Where can I find or get market research reports for my startup?

QUESTION:

I’m starting to put together an outline for building my business plan, and I am looking for advice on market research. Basically, where to find it and if it doesn’t exist, then how to best go about conducting it. I understand there are many research companies creating industry reports that are a great resource, but those are very expensive at $500-$2000 a report. I’d appreciate any suggestions. Thank you.

ANSWER:

Nari Kannan

Nari Kannan

by Nari Kannan, Chief Delivery Officer, V-Soft Consulting

When you are a startup company, you can hardly spend money on market research reports.  In my experience, no matter which domain your startup is in, you can always find free and relevant research on the Web.  Google is your primary source.  You may want to try associations or even companies that publish free research.  eMarketer, Frost and Sullivan, and Gartner press releases are all good sources.  AdMob and MobClix publish a lot of stats about smart phones.  Internet associations and mobile associations in various countries collect and publish a lot of stats about their industry.  For example, if you want stats about the mobile industry or Internet in India, go check out IAMAI on the web.  Of course, if you want very specific things like the “Global Market and Trends in Formaldehyde,” you may need to spring for a market research report!

Comments & Advice:
  1. nkannan Nari Kannan says:

    When you are a startup company, you can hardly spend money on Market Research reports, In my experience, no matter which domain you startup is in, you can always find free and relevant research on the Net. Google is your primary source. You may want to try associations or even companies that publish free research. eMarketer, Frost and Sullivan, Gartner press releases are all good sources. AdMob and MobClix publish a lot of Stats about SmartPhones. Internet associations or Mobile associations of various countries collect and publish a lot of stats about their industry. For example, you want stats about Mobile Industry or Internet in India check oiut IAMAI on the web. Of course if you want very specific things like the “Global Market and Trends in Formaldehyde” you may need to spring for a Market Research report!

  2. I agree with Nari. I've put together many business plans based on detailed Google searches. Another great source of market data are blogs about your industry. The bloggers tend to get access to the latest market research and they post it on their sites. Also, press releases are a wonderful source. Try PR Newswire and Businesswire and search under companies in your space.

  3. If you're willing to DIY and are inclined to ask questions directly to a panel of potential customers, there's a new startup that seems focused on addressing this problem: AskYourTargetMarket.com. I met with their founder, Lev Mazin, and was impressed with their attempt to build a lightweight solution that makes it possible to get the kind of direct feedback you'd normally have to pay a fortune for.

  4. Search tip: Go to Google Advanced search, type in search terms, and then restrict results to PDF files. You will sort through a lot of junk that way.

    Also, go to slideshare. There is a ton of info there.

    You can also follow the blogs that summarize these reports. We do a lot of that at ohmygov.com, and follow others like docuticker. Another good way is by keyword google news alerts.

  5. joan says:

    Make a friend with someone who is getting their MBA. The schools have access to a lot of very expensive reports which sometimes is nice to quote. Or reach out to someone who works at a large consultancy where they have fantastic resources — not a bad way to go. Not all consultants are 100% utilized, and often they’re tired of doing powerpoint presentations (sounds cynical, but I was one in a different life and would have gladly helped someone).

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