Cookstown Northern Ireland – Business location

Length: 1432 words

Cookstown is situated in the centre of Northern Ireland providing an excellent location for retailers and investors. It is easily accessible due to this central location. Cookstown has a population of 32,000 and covers 235 square miles making it the 11th largest district within Northern Ireland. The town boasts the longest and widest main street in the province providing one mile of complete shopping from High street names to family run businesses. It is also famous for having the most successful weekly outdoor market in Northern Ireland. Approximately 13,500 vehicles travel through Cookstown on a daily basis this should provide a lot of additional custom. Cookstown has already a very strong economy established. All of these factors secure an excellent location for me to set up my business.

Market Research

Introduction

The aim of this investigation is to determine what type of business / shop the people of Cookstown would like to see open. I will be assuming the role of a business person hoping to open a successful business in the town.

All businesses carry out market research to provide them with essential information on a range of factors such as customers, competition and market trends. The more they know about these the more successful their product will be and the lower the risk of failure.

In order to find out what type of business / shop the people of Cookstown district would like to see open, I will carry out both primary and secondary research.

Primary research is the process of obtaining information that has not yet been collected.

My primary research will be in the form of questionnaires. This is a series of structured questions used in obtaining information; in my case it is what type of business the people of Cookstown District want to see open. From my questionnaire I hopefully will find the preferred shop and also the amount people are willing to spend in this shop. I will randomly distribute these questionnaires among the people of Cookstown. I have decided to distribute them face-to-face receiving the information straight away. I will distribute 40 questionnaires, to help get an accurate picture of what people want to see open.

I will also be using secondary data to help me complete my assignment. This is information that has already been collected and stored such as that in public records and books. I will visit my local council to obtain information about Cookstown and the surrounding area. This information will consist of censuses, demographic and business related information.

I will also visit a local bank and enquire about the financial help available for a new business setting up. I will also look to government departments to see what help they offer to new businesses. I also plan to make use of the Internet to obtain secondary information to help me to decide on which business I should set up in the Cookstown area. By carrying out market research I will minimise risk of failure and maximise opportunity.

Primary Research

From carrying out primary research I wanted to get an accurate picture of what type of business the people of Cookstown wanted to see open. I obtained this information by composing a number of questionnaires (see appendix 1) and distributing them to a sample of people. I chose to question 40 people this way I would get a more accurate idea of the preferred business. I decided to distribute these questionnaires randomly to get an overall outlook on the preferences of the people of Cookstown. I distributed them face-to-face. An advantage of this was that I received the information straight away. I decided against posting the questionnaires due to the expense and the unreliability of returns. I found people very helpful in cooperating with me and filling out the questionnaires. I am pleased with the way I carried out my primary research however if I was to carry it out again I think I would include more people in my sample tested. This way my finding would reflect a more reliable and accurate opinion on behalf of the people of Cookstown as a whole.

I summarised the results obtained from my questionnaires on a database shown overleaf. This database shows each respondent and their answer for each question posed the questionnaire. I will use filters to interrogate the database for significant information such as the most popular shop chosen.

Secondary Research

To obtain my secondary information I visited my local council and was referred to the Department of Regional Development. Here I received a number of booklets, facts and figures about the population of Cookstown District as well a socio-economic review of the district and an area profile (appendix 2).

I obtained a list of businesses in the local area, which I will analyse to form a valid conclusion as to how successful my business could be and the amount of competition I will have (Appendix 3) I also obtained a guide to the top 100 businesses in Mid-Ulster in which a lot of emphasis is placed on the success rate of business in Cookstown (Appendix3).

I visited a local branch of the Northern Bank and inquired about the help available for new businesses. I received a business plan, leaflets as well as a guide for the small business. This explains the help and support available along with specifying different methods of acquiring cash to set up a new business (Appendix 4). From this research I will be able to decide the best way for my business to raise the necessary cash. As part of my Secondary Research I also visited a number of web sites: www.cookstown.gov.uk this site provided me with information about the economic development of Cookstown district as well as a list of businesses in the area. (Appendix 5) Another web site visited was: www.ledu.com. Here I obtained information about the help provided from Ledu for new small businesses setting up (Appendix 6). I also visited www.yell.com to access competition levels in the local area. (Appendix 7)

Using my Secondary research I was able to conduct a S.W.O.T analysis of Cookstown that helps me to clearly identify the advantages and disadvantages of setting up a business in Cookstown.

From my research I will:

* Determine what type of shop the people of Cookstown want to see open.

* Identify the appropriate prices for my products and discover what level of sales I can expect by investigation how much money people are willing to spend in the shop and how often they are considering shopping in it.

* Discover where I could locate my business and decide if the chosen location will generate sufficient custom, I will assess the competition levels in surrounding areas by visiting the local council and obtaining information on local businesses.

* Discover the average number of people who could make use of this shop this may be discovered from demographic information obtained from the local library or council offices.

* Investigate the cost of advertising a new business. This may include adverts in the local newspapers and leaflet drops must be considered.

Questionnaire review

The first three questions that were posed in my questionnaire related to the gender, age and employment details of the respondent. The answers to these three questions will help me to determine the preferences of different groups of people in the Cookstown area. I will be able to analyse the different preferences of males and females as well as analysing the choices of different age groups. These 3 questions will help me to determine the target sector of the market that I will concentrate on. The question relating to employment will be helpful in ascertaining the disposal income of people in the Cookstown area. I progressed by enquiring about their views on the shopping facilities in Cookstown and how often they felt the need to travel to another town to fulfil their shopping needs.

This information is important to get a general out look on attitudes of people in Cookstown about Cookstown itself. The next question was perhaps the most important question in the questionnaire as it asked the respondent to specify what kind of shop they would like to see in Cookstown that is not already available. This is essential element in determining what shop would be most popular and hopefully most successful shop. I continued my investigation by asking how the respondents would use the shop, which they specified in the previous question, and approximately how much money they would spend in it. This research will give me a fair idea of the amount of custom I might and help me determine the level of sales I might expect.

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