The current economic climate is having an impact on businesses large and small. Many are suffering while others are discovering new opportunities. In fact, some people who have recently lost their job, be it through redundancy or otherwise, are thinking about launching their own business. What is clear is that the uncertainty in the economy means that researching a business’ market has never been more important.
Market research is an important tool for any person who wants to launch a business and for small firms looking to grow their business by launching new products or services. Market research involves scientifically-led studies to collect necessary market information, enabling entrepreneurs to make the right commercial decisions.
It’s an essential stage in the business start-up process but many entrepreneurs don’t do it – not least because of the supposed cost. Market research determines the feasibility of a project and it’s a way to adapt a business’ strategy (communication, pricing policy, products range…)
What it is...
It’s important to carry out market research in order to:
confirm an idea
make a project credible
professionalize the setting-up approach
convince financial partners and others
Online research has revolutionised market research, providing both opportunities and challenges to researchers and research users. Online market research has grown rapidly in recent years as a key form of data collection for primary research activities.
What it offers...
Online market research offers both large and small research focussed organisations the chance to eliminate the costs involved with face-to-face, postal and telephone data collection.
There are a number of benefits to commissioning online research, including:
Easier targeting of respondents across numerous segmentation variables provides access to a precise and qualitative panel which ensures the collation of reliable data on sensitive issues.
Multi-country projects no longer need to be an obstacle to research – worldwide research can be conducted at the click of a button.
An inexpensive way to conduct large research projects - it is possible to get hundreds of responses for less than a thousand pound.
Most large research suppliers have access panels which provide an easily accessible, reliable respondent base which can respond promptly to online questionnaires.
It allows for a very rapid turnaround – research can be undertaken and results received within a few days as opposed to several weeks involved with face-to-face and postal data collection methods.
The use of video, images and audio for richer questionnaire environments will return a greater quality data.
For a business which needs to gain a general view from a large cross-section of the population, and in as short a time as possible, there is no doubt that online research offers a viable benefit.
Starting a business? Launching a new product or service? Test the market first!