Business Plan & Pitch Deck
Published on
October 2, 2023
Read time

7 Simple Steps to Ace Your Startup Market Research

Go Back
Table of contents:
Download template
You've heard it before: 90% of startups vanish, often victims of inadequate research. With these 7 steps and a handful of free tools, you'll 10x your chances of success.

Step 1: Define the Problem

Every empire's construction begins with understanding its foundation. Unearth the problem, bringing it into the limelight. Realize who’s parched for a solution, and you’ve got your opening act.

Approach: In this step, your task is to crystallize the problem your venture seeks to solve. Be specific and exhaustive to ensure your solution hits the right chords. This clear definition becomes the cornerstone of your venture, guiding your product development, marketing strategy, and customer communication, ensuring they're tailored and targeted.

Tools: Your original idea spark, your network’s feedback, Reddit, Twitter, and any other online community you can tap into.

Pro tip: Search for Twitter and Reddit threads by adding “” or “” to your Google searches.

Step 2: Brainstorm Solutions

Armed with a clear understanding of the problem you are solving, move to solutions engineering. Understand the tactics people already deploy and try to build on top of them. Are they efficient, or are they makeshift rafts on a choppy sea?

Approach: Unearth existing solutions to the problem. After speaking to your network at length, dive into the web and find recent public opinions on the matter. Recognizing any gaps for a solution? Brilliant! This perspective offers a lens to visualize how your product or service stands out in solving the problem more efficiently or innovatively.

Tools: Your network, Reddit, Quora, and Twitter, Facebook Communities.

Pro Tip: Enter Facebook groups and act as if you are facing the problem, you are hoping to solve. Record and analyze all solutions other community members are suggesting. Test the waters by describing your solution and asking if anyone has tried something similar.

Step 3: Identify Direct Competitors

In the jungle of the market, know the other lions. Those treading similar paths give you valuable insights and perspectives. Learn from their moves, avoid their missteps, and fine-tune your strategy.

Approach: Spotlighting direct competitors offers a blueprint of the competitive landscape. It helps in understanding their strengths and weaknesses, enabling you to carve a unique, compelling space for your business. This analysis is crucial for differentiating your offerings, making them irresistible to your target audience.

Tools: Tools: If you don't know of any competitors, use Google to find at least one. Act as if you are looking for a way to solve the problem for yourself; Once you have one competitor, use WordStream, SEMRush, or Ubersuggest to find all of their keywords for free; Start searching on Google with those keywords until you collect healthy list of direct competitors;

Pro Tip: Remember the previous step? You might want to add the solutions shared by other community members to your list of competitors.

Step 4: Identify Indirect Competitors

Don’t just scan the horizon; look beyond the obvious. Indirect competitors can offer unexpected insights and throw curveballs in your path. Adaptability is your ally in navigating this terrain.

Approach: Pinpointing indirect competitors broadens your market understanding. It exposes potential threats and opportunities from unexpected quarters, aiding in fortifying your business strategy. This 360-degree competitor analysis sharpens your edge, positioning your venture for robust resilience and growth.

Tools: Google, Google, Google!; Reddit, Quora, StackOverflow and other Q&A platforms;

Pro tip: If you are launching a tech solution, think of service-based businesses that might be solving the same issue manually, and vice versa.

Step 5: Define a Competitive Price

The price tag can make or break a deal. Understand your competitors’ price matrix. Strategize your pricing to offer value while ensuring healthy financial inflow.

Approach: Understanding the pricing landscape helps you price your offerings competitively. It aids in identifying the sweet spot where your prices are attractive to customers and profitable for your business. This balanced pricing strategy can enhance market penetration and customer loyalty.

Tools: Use Google Sheets to create a comprehensive comparative table with all of your competitors' pricing matrices.

Pro tip: Utilize the AVERAGE( ) function to determine an average price point for each service level, but don't forget to exclude any outliers from the calculations.

Step 6: Size Your Market Opportunity

Peek into the potential market pool. Gauge the expanse of your opportunity by considering various elements, from geography to customer demographics. It’s all about knowing what to expect if things go well and if things go south.

Approach: Market sizing offers a clear-eyed view of your business potential reach and revenue. It equips you with insights for resource allocation, marketing strategy, and KPI goals, ensuring your efforts and investments are channeled for optimal impact and returns.

Tools: For B2C - US census data, Statista, Worldometer. For B2B - explore SUSB and its equivalent in your targer regions.

Pro tip: Extrapolate regional estimates using relative GDP and population data.

Step 7: Identifying Market Trends

The market terrain constantly shifts. Recognize the tides and winds of change that can sway your enterprise’s journey. Stay ahead, informed, and ready to adapt to emerging trends.

Approach: Unveiling market trends and growth drivers empowers your business to stay ahead of the curve. It offers a foresight to adapt and evolve, ensuring your business remains relevant, resonant, and robust amidst the shifting sands. Understand societal, political, and economic currents that could affect your enterprise's voyage.

Tools: Google is always the starting point. Annual reports of the big fish in your pond often pin point the strongest observable trends. Increased investor interest and funding activity for a particular technology or subsector can show you where the market is heading.

Pro tip: For high-quality reports and scientific articles, use "filetype:pdf" in your Google search query; Check out the work of Pew Research Center if you are interesting in the US market. Consider services like, Glimpse, and Exploding Topics if you are willing to invest additionally in your market understanding.


Here’s the quick lowdown: Step 1 is all about knowing the problem and who you’re helping. In Step 2, brainstorm how folks are currently tackling that issue and find ways to build on it. Steps 3 and 4? It’s competitor time – find 'em, list 'em, compare them. Step 5 is the money talk – set a fair price. Step 6 has you sizing up your market, seeing how big your splash could be. And Step 7, keep your ear to the ground for trends and shifts that’ll keep you ahead.

But hey, why go it alone? Team up with a pro like the seasoned experts at Addifico to turn this sturdy start into a full-blown, fail-proof launch plan. You're not just saving time and cash (though, score!), you're setting up for a smoother ride to success. Ready? Set. Soar! 🚀