Here at Quotable Media Co. we recently had the pleasure of speaking to Melissa Jaggernauth, the owner of OneZnality, about her journey in creating a successful and profitable business selling adjustable onesies for babies of every size. While she shared her inspirations and difficulties, Melissa also enlightened us on her research, and more specifically, how she began her research.
Here are her tips on how to begin researching starting a business if you have no clue where to start:
“Do your research before you embark on this journey and make sure you understand the market. Be savvy and very thorough in the way you conduct your research.”
Use reputable sources.
There’s a saying “garbage in is always garbage out.”’ Therefore, your sources matter. A great start is the United States Patent Office website. This website allows anyone to search for any product/idea that has intellectual claims to them, even if the claim is for an idea that has yet to be brought to market.
Create a list of product keywords and descriptions.
When researching your idea, create a list of keywords and synonyms that describe your idea and its potential uses. Search these keywords and do not limit your search to your respective country—the internet is worldwide and sometimes your search engine needs a nudge to look broader.
Furthermore, keep a thorough log of your searches and the respective results.
This documentation becomes important in the event someone claims they had the idea before you and/or if you can pursue your patent, and a valuable step to save money when starting the process to obtain a patent. An attorney can then utilize the logs to support that there were no prior claims. Double win!
Connect with subject matter experts in the industry that most relate to your idea.
The gems they drop are priceless. These networking opportunities can help in so many ways because it does take a village and I do not suggest you do it alone. Don’t be shy and ask questions, suggestions, and referrals. Utilize these opportunities to learn from their lessons learned. Ask about the trends, barriers to entry in the market for newbies, and what other resources they found helpful to bridge your learning curve.
Immerse yourself in the industry.
Visit trade shows, listen to relevant podcasts, and follow some of the big names in the industry on your social media.
Try the ‘boots on the ground’ approach.
It’s good to hear directly from your target market and know what they thought of your idea, so don’t be afraid to ask. Visit your consumers where they would most likely use your product/service. Explain that you are in the process of trying to launch a product that you thought they would find helpful and that you would find their opinion precious. Nine times out of ten you’ll get their attention, and most importantly their feedback.
Create and test your prototype.
Once you get closer from having an idea to having something tangible, create a prototype or test out the service you would like to offer. This step is critical because you will learn a lot about the product once you start to put it into use. Here is where you start to refine and redesign.
The internet will give you tons of tips on how someone started their business years ago, but with the modern woman being customer service, the research department, an assistant, legal, and everything in between information catered to female entrepreneurs is exactly what’s needed. These tips, from Melissa Jaggernauth, will give you a basic layout of the steps to starting a successful business.