Solutions | Marketing Research
XylaWorks is Your Competitive Advantage
XylaWorks offers a market research methodology. Our approach gathers data tailored to your specific business type and location. The information is used to:
- identify potential customers in your target market
- evaluate the latest economic conditions
- locate competitors and suppliers
- assess the viability of your business idea.
Whether you are starting up or looking to grow, this information will be crucial to your business planning. XylaWorks will give you a clear picture of key factors currently affecting the potential success of your business.
For full transparency, below you will find the steps in the process.
Step 1: Economic conditions
The information you gather in this step will help you answer the following questions about the region where you will operate your business:
- What is the population level and projections of my region?
- What is the general level of education of my region?
- What is the economic forecast for my region?
- What is the level of building activity for my region?
- What industries are people employed in my region?
- What are the birthplaces of the people in my region?
Step 2: Community profiles
The United States Census Bureau has a number of products to help you access and interpret Census information.
The bureau's reseach site is an excellent tool for researching, planning and analysing geographic areas for social, economic and demographic data. This information will assist when researching your target market and to build a profile of potential customers within your chosen region.
Step 3: Competitors and suppliers
Researching your competitors will give you key information about their businesses, including their location, what prices they charge, the quality of their products and services, how they find and engage with customers and how they advertise.
Finding the right suppliers is an important part of providing your customers with quality products and services at competitive prices.
Your competitors and suppliers can operate either:
'brick and mortar' businesses (i.e. selling to customers through a physical shop)
online businesses (i.e. selling to customers through an online shop).
Step 4: Financial benchmarks
Benchmarks are key financial ratios developed from information provided by businesses on activity statements and tax returns. You can use this information to compare a business's performance against similar businesses in the same industry.
Your business or industry association may have data about performance standards (or benchmarks) for your industry.
How to use market research data
This hypothetical example shows how you can use market research data to:
- assess the potential of your business idea
- identify areas of potential opportunity
- develop informed strategies to overcome obstacles.
Sam's ice cream shop
Sam was a successful civil engineer but wanted a career change. She had always dreamed of opening her own business and considered an ice cream shop.
Sam thought about opening her business in Galveston, TX. It was a popular tourist destination that potentially offered good prospects for an ice cream shop.
The following information helped Sam refine and enhance her business idea.
Demographic, economic and social data
- Interstate visitor numbers to Galveston rose by 9%, intrastate visitors rose by 6% and international visitor numbers rose by 4% in the year ended December 2013.
- Domestic day trip visitors in Galveston in the same period rose by 15% with expenditure also increasing.
- In mid-2013, there was one specialty ice cream shop in Galveston and more than 30 food businesses, many of which offered sweets, desserts or an alternative to ice cream.
- Desktop research indicated that, based on proximity to Houston and the Gulf Coast, the location was a popular tourist destination with an average mean temperature of 88 degress.
Based on this information, Sam identified that competition was high and she would have to be creative about making her ice cream shop stand out. She also noted that there were significantly more people making day trips, and therefore potentially more customers. The data allowed her to consider a pricing and marketing strategy for her business.
US Census Bureau Data
- In the 2011 Census, the most common language spoken at home was English. Spanish was the next most popular language.
- Of all the residents of Galveston, 287 identified as being employed in the accommodation and food services industry with the largest number in the 15-19 age group.
- Car was by far the most popular method of travel to work.
This data allowed Sam to consider whether the local workforce would be qualified to meet her customers' needs and what transport options may impact on her staff. She could then forecast her costs and determine how to recruit staff local to the area.
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