Small and medium-sized business (SMB) founders cannot afford to underestimate the importance of conducting market research at the start of the company formation process.
According to Céline François, UK manager of Marketest, enterprises that skip this key planning and learning step are "often doomed to failure".
Writing for SmallBusiness.co.uk, she noted that many start-up founders see market research as being "a time-consuming process" and "a costly option".
But with high risks at stake, Ms François said research can provide "superior understanding" of customers, competitors and the market.
This process also offers greater insight into the viability of initial ideas, she told the news provider.
In the first instance, company founders should define a research objective and choose a method to carry out investigation, Ms François advised.
This will involve primary market research - where the owner conducts their own studies - or secondary - where they interpret existing data.
She said data collection and analysis offers new businesses plenty of value, while all findings should be consolidated into a written report illustrating key points.
"In highly competitive markets, funding start-up business has become increasingly difficult," Ms François said.
"So by professionalising your setting up approach and providing first-hand market research information, this will no doubt help convince those all-important financial partners to invest.
Writing for the Guardian, Emily Wright said market research helps businesses understand the cultural, social and economic context in which they are trading.
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Posted by Steve Williams