The importance of research for your business
7 min read
7 min read
by Krisiana Kostadinova
Are you planning to start a new business, or do you already run a business? Either way, you already know that one of the most important steps when starting a new business is to do broad research and see the lay of the land. Launching a new business or service without proper research will almost certainly lead to failure. So what does proper research mean, how to do it and why is it so important – find answers to these questions by reading along.
According to the good ol’ know-it-all Wikipedia, research is “creative and systematic work undertaken to increase the stock of knowledge.” It involves the unbiased collection, organization, and analysis of information that aims to help you increase your understanding of a topic or issue.
In other words, research is a collection of steps you take to find and analyze information in a particular field to expand knowledge and understand things better.
But when it comes to business, what type of research do you think is suitable? What exactly do you need to know that will serve you as an advantage? We can dive into more specific research types now that we’ve built the foundation. We’ll start with Marketing Research and Market Research.
I hate to break it to you, but doing research will have to become an essential part of your everyday life if you are a business owner – assuming you want your business to thrive.
Both Market and Marketing Research will allow you to meet your customers where they are. The direction in which our world is going proves the value of research. By understanding your customer’s problems, their pain points and desires, and the possibilities and reach of your competition, you could aptly craft your offering and cater to their needs. Proper research gives you the edge to stand out from the crowded market. Moreover, it can help you generate fresh ideas, get new business opportunities, and expand your current services. There’s no disadvantage to doing research – it can only help.
Aside from the time investment that naturally goes into research, you’ll also need to define a budget for it. The research market alone is worth $76 billion!
Some of you will ask why they should invest money into something they could do independently. Until the 1990s, research was done in libraries, and now we have the world wide web, making research even more accessible. So, how hard could it be at the end of the day?
In reality, doing research can take a lot of time and effort. Not only is it time-consuming, but it can’t be done by literally anyone – you have to have a knack for digging deeper, tirelessly, until you find the exact piece of information you were looking for. So, if you have a budget for this activity, you can easily hire a professional researcher or partner up with a research service provider.
But let me tell you more about another type of research that is crucial for your business.
After clarifying the differences between market and marketing research, I would like to introduce you to another type of research – your business research.
When was the last time that you updated your business hours online? When was the last time you worked on your social media strategy? Do you know how fast your website loads and is it mobile-friendly?
Imagine this scenario – Say you want to buy new Christmas decorations for your home this year and freshen things up a little bit. So naturally, you turn to google, and you get a long list of results.
The first website you open is all over the place; what a mess! They have too many categories, and you can’t figure out where Christmas lights are, even though they stated they sell lights in their meta title, which is why they were among your top results. After failing to find what you were searching for, you move on to the following result.
The second website hasn’t been updated since 2013, and there is no info on their delivery times or valid contact information. The overall website design gives you a negative impression of the company, and you decide to look further.
The third time’s a charm! This website looks excellent, all the products are nicely categorized, and the look is eye-pleasing. The Christmas lights are right under the “Christmas lights” category! Bonus points: you see their Instagram account on the website, and you click to see all the beautiful posts with decorations they have shown in different combinations and styles. How inspiring! Now you want to buy even more decorations from them to add to the Christmas tree!
Searches like this one happen every single day, which is why, for your potential customer to find you and stick to your website, you ought to put in lots of time and effort into building a user-friendly space where the customer journey runs smoothly from the very first time they see your brands’ name until they decide to purchase something and then come back for more.
Researching to promote your business, make it better, and keep it going, can’t end with sporadic marketing and market research. Instead, think of research as a critical tool you must use consistently to stay close to your customers and be receptive to their needs.
Executing proper research of your brand or business will help you objectively evaluate how things exactly are. It also allows you to get unbiased feedback on your services and how they are presented. Moreover, the little details like social media presence, information accuracy, website design, speed, and clarity appeal to the end customer.
Did I manage to convey the importance of research for your business? If I did, make sure to stay tuned for more information regarding our newest service in the portfolio, launching in 2023 – – Research as a Service.