Market research kit

The market research kit is a 3-stage process to guide you through conducting research and compiling data so you can better understand the market you want to operate in.

This market research kit will help you:

  • identify potential customers suited to your target market, indicating
    • location
    • population numbers
    • potential population trends
    • changing trends (e.g. building activity in the region)
  • consider recent economic conditions and how these may affect your business
  • identify and find the location of competitors and suppliers
  • assess the viability of your business idea.

This kit is useful when starting your business, but also when growing and expanding your business.

Write a business plan and marketing strategy

You can use the market research findings in your marketing strategy to better understand how to achieve your business goals.

You will also want to note your findings in your business plan. Read about writing a business plan.

Stage 1—Find economic profiles for your region or area

Understanding key demographic information for the region or area you will be focussing on for your business will help you forecast your potential sales revenues.

The following explains how types of profile data are useful.

This data will tell you if there will be enough people in an area or region where you want to do business.

For example, are there enough potential customers in 1 region? Will you need to research the profiles of more than 1 region?

This data will tell you more about how you will need to market to customers.

For example, information you provide will match factors such as reading and maths level.

This data will tell you more about growing opportunities in the market based on age groups and family status.

For example, new young families need products and services to meet the needs of babies and children.

This data will tell you about growth and business confidence.

For example, it could show customers are buying more and that it is likely to continue, or the area is affected by an economic downturn and there will be fewer opportunities.

This data will tell you about potential population increases and demand for more goods and services.

For example, demand for more building and design products and services.

This data will tell you about the types of industries people work in, which will help you target your goods and services to consumers or businesses.

For example, trades may need more protective clothing.

This data will tell you more about communicating with your customers and their cultural needs and preferences.

For example, cultural practices may need certain types of goods and services.

How to generate an economic profile for your geographic target area

The Queensland Regional Profiles are statistical reports on a range of Queensland community types.

It is a valuable resource that generates a profile to help you understand the region where you are considering targeting and operating your business.

Once your report is generated, you can review and analyse the data to discover if the locations and target market suit your business.

You can also use the report to refine your market analysis for your marketing and business planning, and sales and revenue forecasting.

Generate an economic profile

Follow these steps to generate a profile.

  1. Select the type of report required (e.g. a snapshot or specific group, time series or workforce).
  2. Select a region type—this may be a local government region, all of Queensland or a resource region.
  3. Depending on the region type selected, you can select 1 or more areas on the map or select from a drop-down list. You can zoom in for more map detail.
  4. You can select another region or all of Queensland to compare with or choose not to compare.
  5. You can select or deselect from a large topic list—click on show topics to view the list.
  6. Choose the type of report you want generated (i.e. PDF or HTML (web page)).
  7. Click Create Report.

Stage 2—Find a community profile for your region or area

The Australian Bureau of Statistics provides a set of data tools you can use to identify community profiles.

Search Census data to build profiles of potential customers in their chosen area or region.

The information generated from the profiles is based on the most recent census data, so data may be several years old and no longer accurate (e.g. a rapid residential building development may change demographic data quickly).

Generate a community profile

Follow these steps when searching Census data to generate a community profile for the area you are interested in targeting:

  1. The most recent census data year is displayed but earlier census data is available and will be useful for seeing change and trends over time.
  2. Enter a location, postcode or use the drop-down lists in the map to locate the area you wish to profile.
  3. In search results, click the Community Profiles button.
  4. Download a comprehensive spreadsheet.

Stage 3—Research competitors and suppliers

Researching your competitors will help you decide whether you should target certain regions. If there are too many successful competitors, your business may not attract sufficient customers to be viable.

Use our interactive competitor profile chart or download the print-optimised version to record all your findings from the research steps below.

You can also read about how to develop your marketing strategy in 6 steps, in particular, competitive analysis.

Search for suppliers using the same methods and look for customer reviews about them. However, be careful when looking at business reviews, whether competitor or supplier, as reviews can be fake or purchased. Look for reviews that have brief comments with a mix of star ratings rather than those that tell long stories and provide 1 or 5 star ratings.

The following explains research methods you can use and the benefits of each method.

  • Search for competitors that appear in the area or region you are targeting (e.g. Google search includes a map showing all businesses matching your search criteria).
  • Read competitor customer reviews.
  • Identify which competitors have provided more information and images.
  • Find out who is using ads to gain more exposure.
  • View all videos by your competitors on various channels and platforms.
  • Read news stories about your competitors.
  • Check how your competitor displays their shop front and visual merchandising by having a staff member or friends or family test the customer experience..
  • Compare pricing and test their customer service.
  • Read and watch how they communicate and engage with their customers.
  • View their professional posts on business platforms.
  • Check responses from customers.
  • Meet competitors at industry events.
  • Search the business network websites, which often include qualified business listings.