Your Thoughts About a New Business Concept

Let’s conduct an experiment. The following is a summary of a new business idea. I’ll describe the concept and you tell me what you think when you post a comment. For example, is the business sustainable? What should the marketing plan be? Is the concept VC worthy? What about the revenue model? Company name? Anything. Any type of feedback would be appreciated.

Summary: An online market research company.

Mission: Become the leading provider of online market research solutions for early stage, small businesses.

Market Need: There is a great need in the current economy for an affordable solution that not only helps organizations collect customer data, but also assists in its analysis, interpretation and aggregation. After all, the quality of a firm’s value proposition is based on the depth of understanding of its customers.

Product: Customizable surveys, analytical and interpretive tools, access to sales leads, and other products used in the process of conducting market research. The product should educate customers on appropriate market research methods, such as corporate branding and strategic marketing messaging. It should also integrate applicable secondary research, provide in-depth statistical analysis of data, and perhaps even offer solutions for initiative execution.

Competition: Current online survey solutions (50+) offer a variety of product features, but their customizable surveys are limited to gathering customer data. Very few offer extensive market research solutions beyond survey tools and their limited features.

Unique Qualifications: The product features are comprehensive in nature, offering exceptional value at a comparatively affordable price. Management are MBAs with a combined 10 years experience with internet start-ups. The Board of Advisors have a combined 40 years experience in market research and marketing consultation.

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5 Responses

  1. Your revenue model should be sales based and ad based. Up-sell advanced features for your product. I don’t think it’s VC worthy unless you can prove it’ll be a $50 million dollar company in 5 years. The number of existing competitors is a barrier to entry. What exactly is the value proposition? Doesn’t this product already exist? You’ll need serious SEO to drive traffic to your site.

  2. How is your business different than Surveymonkey.com and Zoomerang.com. It sounds similar to those companies. You need to figure out how you are going to position your brand. If it’s going to be a premium product with greater value than your competitors then the price should resemble that. Your ads should be strategically placed where your customers are. But you should figure out your customer profile first. Then target them.

  3. From your description of the “Product”, I think that the business is trying to do too much. There is a reason that the competition you describe focus on a limited set of features – it pays to keep things simple.

    Also, it doesn’t feel very scalable to me. It appears that you do not simply want to give customers the tools and get out of the way, you seem to want to help conduct the research and coach customers as well etc. This means that the more customers you get the more staff you will need, which is true of most businesses but I suspect the balance won’t be quite right in the business you describe.

    Lastly, given that your target customer would very likely be pre-funding startups, I fear that you would struggle to get them to pay what you would think such a rich feature set was worth.

    Never one not to offer an alternative when I shoot an idea down, might I add that crowd-sourced market research might offer an interesting alternative – i.e. a wiki style portal where members contribute market data and knowledge about the market verticals they are most knowledgeable about. Content can be free, it should be possible for ads to be highly targeted and so if ad revenues are good, they can perhaps be shared with content providers.

  4. Great thoughts, IdeaTagger. I never considered crowd-sourced market research. I can see how that would be a good alternative. Your point about providing too much value, e.g. too many features, is also compelling. This market is not conducive to raising funds, especially for something like this that would have fairly substantial overhead. Maybe sticking to user-friendly market research solutions (e.g. survey tools) is the best way to begin. Anyone else have any thoughts?

  5. I like what IdeaTagger had to say as well. Targeting is the way to go, particularly with the myspace/facebook generations. So i offer this idea: Data mining of social networks, and if that is not possible, then the movement should be towards a social network that allows data mining. The other side of the coin is to take the end user privacy into consideration.

    (how do you get valid information if there is not a valid name to go with it?)

    (is there a way to accomplish this?)

    I like the blog sir

    Timidity

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