Dear Entrepreneur,

Don’t skip market research. Some entrepreneurs start businesses based on a cursory survey of friends and family who say it’s a “good idea.” But friends and family aren’t enough to sustain a startup going forward, and without a well-defined target market, your business will struggle to compete.

Therefore, don’t make the common business mistake of skipping market research.

Instead, conduct thorough market research to pinpoint your ideal target customers as narrowly as possible. Use secondary sources, like Census data, and primary sources, such as surveying prospective customers or holding focus groups to research and gather the most information you can.

This being said, beginning and managing a business is difficult, no matter who you are or what your business is. At the end of the day, there’s no doubt that you’ll make some mistakes as you go about the process of starting your business, and there’s nothing wrong with that especially if you can learn from your mistakes.

With love,