Business research is the systematic collection of data that, once analyzed, can provide useful information to facilitate profitable decision making by organizations. With better and more reliable data, decision making tends to be faster or of higher quality. In addition, it can help organizations by allowing them a greater and deeper understanding of the market in which they operate. Although it is obvious that it should be carried out, the reality is that it is carried out less frequently than it should. In today’s business world, time is particularly short. One of the casualties of this is detailed research, as resources tend to be devoted to core activities.
There are several different areas of research, and I outline six of them below.
RESEARCH OF THE MARKET SECTOR
Successful companies must have a deep understanding of the markets in which they operate. Such an understanding allows them to sell effectively by targeting customers. In addition, it allows companies to compete with other providers. Finally, it allows companies to identify new opportunities. There are a number of questions that can be addressed, but they are outside the scope of this article. General trends can be determined using published market information, and more detailed information can be obtained from internal records.
There are a number of industry research objectives, including:
· Understand industry structure, competition and industry profitability levels;
· Assessing the attractiveness of an industry;
· The identification of key success factors;
· Forecast future profitability;
· Deduce strategies to improve profitability.
This covers a wide range of topics, including image and positioning, objectives and commitment, current and past strategies, organization and culture, cost structure, barriers to exit, strengths and weaknesses, size, growth, profitability, financial performance, and products and services. marketed services. and sold
It is worth considering who your competitors are. Direct competition includes businesses in the same business. Companies similar to yours are indirect competition.
This is very similar to competitor analysis both in the topics considered and in the models used. The emphasis, however, is not on the competition, but on other organizations. Such organizations may include prospective partners, investors, advisors, suppliers, or customers.
BUSINESS TOPIC RESEARCH
Often, companies want to better understand a specific topic. Examples of questions include:
· What types of… are there?
· What are the advantages and disadvantages of each?
· What does it mean?
How does the…framework/model work?
What are the alternatives to…?
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL RESEARCH
This research subset looks at the following areas:
Current, historical and forecast economic data;
· The strengths and weaknesses of the economy;
· Activities and sectors that grow, contract or stagnate;
· How economies, markets and companies act and behave;
· Where and why companies are located where they do;
Who and what drives economic growth.
This latest research is particularly useful if organizations are planning new products, new markets, or new geographic regions.