Knowledge is power, as the saying goes. Conducting thorough research in business is an excellent strategy to learn more about your market, customers and competition. With that information in hand, you can make innovative and well-thought-out decisions to help grow your business. Research helps companies to plan new products, develop advertising campaigns and compete with direct competitors. Without research, companies would be left in silos, trying to navigate the market in the dark. When you’re in a management function, you’re in a key decision-making position in the company. As a result, it’s imperative to rely on solid research to determine your organization’s next steps.
Taking Stock of the Industry
Conducting research to better understand the industry your company operates in is integral to success. Knowing who your competition is, who your customers are and what products or services to offer will help you to develop a solid plan. In addition, business research helps organizations avoid future failures. Organizations can determine whether they should expand operations or scale back based on how the industry is doing as a whole. They can even decide if they should apply for a new loan or pay back debts sooner based on current interest rates. Understanding the industry also helps businesses price their products or services effectively, ensuring they are in line with market rates and competitors.
Understanding Your Customers
Your customers are the reason your business exists. As a result, it’s vital to know who they are, how they think, how they feel and why they might need your products or services. Organizations conduct market research in various ways, such as through phone or online surveys, and can also purchase research that has already been published for their industry. It’s a great way to understand what your customers’ biggest challenges are so that you can determine how to help them. Market research is also vital to new product development. Research helps to reduce risk when making a big investment in creating a new product or offering a new service.
Knowing your customers also helps to fine-tune marketing campaigns. This way, you can target customers effectively, really honing in on their pain points and offering your organization as a viable solution. Brand research helps organizations to understand how their customers view them and shows any changes needed to improve the business' overall image.
Competing Effectively and Efficiently
Every business has some kind of competition; no one operates alone. As a result, it’s important to know who your true competitors are and how you compare. Companies that are honest about their strengths and weaknesses as compared to their competitors have a higher chance of success. Through effective competitor analysis and research, organizations can determine if they need to develop new products or services, whether they should consider new marketing strategies or if their pricing plan needs some tweaks. By understanding the competition better, organizations also can develop new ways to increase market share.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.