Market Research - Is it a must for startup business?

When I started my first startup, I had little knowledge about the market and the customer. It was all started because of the passion and the madness I had at that point!

I thought all entrepreneurs and startups did what I did for one decade – aim for growth and reach paying customers and keep at it until you achieved liquidity

But the reality is that while we have only one word for “startup,” there are varieties of startups like lifestyle, small business, scalable, buyable and social. The people behind these startups are all “entrepreneurs.” But there are significant differences between them, funding, strategies and the markets today & tomorrow involved. Not understanding these differences can screw up the chance of success.

Every business needs to evolve. One common catalyst I have observed is having the market view and asking right questions like:

What new products will attract the customers you want?  

What else can you sell to your current customers?

Where are your new customers? 

New markets? 

By definition, most entrepreneurs don’t know anything about them, how do they learn or get access to?  Structured Market research reports or findings will gain them the confidence which can relied up on

When I talk about Market Research, people often confuse it with brokerage reports, information about the stock market, vague data points prepared by non subject matter experts.  

I have personally interviewed 15 startups (Technology and social founders) and asked them if they have focused on

Hypothesis test?

Go to the market strategy (GTM)?

Content strategy?

Sales enablement?

Customer discovery?

Competitive benchmarking?

Most of the founders answered me that all these were taken care by them internally and at the maximum they got the validations from their friends and few industry leaders and not engaged with market research companies. Two founders engaged with the market research consultants who seem to be doing much better and at their peak of market penetration.

Undoubtedly, At this market juncture of 3000+ startups in India, Market research and its contribution to the Startup ecosystem is inevitable

I am looking forward to more such startup topics, talent, innovation climate and leadership in Indian startup firms this year. Do write in.










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