Market research is an important part of a business plan. It is the one that will tell you clearly whether your project is viable or not. It is a snapshot of your market at a specific point in time. Thanks to this methodically carried out study, you will be able to glimpse professional opportunities. It allows you to estimate the potential of your product or service and to project yourself into the future. However, some mistakes are to be avoided for the well-being of your project! The slightest mistake can represent an obstacle to the launch of the project. This article looks back at the fatal errors that must be avoided during market research. 1.Getting the wrong idea at the start of market research: Many people rush headlong into market research when they think they have a great idea. In order to prove that they are on the right track, they select only the information that suits them and want to justify at all costs that their intuition does not deceive them. As a result, their market research is not objective and they run the risk of being biased from the start. 2.Counting only on the Internet: Although the Internet is an inexhaustible source of information and intelligence, it is not the only one. It would be dangerous to rely only on the information on the web. While it is easily accessible, it is not entirely reliable, and it is easy to ask questions about the needs of targeted consumers. However, the web can be misleading if the project leader places blind trust in all the information he finds online and relies exclusively on it for his market research. It is strongly recommended that a field study be carried out to complement the data collected on the Internet. 3.Geographical area too small: Is your ambition to sell your products and services to the whole world? If so, your market research will be complicated to conduct. It's best to target your audience to get to know them well. A project leader who is poorly positioned is likely to lose time and money. Before launching your market research, it is important to have an idea of the socio-cultural specificities of the target audience. A non-representative or poorly selected sample is the direct consequence of poor positioning. It will not add anything to the study. Remember to check that the people surveyed correspond to the geographical and socio-economic criteria likely to be of interest to the company. The sample chosen must also be large enough to enable the study to reach relevant conclusions. For a quantitative study, a sample should consist of approximately 400 responses. 4.Underestimating the competitive market: When we talk about the competitive market, we immediately think of direct competitors. However, we too often forget that there are indirect competitors. Their core business is not yours, but part of the range of products or services may compete with your business. As you have not thought to dig into this, you risk discovering them too late and this can be detrimental to your project. You can help yourself by establishing a competitive mapping. 5.Rely on the sudden appearance of a market or ignore the needs of the market: Entrepreneurs who actually create a need among their audience are rare. That doesn't mean you can't do it, but it's complicated. In 99% of the cases, you integrate your project into an existing market... and that's much more reassuring! A project owner should not count on the sudden creation of a market thanks to the service or product he is planning to launch. If his proposals do not seem to arouse the interest of the people surveyed, it is advisable to draw the necessary conclusions. Ignorance of the needs of the target market, such as consumption habits and frequencies, price range, is also a serious mistake. Before submitting a questionnaire to get an idea of potential demand, field and web-based studies should first be carried out. This will confirm or disprove your intuition and allow you to take the next steps in market research if the results are encouraging. 6.Survey the market with questions that are too vague: The Internet (more on this later) is a great tool that allows you to gauge with more or less precision the expectations of your future customers. The problem you may encounter is communication. How do you effectively address your target? During your surveys, remember to ask specific questions, banish jargon or use tools that are accessible to your target audience. 7.Not anticipating trends: The fact that no brand markets a similar product or service, with exactly the same characteristics, to the one that is planned to be launched on the market does not mean that competition does not exist. The company should not underestimate either direct or indirect competition. The market study reveals trends that are valid in the short term, but are unlikely to be valid when the business plan expires in 3 or 5 years time. A project leader must therefore take into account the market context and the uncertainties linked to the data collected in order to recommend scenarios that will remain valid over the next few years. A lack of forecasting on future trends is a mistake. 8.Forgetting to do a legal watch: The regulation of certain businesses can be a real hindrance to entrepreneurship. You may find yourself stupidly blocked because of a missing authorization or a recently amended law. Organize a legal watch from the very beginning of your business project. Here again, the CCI or the CM are the organisations that can guide you to obtain the necessary legal information. To conclude Thanks to this article, you now know the fatal mistakes you should not make when conducting market research. You also know how to proceed to ensure the relevance of your surveys and thus put all the chances on your side to successfully launch a product or service and guarantee the sustainability of your business.