Main Content

Know your market

You may have a great business idea but are you sure there’s a market for what you’re offering? It’s time to conduct some research and we can help.

So you've had a lightbulb moment and come up with a great business idea. But you’re not sure how to develop it. For your idea to thrive, you need to understand your market, including your customers, your suppliers and your competitors. Your knowledge of these three factors will define the success of your business.

Ask us for help. We can give you practical one-to-one advice on your area of business and provide detailed research on your specific market. You’ll also get professional mentoring to help get you started and keep you on track.

Credit: Go For It

One-to-One Advice

Our officers have business backgrounds, so they understand the challenges that local start-ups face. This means that when you meet us, you’ll benefit from practical one-to-one business advice that’s all about developing your business. The areas we’ll help you with include writing your business plan, developing a planned marketing strategy, financial forecasting and funding.

If you would like to discuss how to move your idea forward, email Maura Bettes, Economic Development Officer or call 028 9147 3788 (ext. 40914).  

Business Research

​​​​​​Research provides the strong foundation for all successful businesses. So before you do anything else, ask yourself this question: “How do I find out if my idea will work?" 

Our Business Research service will help you find the answer to this question. The research unit delivers invaluable support to individual businesses throughout the borough, compiling  detailed market research, competitor analysis, funding sources and legal pro formas about their service area. This information is vital in helping our entrepreneurs to improve performance, productivity, profitability, competitiveness and sustainability.

So do you:

  • need help with market research?
  • want to know what finance and funding is available for your startup?
  • require business templates on which to draw up your contracts and forms? 

The Business Research service will assist you with all of these issues and this service is completely free.

In compiling information on your behalf, our research team has access to some of the most detailed and current data sources for information covering market research, legal regulations and funding. These include:

Market research

  • Mintel: detailed Irish market research reports on consumer research, sales data and market information. Sectors include Food and Drink, Retail, Leisure and E-Commerce.
  • Dun and Bradstreet: worldwide company listings with business profiles to target specific sectors or companies.
  • Cobra: ideal for business start-up as it provides business opportunity profiles, area profiles and sector research.
  • IBIS World: UK industry-based research, the in-depth reports offer deep insight into most sectors.
  • Bureau Van Dijk: a sales, marketing and finance tool that offers UK and Ireland company listings including detailed financial information.

Legal regulations

  • Simply Docs:  large database of business and legal documents including legal agreement templates - employment contracts, privacy policies, terms and conditions, sales contracts.
  • Legal Island: Northern Ireland Employment Law Hub with useful information on employment law and the workplace.


  • Grantfinder: a database of all available grants and funding across the UK. It can be searched and filtered specifically to find any grants that would be applicable to individual SME’s, Social Enterprises or Charities.

Get help developing your business

For further information on how research can help you develop your business, our Business Research Officer will be glad to help by emailing complete our Business Request Form online here.