Carrying out market research - checklist

Taking customer questionaire reaserch

Knowing your market, and the trends in your sector, is vital if you want to maximise sales and stand out from the competition. We explain how to find and use market information.

  • Focus on market research which will help you make better business decisions.
  • Work out what you need to know, and whether you need an in-depth understanding of the situation or a quick snapshot.
  • Decide how quickly you need the information, and how accurate it needs to be.
  • Start your research project with a clear brief, including objectives, deadlines and any important background information.
  • Decide whether you have the expertise to carry out larger research projects yourself, or need to use an external agency or freelance researcher.
  • Make full use of easily accessed information from internal records, employee and customer feedback, publications and the internet.
  • Ask your customers who they see as your competition, and why they have chosen you.
  • If necessary, invest in surveys, focus groups and observation studies to back up decisions.
  • Analyse research results carefully and objectively.
  • Be prepared to carry out further research if the information you have is insufficient or out of date.
  • Use your research to make decisions and plan business strategy.
  • Regularly update your understanding of customers and market conditions.

What does the * mean?

If a link has a * this means it is an affiliate link. To find out more, see our FAQs.