Before launching your business, check out these online resources.
Millions of entrepreneurs and working professionals dream about launching online businesses and startups that will disrupt the market. While it is hard to accomplish anything without ambition, being careful before venturing out is crucial, especially in the digital arena.
A lot of entrepreneurs start working on online business and startup ideas in highly competitive industries or markets where there is already a clear market leader. Conducting a market deep dive is the easiest way to dodge this. Below is a quick DIY guide that anyone with access to the internet can use to conduct market research on their own.
You may have already done a quick search on Google to see if a similar business exists, but you'll need to dig deeper. A casual first-page search will bring up only the market leaders but not the companies that are quickly gaining turf or have just started.
To get a firm grasp on the market competition, in-depth Google mining is essential. The best way to do it is:
- Think of diverse search phrases and keywords related to your industry.
- Look beyond the first two pages for every search phrase.
- Devote two weeks to the task of Google mining.
Sometimes, certain search phrases don't reflect common Googling habits. Ask your friends and relatives what search terms they would use if they were looking for so-and-so product or service.
Go to expert communities
The internet is a fascinating place where likeminded people hang out together and interact on topics that matter to them. Though there are unique ones for every industry category, Quora and Reddit are my favorites when it comes to interacting with industry experts and masses.
There are many ways communities like Quora and Reddit can be used to find answers to your questions. Mine the platforms to look for queries similar to yours. If the websites don't return anything, simply ask. Posting a question on both communities will make you aware of the various competitors out there as well as unique ideas related to your industry.
Mine business databases
Data matters the most to businesses, and now there are startups catering to the demand. There are websites that can be mined to discover technology businesses, startups and other established names in the industry. The biggest name is Crunchbase, which has over 105,000 companies in its database. Plus there are over 14,000 individual profiles that can give you great business insights.
Look into startup discovery platforms
Product Hunt is where product lovers and geeks hang out to rate new websites, apps, hardware projects and tech creations. The website has really taken off in the last couple of years and is a great place to get feedback from people who care.
Dig social media
There is no way social media can be left out of your search. Entrepreneurs who are taking their first steps and aren't really techy use social media to introduce their product and talk about it. So, don't forget to run searches on popular social platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Given that popular social networks have powerful search capabilities, something of importance will definitely come up.
Ask a consultant
For those who don't have the time to conduct a thorough market deep dive for their business idea, the easiest way to determine if there are similar businesses is to hire a consultant. There are various consultant platforms where experienced market researchers offer their services at an affordable price.
Catalant is one of the most popular marketplaces to find experienced consultants that can get the job done. If you have an extensive network of colleagues that work for internet companies, it helps to ask them, too.
Above are the easiest ways to conduct a deep dive to discover businesses and startups similar to your idea.
Done with the deep dive and ready to launch your online venture? Here's a website launch checklist to ensure your website is a great fit for your customers as well as search engines.