If you’re about to put large amounts of money into a new business, it pays to do some research first. Understanding the right numbers is an important part of this.
Here’s how to define your market and the competition, with tips on how to use stats.
Before you start researching your market, work out what your business does — its purpose — and if it’s unique.
First, define the product or service you’re offering then ask:
The answers inform the start of your research into your market and competition.
There are free tools you can use to build a detailed picture of your market and competition — the more detailed the better. The results can also be useful to show potential investors or financial institutions you’re a good business to invest in.
Statistics New Zealand’s Data for business website is a good place to start your research, with a wealth of detailed data on different industries, regions and potential customers.
Data for business(external link) — Statistics New Zealand
Knowing who’ll buy your products or services — and why — is crucial for your planning. This applies to domestic and overseas markets.
It's best to:
Statistics New Zealand’s Market Mapper tool can help you find your customers by:
Market Mapper uses data from the 2013 census. The next census is taking place in 2023.
Market Mapper(external link) — Statistics New Zealand
Market information available can depend on the industry you’re in, eg trade associations often provide members with up-to-date data for their specific markets.
Banks also produce research you can access freely — though it’s often general information about the economy and small businesses.
Find out what advantages competitors have over the business you’re planning, and examine their pricing and marketing strategies.
Try to find out:
If you can’t find the data you’re after for free, you can pay for more detailed research from Statistics New Zealand’s Customised data services, or independent research organisations such as the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and Research New Zealand.
Customised data services(external link) — Statistics New Zealand
Market analysis(external link) — New Zealand Institute of Economic Research
What we do(external link) — Research New Zealand