Cheap Market Research Methods for Startups | SmallBizClub
Cheap Market Research Tools for Startups - AlleyWatch
15. Perform Cheap Market Research. Jon Jordan founded truck-stereo-equipment maker Southern Audio Services Inc., in Baton Rouge, La., with $400, a sum that went into parts to construct a woofer-in-a-tube loudspeaker and install it as a traveling demo in the back of his pickup truck. How did he know there was a market for it? "Basically, my target market was me, and I was confident that if I really liked it, I could damn sure convince every other 20-year-old out there, too." Even if the new speaker was a great idea, there was no money to pursue it -- the bootstrapper's predicament. As Jordan, joined by his equally broke brother, saw it: "We had to justify the product by selling enough of them, then figure out a way to get them built. What was the worst-case scenario? We'd drive around and call on a bunch of dealers, come back, and not be able to fill the orders. So they'd scratch their heads awhile, wondering, What ever happened to those guys who came by here with that pickup truck?"
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Third, the anmoku no ryokai arrangement provides publishers with extremely cheap market research. To learn what's hot and what's not, a media company could spend lots of money commissioning polls and conducting focus groups. Or for a few bucks it could buy a Super Comic City catalog and spend two days watching 96,000 of its best customers browse, gossip, and buy in real time. These settings often provide early warnings of the shifting fan zeitgeist. For instance, a few years ago several circles that had been creating dojinshi for the series Prince of Tennis switched to Bleach, an indication that one title was falling out of favor and another was on the rise. "The publishers are seeing the market in action," Ichikawa says. "They're seeing the successes and the failures. They're seeing the trends."