By Emily Lyons, business development assistant, Marketest

Who has never seduced friends and family with a business idea?

Guess what? They’re bias! Your enthusiasm along with the fact that the people you question are influenced by their connection to you means this data is far from relevant.

Although many start-ups develop detailed business plans before they launch their business which is of course vital, much of the research done for the business plan is limited. Either limited to secondary or biased primary research.

Having a great idea needs to be proven. Moreover it must be proven in a reliable way. Questioning biased participants is not viable and will not aid your product or service launch, if anything it will hinder it as you go forward with your business plan with unreliable and biased figures.

A great idea will not be an instant success based on your beliefs and the support and opinions of your immediate network. However, many entrepreneurs still do it. Being realistic is key to business success for start-ups. But we all know your close contacts, the majority of times are not the most reliable source, this is not to lead you down the wrong path purposefully, it is simply due to your infectious enthusiasm.

Little does your close circle realize that in fact, what is a benefit to your business plan is entirely the opposite! Objective research is vital; these are real opinions without any bias. You can ensure you are targeting the type of people that you plan to sell your product or service to. This is your opportunity to get inside the consumer’s minds and ask the important questions you need to know.

Objective market research has many benefits for start-ups and entrepreneurs, the following are the key ones:

· Unbiased views

· Reliable data

· Valid results

· Factual figures

All of the above enhance your business plan and even more importantly your pitch for funding.

Start-ups have a series of barriers to overcome when seeking credit. This unbiased information can allow you to build a product and service which will meet your client’s needs. When a product or service can satisfy a need or a want in the target market the business plan pitch becomes far more valid and reliable.

Competition coupled with the economic climate means that effective business planning has never been so vital to start-up success. You may believe you have not fallen into this trap, surveying consumers outside your close circle, but when you are questioning people about your project, it will never be an independent view, your love for the idea will infect those you question and again result in biased opinions, independent research, neutral opinions is what you need to create a realistic, impartial business plan.