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Companies rely on market data for their pricing, product creation and expansion decisions. If you're entrepreneurial and passionate about market research, then starting a market research business could be an interesting next move.
In this guide, we take a look at the various steps you need to make to launch your own market research business.
A market research business collects and analyses data on specific industries and niches. Their findings are sold to companies, governments or other organisations looking to learn more about people or businesses within a particular market.
A well-established plan is an important first step to creating a successful business. Start by creating a business plan that will clearly define the business objectives and goals. Include the following aspects into your business plan:
To collect data, market research businesses use online questionnaires, surveys, cold calls, interviews and focus group sessions. They then apply a host of technical tools to analyse and interpret the data, after which they present a report to clients.
To run a successful market research business, you will need the following:
You should also have:
There are no mandatory qualifications for starting a market research firm in Australia. However, some qualifications and accreditations that may help you run a market research business successfully include:
Next, you will need to figure out a business structure and register your business with the government. In Australia, there are three common options:
Learn more about which structure will best suit your needs in our guide to structuring a business.
If you register a company then you also need to decide on a name. You can use ASIC's business names register search tool to find a suitable name. With a name and structure in mind, you can register your business at register.business.gov.au. After registration, you will receive an Australian Business Number (ABN).
You may have to register with the Australian Taxation Office for goods and services tax (GST) if you expect to earn over $75,000 a year.
A market research business can be started at home or from an office. Whichever you choose, you will require certain software and equipment.
In terms of equipment, you'll need the following equipment for your office:
When it comes to the software, you'll need to invest in programmes that can collect and analyse data. The more analysis you can conduct, the higher you can charge your clients. Consider the following software:
Your market research business may need the following legal documents:
You can create legal documents using customisable templates found online. Alternatively, get help from a legal professional to draft or revise documents.
We update our data regularly, but information can change between updates. Confirm details with the provider you're interested in before making a decision.
The fees you can charge will vary depending on factors such as the scope of the project or your business's experience. Premade market research reports often range between $1,000 to $3,000. However, if a client requires surveys to be conducted then you can charge between $6,000 and $20,000 for online, phone and mail surveys.
By this stage, you'll already know your niche, and which clients might be interested in your services. Other ways to grow your client base include:
There are different types of market research. Many startup market research firms choose to focus on one niche, offering specialised services to clients. You can follow a similar path and focus your services on a specific niche or industry.
For example, you can carve out a niche in customer satisfaction surveys, telephone surveys, email questionnaires or testing product samples in focus groups. You can also specialise in certain industries such as manufacturing, retail, or banking.
The ongoing expenses of a market research firm are manageable. They include web hosting, internet and telephone bills. If you have leased an office and have staff, additional expenses will include rent and payroll.
For research-related costs such as paper inventory for printing questionnaires and focus group session venue bookings, you can charge clients an upfront fee to cover them.
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