your competitors. It even includes their sales trends, sales performance, and gross profit. Many businesses employ these tools to assess how they make a comparison and assist them in thriving in the competition.


Surveys are used for collecting data from customers. Businesses use this tool to know in-depth about their customers in a particular demographic.

Social Media Monitoring

Social media monitoring is quite common among marketing professionals. They receive information related to the behaviors of their target audience or customers. With this information, they make strategic decisions about a company’s marketing campaign. This can result in increased sales and profits.

Customer Relationship Management Software

Customer relationship management or CRM software keeps a record of customer data. This lets users connect with customers who have contacted the business in the past. With such information, businesses can get better services. Also, they can bring in efficient marketing campaigns for existing and future customers.

Predictive Analytics Tools

Businesses may get new insights and identify patterns in massive data sets with predictive analytics tools. These tools use computers for data analysis and provide accurate future projections.

Self-Service Analytics Tools

These are helpful market research tools that small or large businesses can use. With these tools, they can know about their customers and competitors. The best part about them is that they are easy to use. Also, they generate data reports for interpreting online data from multiple sources.

Market Research Challenges and Considerations For Business

When conducting market research, certain challenges and considerations may arise. Businesses should navigate to ensure the accuracy and dependability of their research findings. These challenges and considerations can be:

Biased Data Collection

Everyone uses data while making important business-related decisions. There is a lot of collecting and accumulating going on. The majority of market researchers use the conventional manual research method. This could be time-consuming and need more resources. 

Furthermore, the data and study patterns of manual market researchers are limited and skewed. This makes biased and disorganized data collection one of the biggest issues in market research.

Unavailability of Data

Most often, technology scouting entails gathering information from several geographical locations. A customer may wish to invest in a certain start-up business that is located in a particular country.

There may be limitations on the data and very few capabilities are there to source the necessary information. Thus, researchers experience a dead end of information.

Improper Business Insights Because of Market Uncertainty

Every 12 hours, global data is updated, and every minute, market uncertainty rises. Businesses are continually seeking novel opportunities to extend into new markets.  

The steadiness of the market and its ability to take in new products become important with the introduction of each new product. One of the challenges that market researchers experience is to figure out which sector of a given nation’s economy will be the best fit for their products.

The improper state of the market makes clients lose reliance on their advisory firms. According to statistics by Deloitte, trusted businesses overtake unreliable ones by 30% to 50%.

Interpretation of Results

You will need to have expertise and contextual understanding to generate meaningful insights when interpreting research outcomes. Researchers should consider certain factors like consumer behavior, competitive landscape, and market dynamics. This will help them to make informed decisions as per the research findings.

Competitive Intelligence

The collection of competitive intelligence has many challenges. These may include analysis of competitor strategies and anticipation of competitive responses. So, market researchers should use innovative approaches for gathering and analyzing information.

It takes a strategic approach, interdisciplinary cooperation, and constant adaptation to fluctuating market dynamics if you want to navigate these concerns. Organizations can improve the efficiency of their research operations by addressing these challenges.


Marketing research is an important step in creating an effective business strategy. By knowing the industry trends and target customers, you can make well-versed decisions. It will help boost your company’s profit. But, certain challenges come along and you may need to do meticulous planning.

Alnicor Consulting understands the role of marketing research in the business planning process. We have a team of experts that has been helping businesses for years. For conducting customer surveys and analyzing industry trends, we use the latest techniques. 

We are here to help you gain the ultimate success in your “how to do market research for a business planjourney. Call us today at 183-325-6267 to know more.

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