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The Search Is On

Before you launch your business, follow these tips for doing your market research.
September 1, 2000

Picture this: You fulfill your lifelong entrepreneurial dream-a bicycle repair shop in your hometown. But the rush of customers you were expecting on opening day doesn't happen. Why? Because you neglected to do your market research, which would have told you that only 2 percent of the folks in your area own bikes. Strikeout.

You can prevent this scenario. Market research identifies what consumers want and how to meet those desires. We chatted with market research expert Kate Delhagen, a former research analyst at Forrester and current VP of business development for sports e-tailer to get the skinny. Listen up.

Delhagen offers one final bit of advice: "As you move into operating mode with your business, be sure to benchmark yourself against the right set of companies out there." Monitor the competition, and make sure that no matter what type of business you're in, you're among the best of the best.