Author: Sophie Dean and Amanda Patterson, City Business Library
“Our actions may be impeded … but there can be no impeding our intentions or dispositions. The impediment to action advances action. What stands in the way becomes the way ” -Marcus Aurelius
Rarely are we given the gift of time. If you’re not working because of Coronavirus, it may be the right time to start researching that next big business idea. Companies like Disney, General Motors and IBM were started during a recession, so the pandemic and its economic impacts don’t necessarily have to be an obstacle to getting started.
In fact, this time that we’ve been given could be used to research your business idea and begin to build your business proposal. The City Business Library team is available remotely during Covid-19 lockdown, and we’re here to help business start-ups and small businesses to grow by providing access to valuable market data, as well as other services including online bitesize 1-2-1s, online seminars and regular updates via our Social Media pages. With a City Business Library membership, you can access invaluable market research which is an important first step in developing your business idea.
Why do market research?
During this time, a pandemic, an economic recession, and new and potentially challenging ways of interacting with your customers means that market research is invaluable. Understanding your market will help you understand whether your product or service is viable and will make you enough money to grow and expand your business. Tools such IBISWorld and MarketLine give you coverage on hundreds of sectors, past trends and future predictions – as well as specialist impact statements on the effects of Covid-19. You can access specialist industry trade journals to keep up to date on news, developments and challenges in your sector. You can also research your potential business customers and partners, as well as your competitors using Fame – which provides information on more than 4 million companies in the UK. Start planning your company contacts list and find both current and historic financial records on other companies.
Once you’re up and running, continuing research will ensure you stay ahead of the curve, and your competitors – you can start conducting surveys, interviews or focus groups. Or even, pivot your existing business model to adapt to a challenging environment or economic recession.