Yes, you do need to do research. Initially, it is basic market research.
Who are your target buyers?
What is their demographic profile (age, sex, income level)?
Where do they live (most retail buyers live within a certain mile radius of a retail location)?
What is the average price point for the type of sales you are looking at promoting?
Who are your competitors?
Are they local or franchised?
What yearly revenue do you estimate they have?
What level of revenue do you need to succeed--to get the profit margin you need to thrive?
These questions should help prompt others. You can find good templates online or in a bookstore or library to help with additional research questions. The better the questions you can formulate and answer, the better equipped you will be to handle the unexpected that will
come up in your startup.
The fall in new company starts does not necessarily mean that the American economy is less dynamic than it used to be, or that Americans are opening up new establishments at a lower rate than they did in the late 1970s.