Resources To Help You Build Your Business Idea
Have a great idea but not sure where to start? Here are some resources for you to conduct some initial desk research to help build a more informed picture of what your new business could look like.
Competitor Analysis - Crunchbase
Crunchbase is an excellent resource for 'company creeping' - you can discover who your competitors are, how much they've raised, acquisitions they've made, their turnover, their valuation, their leadership teams. It's a great tool to understand the size of your competitors and the markets where they're best performing.
Industry Research - Statista
Statista provides high quality industry reports, which are excellent for identifying your potential industry's TAM, SAM and SOM. However, the full reports are eye-wateringly expensive, so take what you can from the free samples.
Hint! Google the title of the report and oftentimes, other sites will have published more juicy details from the report.
Business Plan - Lean Canvas Model
Ash Maurya's lean canvas model is the quickest way for you to see whether your idea is worth pursuing because it gives you a high-level view of every aspect of your company on one page. It also gives you clearly defined research topics to consider, which you then distill into bullet points: the problem, solution, unfair advantage, competitors, market size etc. It might seem basic but to communicating the entire idea on one page requires some ground work - still beats writing out a 50 page business plan!
Target Audience - HubSpot
HubSpot are inbound marketing leaders who provide an excellent CRM platform with a whole host of tools and resources to help you build and grow your CX. One of my favourite tools on HubSpot is their 'buyer persona' creator because you build out and humanise your target audience. By giving your targets real names and thinking through their demographics, psychographics, pain points and desires, you can really hone in on the product or service you're building and ensure that you're creating something that really fits their needs.
Government Assistance - Enterprise Ireland
EI is a government organisation that helps Irish companies get on their feet, scale and innovate along the way. They provide financial assistance, which you may want to consider, but the website alone is a great resource for understanding best practices in terms of management advice and R&D.
Legal Requirements - Citizens Information
Citizens Information is another useful resource to help you consider your options with regards the legal structure of your startup. It will also provide insights on tax implications, funding options, employment considerations and more. Admittedly, this side of the house isn't as fun as the likes of creating cartoon characters on HubSpot, but it's very important, especially if you're considering an external investor as they will expect all of these boxes to be ticked in advance.
Benchmarking - Google Analytics
Understanding your CPA is going to help you determine your price point, which in turn enables you to figure out your market positioning piece. Although benchmarking won't be able to give you accurate data for your own business, you can use Google's benchmarking to analyse marketing data of your industry as a whole. These insights are useful for you to gain better knowledge of your industry and help in marketing conversations.
Marketing - Moz
Moz is a leading SEO machine that gives a business all the tools it needs to improve its organic visibility. It conducts a full analysis of your site and lets you know where to improve. It's also great for competitor analysis because you can checkout details about the marketing efforts of your competitors such as the keywords they target, how they're ranking across search engines, their domain authority and more.
Investment - Deck Template
This is a template that builds on the Lean Canvas model. It fleshes out the one-pager bullet points into a comprehensive investor presentation.
Emerging Trends - ThinkBusiness
ThinkBusiness is a business reference site for Irish business owners and managers of every shape and size. Widely respected in the Irish business community, it was developed to provide information, resources and advice across all business topics.
They also do the odd profile piece, if you fancy a read 😉: https://www.thinkbusiness.ie/articles/five-rising-stars-irish-ecommerce-scene-online-sales-ireland/