When you’re setting up a business, you don’t know how long it’s going to last. You can plan as much as you can, but every new business is taking a gamble that you’re right about knowing what people want and how to get it to them. If you’re wrong, your business isn’t going to fizzle early.
The ideal lifespan of a business differs from founder to founder: some are serial entrepreneurs, hopping out of a business when it gets too corporate and established. Others are looking for a years long commitment that belongs to them rather than yoking themselves to someone else’s ambitions and benefits. Some might have a detailed game plan that involves developing a business with the express intention of being bought out by bigger players in the market.
Whatever your plan is for your business, you need to know if it’s going to go the distance. Are you wasting your resources with a small business you intend to see you through your working life? Is your start up going to last long enough to attract attention from established corporates?
What you need is data. Data before you commit to starting your business, data to track your progress, data that tells you if you’re making good choices that extend the life span of your business rather than shorten it.
Before you launch your business you need to perform market research. It’s important not only to assess the level of demand in the marketplace for your product or service – after all, if you’re wrong about that you’ll find your business doesn’t have the custom it needs to thrive – but also how to present it in a way customers find attractive. You’re not just founding a company, you’re building a brand and it needs to be a brand that appeals to be people!
As your business grows, you have no reason to stop your research. Things like Brand Tracker surveys reveal their worth over time: you can see how your share of customer’s attention and trust waxes and wanes over time, based on your actions and indeed things you have no control over like the school terms, the weather and prevailing economic effects.
Constant injections of data can tell you how your business is behaving, and whether it’s on track to last like you need to it or if drastic action is needed. The old adage ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’ has never been truer but you need to know if it’s broke before you spring into action and ongoing research is what will tell you!