How speaking to industry contacts was crucial to my market research

Overview

With 12 years' experience of being a residential landlord, I knew that there was a need and a gap in the market for upad. But to set up the company, I needed to do research. I found that one of the best ways of researching was to talk to a range of different people - and not just those in my own sector.

Challenges

One of the hardest things when it comes to launching a new business is to take the idea and then execute it, given you are operating generally in a 'white space'. It is not like completing a tax return where there is a wealth of free information on the internet. And, as a start up, you don't have unlimited resources, so can't just go out there and buy talent in, for example.

Solutions

I found that one of the best ways of executing an idea is to get out there and speak to people who work in other industries, particularly where there are commonalities. In my context, that included the online travel and recruitment sectors - and that reaped real reward. I also found it really useful to speak to people and companies from within the sector itself. You need to experiment and to understand your marketplace from every angle.

Key lesson

Outside of researching and talking to many people, it is also about launching the offering to market. You don't want to be in business planning mode forever!

Top tip

Turning an idea into a business is a 24/7 operation. You need to be prepared to inject every inch of enthusiasm into the project and to go the extra mile.

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