Market research is probably one of the most easily overlooked parts of business start-up, yet also one of the most valuable. There are some very business wise and successful bakers on here, and it would be great if you all would be willing to share tips on how to do market research ourselves, without resorting to a professional firm. Where do we find our competition? What are things to look for? Evaluating our local economies, etc... I'd love to hear answers from the pros as well as questions from the newbies. You may think of something no one else has!
For one county, I found this info online ... for another county, I called the County Clerk's office to find out how many wedding licenses are issued a year. Also ask how many divorces (60% of all wedding are 2nd and 3rd marriages ..... in a business-sense, divorce is a GOOD thing!)
Demographics of an area can be found online. Wikipedia usually has last-census-numbers on an area.
I did that. I also bought a 1 month subscription to Shane McMurray's site and bought all the statistics I needed.
I started sending brochures with web site info and business cards to the brides and grooms announcing their engagement in the papers of the local and surrounding towns, have been getting some call backs.
Yes, very interesting! I never would have thought to call the county offices! Keep 'em coming!
As a contribution, I think someone on here (no clue who, I read too many old threads!) mentioned doing recon on your competition to find out what they offer, what they charge, etc.