By Gladys Kitony
You may have a brilliant idea for your startup, but the end product fails to live up to its brilliance in the market. Understanding the market ensures that actual needs are captured versus the needs perceived by the entrepreneur. Market research helps to build the customer base by clearly defining the target client and it attracts larger investment as the investors are able to see the startup has conducted the necessary groundwork that will safeguard its growth. Therefore, if a startup is to be truly successful, it must keep pace with the ever changing environment by continuously conducting market researches.
iHub Research has been keen on assisting startups to identify the target market, assess competition, and in dealing with obstacles by identifying gaps in their processes. This way, their products remain relevant, and the startup is able to scale and grow sustainably.
iHub Research is currently conducting a research for Mfarm, a software solution and agribusiness company, to help them understand the needs of buyers in the sector. The outcome of the research will enable them form an interactive platform for the agricultural buyers. Initially, they would speculate on the needs of the market and this was a cumbersome exercise. The team also participated in the initial stage of the research study which involved data collection. “The planning of the research was done so well and i have so far learnt how to retrieve the most out of an interview”, Linda Kwamboka, Co-founder Mfarm. iHub Research also assisted Mfarm in the application of a grant to facilitate the research.
Zege Technologies, a software development firm that focuses on building financial solutions benefited from a study conducted by iHub Research in September 2012. This was a week-long survey conducted at the iHub to understand the consumption habits and preferences of Pete’s Coffee customers. These findings were to supplement a content analysis done on data collected from M–Payer, a business application developed by Zege Technologies to enable organizations aggregate, manage and integrate cross-network mobile payment data into their finance systems. The system is used by Pete’s Coffee to manage mobile payments and record daily transactions.
The research was aimed at understanding the trends of consumption for Pete’s Coffee products while providing recommendations based on the findings and consumer insights. Zege Technologies was impressed by the outcome of the research. “The research was done so well; the final report was very comprehensive and visually appealing. Data collected from the research is valuable especially when offering guidance to our clients,” Stella Njoki, the Finance and Operations director.
WezaTeleLtd too recognizes the significance of market research to a startup. This is what led to the partnership between Weza Tele and iHub Research in a research study that aimed at investigating current consumers ordering and delivery habits and identifying potential for injection of mobile commerce into the existing ordering and delivery mechanisms.
The research was of great benefit to the Weza Tele team as they not only got a clear understanding of their market needs but also acquired excellent skills in research. The startup has since improved by offering products that are closely tailored to the needs of the market resulting in an increased clientele base. The startup appreciated the quality and affordability of the research done.
Discovery. Knowledge. Sharing. These are the precepts on which iHub Research is based. The knowledge that we discover is useless unless we share it with our community. Startups form a significant part of this community and it is for this reason that we are always willing to work closely with them – those at the initial stage and those established looking into expanding their market base. We look forward to working with the community of developers, creatives, techpreneurs, startups et al towards actualizing their ideas.