Getting The Knack Of Market Research

by | Oct 29, 2014

“I have always found that plans are useless, but [the act of] planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower

Planning is the first stage in creating a winning strategic business strategy, however planning requires accurate data in order to make reliable projections and forecasts.  Plans based on unreliable or inadequate intelligence are essentially worthless.  So, it’s critically important to the success of your business that the data from your market research is accurate, reliable, timely, and focussed.

The following steps can help you to improve the quality and depth of data that you receive from your market research.

Define Your Target

The amounts of data that you can gather in a given market research campaign are potentially limitless. Since you only have a limited amount of time and resources to spend on data collection, you need to limit your scope and focus on an actionable target.

Define the goals of your research before you begin your data collection process by figuring out what exactly you are trying to discover.  Examples of common goals at this stage of market research include identifying your target market and their wants and needs, or learning the best price point for your product based on what the customer is willing to pay.

Research The Target

Before you get down to the fine details of planning your data collection process, you need to be certain that you fully understand the background and history of your target.  To do so, you may need to study your current industry and trends, the historical performance of your business as well as the performance and strategy of your competitors.  Once you have a full understanding of the target and its influences, you can proceed to the next step.

Planning the Data Collection Process

As soon as you have a firm handle of what you want to discover, and the background of your target, you can begin to plan to conduct your market research.  Market research is normally divided by the type of goal which you hope to achieve.

Primary research collects data about the practices and performance of your company and your direct competitors.  Secondary research looks at existing data within the market.  Examples of data collection in primary research include focus groups, interviews and surveys.  Secondary research includes analysing published data about your business, researching data on your competitors, or gathering your target’s data from social media posts.

As part of your planning process, you will want to decide what type of market research you wish to conduct and the time frame in which it is conducted.  Next, you will want to design the data collection process of your research in such a way as you build in checks that look for and take into account human error.

Assigning team members to conduct the research and actually designing the surveys and finding volunteers for your focus groups are also all part of this process.

The plans made in this stage should remain flexible enough to allow you to adapt your research to sudden changes in the market or demographic.

Controlling Costs

Some market research specialists feel that controlling costs is really part of the design and planning process.  Controlling your market research costs is integral to the financial health of your business, so it really deserves its own category.  Since the data collection process as well as the analysis and presentation of your market research can be so expensive, it is very important that you create a budget solely for this expense and remain committed to staying within its guidelines.

Once you have successfully followed these four steps, you are ready to begin your market research and can be confident that you will obtain intelligence that is timely, focussed, reliable and that will allow you to take action based on the results.  Since your market research will be more accurate, you are more likely to design a strategic business plan that helps your company to thrive and grow.

If you still have questions on how to get started conducting your own market research and creating your own strategic business plan, why not contact us for a consultation today?

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I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.

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Virtual Sales Strategy

2017-10-13T09:32:05+00:00

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Virtual Sales Strategy

I have had many a chat with Sophie on the networking circuit. Sophie has a strong profile and reputation within business circles and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend her to any soho needing direction, support and encouragement. I have a passion for educating small business myself and wholeheartedly support Sophie in her endeavour to actively reduce costs for those who may be unintentionally making uninformed decisions relating to business management. Many business owners are unnecessarily outsourcing tasks which are misdirected or can be achieved inhouse.
I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.

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2017-10-13T09:50:01+00:00

Jennifer Dalitz
Gender Diversity expert, Career Coach, Award winning blogger on women, work & leadership @ www.TheSheEOBlog.com

I’ve worked with Sophie as a contributor to Confessions of a Mumpreneur – a fantastic book that she dreamt up, edited and produced. Apart from producing fabulous books that help so many others realise their entrepreneurial dreams, Sophie is an astute business person who is making her mark on her own terms. Watch this space – I’m sure we’ll see and hear a lot more from Sophie Andrews in the years to come.
I got to know Sophie through my previous employer where Sophie still handles the bookkeeping side of things. While we worked together I have found Sophie very accurate, punctual and very pleasant to work with. And recommend her highly.

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Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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Dianna Holwerda
Client Service Manager, John Sergeant Associates Pty Ltd

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Galmatic Pty Ltd

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Eleni Mitakos
Galmatic Pty Ltd

I was recommended to The Accounts Studio at a networking event and have been working with them for the last 2 years. The team have all been very approachable and available – two things essential when it comes to understanding your accounts! I now no longer have the stress every three months of getting my BAS correct and even better I have a clear understanding of where my company is financially! Thanks Sophie and TAS team!
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"Sophie is so professional – careful, attentive and punctual – she has made managing my accounts not just easier, but a whole lot less stressful"
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Sophie has been a tremendous support and guiding light for my business. I have continually succeeded when acting on her advice and by using her services. Her products are fantastic and her ideas and accuracy is out of this world. I would never hesitate to recommend Sophie’s services and I would invite anyone to contact me for a referral.
Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.

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Councillor at Warringah Council

2017-10-13T09:25:16+00:00

Sue Heins
Councillor at Warringah Council

Sophie has the spirit of the Entrepreneurial Business Owner! Whether she is running a successful single family website, creating a product for small business owners or running her own bookkeeping agency she is always right on track as to what small business needs. If you want to speak to someone who not only knows what business owners are going through-she also does something about it- then don’t miss out, connect with Sophie! She is someone who can not only think outside the square- she has true strategic thinking; which is often spoken about but is rarely truly placed into action.
Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.

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Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

2017-10-13T09:26:35+00:00

Anne Maybus
Writer and Content Creator, Clever Streak

Sophie is an amazing business woman. She is able to take the complexities of business and break them into manageable pieces for small and home based business owners to work with. She’s clever, creative, supportive and very generous. She’s the reason that so many small businesses are doing so well. If yours is a small or home based business then Sophie is someone you need to know.
Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.

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Strategic Resourcing Manager

2017-10-13T09:28:24+00:00

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Sophie is efficient, direct and gets the job done. She responds quickly, keeps me updated and has a way of simplifying things and making my life easier. She is all about efficiency and that’s what makes it great to work with her, I highly recommend her to anyone who wants someone to efficiently look after their books and she is great value for money too.