Business research is the process of studying a company’s competitors, stakeholders, and its pain & gain points. This is done to meet the company’s objectives and maximize revenue & profits.
The research involves identifying the target market, estimating their current needs & wants, and then conducting product planning to meet those demands.
The research should be unbiased and factual as they form the basis for further analysis.
Business research is neither a pre-product launch nor a post-product launch analysis. Companies continuously conduct market research relating to their political environment, social demands, technological needs, competitors’ entry, etc. so that they can keep improving their products and continue to survive even in the fiercest times.
Thus, business research is purely the collection and interpretation of external as well as internal data for a company’s better performance.
Objectives of Business Research
1. Understanding Customer Requirements
One of the major objectives of business research is to ascertain the target customers’ requirements. This helps to conduct in-depth research relating to customers’ needs. Further, it also provides information regarding market trends, future demands of customers, and thus, pros and cons of the product being developed for them.
2. Defining Stakeholders
Business research helps to differentiate between potential and non-potential customers. This way the company can quantify its market reach and conduct surveys amongst some of its customers related to their tastes and type. This will help them gain feedback from their customers which they can add back as features in their products!
3. Pain & Gain Points
Pain points are the areas where the company lags in the market and gain points are the areas where the company can stand out in the market.
The company can list its pain points by evaluating what customers want and what they are delivering. This way, they can focus on their weaknesses and take measures to rub off or improve them.
4. Rival Study
The strength of a company is a threat to its competitor and the weakness of a company is the opportunity of its competitor. Therefore, the company should analyze its threats i.e., make an in-depth study of its competitors and, thus brainstorm different ways in which it can convert its threats into opportunities.
Scope of Business Research
Business Research has wide scope in deciding a particular product’s journey in the market.
Right from its launch, Business research helps sellers grab the opportunity of pulling demand, gaining investments, being tech-enabled, beating the competition, conducting SWOT (Strength, Weakness, Opportunity, Threat) and PESTLE (Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal environment) analysis, standing out and disrupting the entire market.
Moreover, the scope of business research is not only restricted to the product market. It also plays a crucial role in personnel management and workforce development. Research made for employee motivation, grooming, training, and promotion inculcates more coordination in the organization and also nurtures productivity amongst employees.
When they are trained and awarded, they feel empowered and they put the best of their efforts into maximizing sales and outputs.
Nature of Business Research
a) The main function of business research is to define the objectives and core values of any business. It tells how the company should manage and generate leads, create sales and develop a marketing strategy.
b) Business Research also deals with competitors’ pricing policies and helps in setting own costs and prices.
c) It helps companies to discover new growth avenues by pinpointing the weak points of competitors.
d) It assists in planning projections of the company and shows hurdles that would likely arrive and hit business cycles.
In a nutshell, it gives proposals to companies on expansion and growth in customer base.
Process of Business Research
1. Identification of Challenge
The first and foremost task of every research is to set an objective by defining what are the prevalent problems in the marketplace and how a company can tackle them.
2. Creating Research Proposal
The next step in this process is developing research plans and proposals. Plans are futuristic and require assumptions. These assumptions, in business terms, are called premises.
Therefore, the research proposal can be researched on existing demand for the product, new entrants in the market, or re-setting pricing policies.
3. Execution of Research
Once the plan is made and the research proposal is developed, the company can toss alternative ways they can execute the research. The company can forward with research by random sampling (mass media survey) or can rely on previously collected data too.
4. Interpretation of Data
The data so collected should be organized in a systematized form. It can be further used to make reports, conduct SWOT and PESTEL analyses and take necessary actions thereafter.
5. Action Plan
Once data is collected, interpreted, and evaluated, the last step is to execute the product planning by either launching a product, expanding existing service, or bringing changes in any other core activities around which the research revolves.