Taking Care of Your Primary Research
After the initial research is over, i.e. library, internet, books, etc., you can begin to research through more specific avenues. This will be your original research, conducted to see where your products stack up against others the market is offering, and, more importantly, to see how your customers may take to your business idea. You can gather this information by putting together focus groups and/or conducting surveys to see what “average” individuals feel about your ideas.
While you’re working to plan this primary research, here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself before moving forward:
- How will I identify and target a small group for selection?
- What is the absolute best way I can get opinions out of the selected group?
- How do I go about choosing the members of the group and phrasing the questions to be asked?
- How do I analyse and interpret the results from these surveys and focus groups?
If you’ve yet to secure the services of a business advisor, it is a good idea to do that before moving ahead with this process. Consulting your business advisor can clear up some cloudy questions about proceeding with the focus groups and surveys. An advisor can also help you to organize the research and find out about any research grants or supplemental funding that you may be entitled to.
Obviously, this step isn’t going to be easy, and it sure isn’t going to be quick. But if you’re looking to run a successful business, this type of research is required. Seeing how people respond to your business idea is a must, and by having an experienced advisor to help share the load, you can come up with solutions much more easily.
Useful Hints and Tips to Implement when Performing Research
- Always keep thorough records of all research you’ve completed. This may be useful in times of trouble when you need to remember how to proceed with another step, and especially when you’re developing the initial business plans.
- There’s no way to make this a quick process, so ensure that you always make ample time to do every piece of research properly. By coming up short in one area, you could throw your business off completely. It’s better to be safe than sorry, and it’s always better to take the extra time here.
- Never misinterpret your research findings. What this means is that you should never make any assumptions or take things out of context. People have a propensity for making lemonade out of lemons. Your market research will be there in black and white. It is what it is, and no amount of putting a positive spin on it will change the facts. Never make your market predictions from misinterpreted research.
Try to avoid asking friends, family and/or other loved ones for their input regarding your business. What you’re after is impartial, unbiased opinions. You never want to be encouraged or discouraged by partial people. Keep it random and impartial.