Last month, President Obama signed the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) into law. If you’re unfamiliar with the fundamentals at hand, here’s a high-level overview of the fundraising ramifications: It is now easier for startups and small businesses to raise money, as “non-accredited” investors (read: less wealthy) are now able to participate in venture funding.Furthermore, “crowdfunding” is now a reality, as companies can have 500 unaccredited investors, and 2,000 total investors, before being required to register with the SEC.
Great news, right!? You can finally build your long-dreamt of toilet paper delivery enterprise!
Well, before you take your startup offering to market, do yourself (and your investors, and your family, and your future) a big favor, and make an investment in market research and reliable marketing data through a partner that you can trust. We are living in an increasingly efficient data marketplace, and even if you can’t source specific data for your nichey, off-the-beaten-path idea, you can work with experts to model out your targeted demographics and develop plans to reach them with relevant, channel-specific marketing.
If you do this, it will be much easier for you to raise money, and you’ll have developed a roadmap for product launch. If you don’t do this, your likelihood of failure (fundraising and product launching) is significant.
To get started working with a market research or strategic partner, first try to understand these “four C’s”
- Who buys it?
- Who uses it?
- Which product or products compete for my targeted wallet share?
- Complimentary Purchases:
- Is my product or service a complement to another offering in the marketplace?
- Where do I intend to sell my product?
- Have my targeted channels been proven by competitive or complementary products?
It’s important to remember that marketing research is an iterative process, rather than an “answer,” and that most of the data that you collect can be used to improve your targeting for future products and campaigns. While you’re acquiring and modeling data for your initial launch, you should be concurrently building data-collection and campaign measurement capabilities. If you can attribute the business’s success (or lack thereof) to certain campaigns and business decisions, you are guaranteed to gain knowledge with each successive effort.
So what are you waiting for? Get started!