Insight is the real currency of success in the business world. Research will give you a large mass of data, which is important, but the real skill of a research firm or consultant is to turn that into specific insights: data-driven actions you can take to drive your business towards success.
Data without insight is simply numbers, and insight without data is merely wishful thinking. What you need to achieve success and make plans you can feel confident in is valuable, data-driven insights that are specific to your business and its aims. Today we’re taking a look at this subject to help you make the good decisions you need for your business.
Types of Research
‘Research’ is not a single, immutable thing. You need to ensure you’re asking the right questions to get helpful answers that you can feed into your planning process.
For example, if you’re planning to add a new product to your line, you’ll need to conduct some market research so you know what your customers are looking for, what they’re willing to pay for and crucially, how much they’re willing to pay for it. It’s important to ensure you’re working with a research partner with a broad reach: surveying only your existing customers hamstrings your research efforts. You also need to know about the people who’ve not yet chosen to spend their money with you if you want to expand your market share.
If you’re looking to expand into a new market in another country, you need to ensure you’re conducting the international research that can help you avoid the pitfalls that attend such a project. You need to understand the customers you’ll be selling to, the culture that informs the decisions they make about purchases, and the economy that empowers them to turn those decisions into actions.
You also need to ensure you understand the legal and financial implications of any project you take on. If you’re selling a new product, does it require special licensing, for example? If you don’t seek the permission of the relevant authority, you could find yourself in legal trouble down the line, and also damage your reputation with customers who, not unreasonably, expect you to be an expert in your field.