Big Ideas Start Up

How to use Business Information to help with your Market Research

It’s a (perhaps not so well known) fact that 1 in 4 businesses fail after the 3rd year. Its also proven that this failure rate drops dramatically to just 1 in 10 amongst businesses that have done start up research using the BIPC.

A big part of your survival as a business in its early stages will be a sound knowledge of your market. It might sound a daunting prospect, but we’re here to help you!
Market research can be broken up into desk based or field based research. Desk based involves use of pre-existing sources of info, whilst field based involves getting involved and conducting your own enquiries into your target customers.
Here at the BIPC and across the BIG project we have some great information to help you with both your desk and field based research to make sure you aren’t one of the casualties!
With that in mind here’s a brief overview of some of our resources that can help.

Accessible remotely across all GM partner libraries (except Bury) is COBRA (Complete Business Ref Advisor)
Simply visit for thousands of up to the minute guides on starting specific businesses across a wide range of market sectors as well as practical factsheets on topics such as planning, looking for workspace, understanding balance sheets and hundreds more. There’s also market reports, giving in depth info on certain markets, including customer groups, industry structure and developments. There’s also specific factsheets on the subject of HOW to conduct your own field based research, involving things like using questionnaires, compiling checklists, profiling target markets and finding sources of market information.
Type in your GM Library Card number and you’re ready to go! If you’d like a guided walkthrough with one of our experts, visit for the latest sessions across GM.

Market leaders in the field of Market Research, Mintel provide a range of reports covering UK consumer & lifestyle markets. Containing demographic performance stats, analysis & forecasts on consumers & major market players, many of these reports would leave you short changed from a couple of grand! This kind of information is invaluable for business plans or maybe to prove demand exists for your product or service to funders or banks.
You can access this fantastic info for free by visiting the BIPC in Manchester Central Library!

IBIS World:
Newly available is IBIS World, another comprehensive resource for studying 100s of UK industries. It’s a great tool to see the picture of a whole market, from supply chain influencers to market characteristics and operating conditions.
Each report has 9 different sections, giving in depth information on products & markets, competitive landscape, key statistics and much more.
For example you can see at a glance what factors drive the demand in an industry, the major supply industries that the industry relies on, and key products & services and who the main buyers are.

Using these resources is a great way to gain valuable insight into how a market works enabling you to see where you can fit in and hopefully tap into unsatisfied demand. The knowledge gained can prove to both yourself and others that your prospective business has a future, and hopefully save you time and expense.

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