The failure rates of small businesses in South Africa are depressingly high with an average of 75% of small businesses failing within their first 5 years. Doing the right kind of market research in the early stages mitigates this figure. Market research entails an understanding of the customer’s demand; an understanding of what you can supply, how efficiently you can do it and what and how your competition does it; and finally, where the gaps lie.

Less than 10% of start-ups in South Africa have shown to have proper business plans when they open but it is never too late to start your market research. It is especially advantageous when you’ve discovered your niche or your competitive advantage, to use market research to draw up a detailed business or marketing plan on how to succeed.

It is strongly recommended by Professor Carel van Aardt, who is the Research Director at Unisa’s Bureau of Market Research, to use an independent market research company. An independent market research company is able to evaluate a business and point out its flaws and shortcomings and opportunities where it would otherwise go unnoticed internally.

Using all the information that an independent market research company can offer you, you can decide whether your business needs to move full steam ahead with what it is doing, realign itself to better meet the demands of customers (pricing, packaging, online presence etc.) or pivot completely.

The Research Collective is a dedicated marketing research Cape Town agency.  We are something quite different and really unique in the market research South Africa community. Run by a team of research specialists, we focus on qualitative, quantitative and customer-focused research. We also do impact evaluation, which quantifies the financial impact that a change to any element of a company’s mix (e.g. a new product or a change to packaging or price) will likely have on its sales volumes.

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