Are you one of the people who are like “But its poultry farming, why do I have to conduct market research”? Well, I will advice that you to drop that belief while I show you why it is very important to conduct market research for your poultry business. I would also show you how to conduct market research for your poultry farm cheaply, so that you can save some money for yourself in the process.
If you have no driving skills or experience and you are fortunate to buy a car, would you just hop into it and start driving without learning all there is to learn about the car? If you get into the car and start driving without learning and thoroughly understanding the functionality of the vehicle; what would happen? Well I will tell you what would happen-in some hours; you would endanger your life and wreck the car. That’s not even the worse that could happen.
I just gave the illustration above for you to know how important it is to learn the ropes of any business one wants to go into and not just poultry farming alone. If you fail to do so, you would end up losing your money, your customer credibility and maybe even endangering the lives of those who patronize you.
So what does market research mean in poultry farming? This is simple- It means understanding ‘your market’. It involves thoroughly understanding the people you would sell to and how to reach them. It involves gathering of valuable information that would help to boost sales. People buy poultry products everyday but the market is already very competitive. Therefore, you must learn the techniques to win customers over to your side especially if you are new in the business.
What Does Poultry Market Research Do for You?
- It helps you to understand consumer behavior. You would be able to understand what your wants, who your customers are, how they make their buying decisions and how they react to changes.
- It would give you ideas on how to expand your poultry business. You would be able to learn ways to increase your income.
- Proper market research also properly positions you to beat your competitors. It helps you to “spy” on your competitors so that you can develop a better strategy.
- Market research also helps you with pricing your products. You may not be able to penetrate the market if your products are not priced properly. Highly priced products can be a turn off for consumers while products that are too low in prices would also raise suspicions of quality and become a turn off to customers too. There is the need to find a balance and you need adequate research to do this.
- You would also be able to discover trends and best practices in the industry to adopt so as to make your business prosper.
How to Conduct Market Research for a Poultry Farming Business
Conducting a standard market research is expensive. You would need to engage the services of experts who may charge you thousands of dollars to get the job done but there are cheap ways to conduct a market research for your poultry farming business by yourself without hiring experts. Some very cheap ways to do it includes-:
a. Research reports-: You should look out for already written research reports by other people. There are a lot of websites that have such reports if you are willing to search. But if you are using a market research report written by other people, here are some important points to note-:
- The reports must suit your own market. For instance, you can’t use a Chinese report for an American Market because the culture, taste and preferences of the Chinese people are different from those of the Americans.
- You must check the dates to ensure that it is a recent report. A market research done is 2008 would most likely be useless in 2014 because a lot of things would have changed.
- Ensure that it is from a reputable site; preferably a government-owned institution’s website so that you can be sure of authentic and genuine information.
b. Learn from others-: Another way to conduct market research for your poultry farm is to learn from others who are already in the industry. You can learn a lot from the experiences of other people. Join trade unions, read industry publications, network and ask questions from other people while you use their opinions as a basis to form your own opinions.
c. Personal Research-: Another cheap method is to conduct personal research. Buy some very good boots, fuel your vehicle and be prepared to move around. A camera, a voice recorder and a notebook to record your findings is also a necessity. What you would do is to visit stores where poultry products are sold and observe how buyers make their choices, what products attract the highest buyers?
- What is unique about that product and why are people choosing it?
- How is the product priced?
- How does the packaging look?
- What is written on its label?
When you do these for some days, you would be able to draw your conclusions and have an idea of how to package and price your products to attract buyers.
d. Personal Interviews-: You can also learn a lot from potential and existing consumers by talking to them. Visit people’s homes and offices and talk to them about existing poultry products what they would rather have differently?
- What they feel about prices?
- How they would react to new products and what they feel about price increase and decrease?
These questions when answered would help you understand consumer behavior better.
e. The internet is also a good place to conduct a market research for your poultry products. You can find a whole lot of information on the internet that would guide you in making informed decisions.
f. Product testing-: This is a practical way to conduct market research. It involves producing small quantities of your products to observe how it would do in the market. If you want to produce poultry feed for example, you can start with producing small bags and release it to the market for sale. The way the product is received would give you an idea of how to improve the products and whether you should go commercial or halt the process.
g. Employ Consultants-: Although this costs money, it is totally worth trying. It involves engaging the services of experts to carry out a market research specifically for your business.
h. Surveys and Questionnaires-: You can also use surveys and put out questionnaires to further understand consumer behavior. There are websites where you can put out surveys and get results for free.
i. Social Media-: A lot of people flock around social media and a lot of companies have been getting impressive results from conducting market research through social media. Websites like LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook are very good for conducting market research.