Why is research important in business? This is both a simple and a complicated question depending on how you look at it. Simply put it’s important to know what is going on in your business and the most basic form of this is the annual business plan which is the bare minimum of research any company should engage in. But if you are to be ambitious in your venture and more pertinently so, successful in those ambitions then it’s important to get your business research right.
Finding Out What The Competition Is Up To
Competitor analysis is one of those basic forms of research that makes up the backbone of any good business plan. How can we accurately predict what share of the market we might be able to win if we don’t know what the competition is up to? So we look at the locations they operate in, what they are doing differently to us and whether this is working as an advantage or disadvantage to them.
As well as knowing what the competition is up to it’s also good to be on top of what the public thinks of your goods and services. There are different methods of research you can employ to achieve this, quantitative methods such as questionnaires and surveys, or more qualitative research such as focus groups or interviews. Either way, and especially with the more expensive qualitative research, it is important to get the sampling correct, this means getting the people who are most likely to be your customers into the research as you don’t want to waste resources gathering the opinions of those who are not ever going to be likely to buy from you.
Ensuring You Have Competent Staff
It’s all very well having a good research strategy but you also need to ensure that you have staff that has the competencies to carry the workout. If you are hiring for a research department then experience and qualifications are key, ask for examples of projects they have previously worked on and if they have any research qualifications such as an MRES degree.
New Product Development
As well as the research on how the public sees your business and products and what the competition is up to you will also need more technical research if you are ever-developing new products. This can be a varied type of research as, technology, locations, and even staff acquisition all need to be looked into.
Finally, financial and business research will need to be done if you are ever in the position of looking to buy over another business. You will need to be able to accurately assess the health of the second company and figure out how it would best be added to your operation. Are there large areas of overlap and, if so, how would you deal with trimming down those. All these things need to be carefully considered in any acquisition large or small.
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