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market research?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by Island Lawn, Feb 6, 2001.

  1. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    What kind fo questions do I need to be asking/answering?
    Is it anything more than just loking for the type of yard/neighborhood I want to work on?
    How detailed do ya'll do this?
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    It depends -

    Some people are really successful doing no research at all. I don't subscribe to that point of view, but it certainly does happen.

    You should know what type of customer you want to attract, but then find out where those types live. You can do that by driving around and looking, you can go the library and get census data (which is a slow, ineffective way to go).

    You can check out some online resources:

    They used to have this great zip code lookup site called Prizm that would describe the top demos in that zip code and the things that they like. They may still.

    Make sure there are enough of the kind of customers you want to keep you going. Once you know that, you need to know or find out how to market to these people. Not every demographic searches the Net for info. Not every demo reads the paper. And on and on. You have to put your company in places where your desired customers will see you.

    But the important thing is, don't get too bogged down in all this. Get a rough idea of all of the above, spend a day or two on it, then get started. I think it was MacArthur that said "A good plan executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week." You can hone your approach as things progress. You'll make mistakes (even when you're trying not to). Learn from them and move on.
  3. Skookum

    Skookum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 675

    Again, I say the more knowledge, the more you know about your business and the more likely you are to survive. In our industry, I do not see it as too important since you can just drive around and look for jobs that fit what you want. You likely already know the prime real estate additions in your area where they will pay more for Green work.

    Big, Big cities, this might be more important issue. Plus I would say, the bigger your company is the bigger this issue might be.
  4. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    That's true if you assume the low volume, high margin is what is desired. Sam Walton made millions and millions being high volume, low margin. Or myriad market distinctions within that.

    And as the economy slows, this kind of thing will become more important.
  5. WheatBookkeeping

    WheatBookkeeping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    The IRS does not normally consider pure marketing research expenses as a deduction for an ongoing business. If you are a startup, your research costs may be considered a deduction or capital expense. "Product research", on the other hand, is always considered either a deduction or capital expense.

    As a reminder, keep accurate record of your marketing research costs so that your tax guy can make can make the applicable entries at tax time.

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