How-To: Side Hustle Market Research
Starting a new side hustle is exciting, but before jumping in it’s really important to conduct thorough market research. Market research helps you identify potential customers for your side hustle, what their needs and wants are, what’s already on the market, and ultimately how feasible your side hustle idea really is.
Know your Target Audience
And speaking of target audiences, another important aspect of market research is to gather feedback from potential customers early in your launch — or sometimes before it. This can be done through surveys, focus groups, or interviews, especially if you conduct a soft launch. Feedback from potential customers will refine your understanding of their needs and wants, so you can correct any issues with your product or service as quick as possible.
The first step in market research is to identify the target market. Who are the customers that you’re hoping to reach? What are their demographics? i.e. age, gender, income, location, personality, occupation, etc. Understanding who you’re targeting will help you tailor your product(s) and your marketing efforts, to make sure you’re reaching and serving the right people.
Know the Competition
Next, it’s important to understand your competition. What other businesses offer similar products or services? What are their strengths and weaknesses? Understanding your competition helps identify how you can differentiate yourself and stand out in the market. All the things you don’t like about your competitors? That’s what you’re going to fix.
Along those lines, don’t forget to keep an eye on industry trends and changes. For my print on demand business, understanding design trends, nostalgic themes, and pop culture phenomena is critical to reaching my design audience. Keeping an eye on industry trends can help you stay ahead of the curve and make any necessary adjustments to your approach.
Know the Numbers
Finally, you need to take an honest look at the financial viability of your side hustle. Conduct a feasibility analysis to determine the costs associated with starting and running your side hustle, as well as your potential revenue and profit. This will help you determine if your side hustle is financially viable and if it has the potential to become a profitable venture.
Whatever you do, don’t jump in blind. You owe it to yourself to do some due diligence!