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What Is Business Research?

Business research methods vary depending on the size of the company and the type of information needed.
Business research includes acquiring information needed to complete a business plan, such as target customers.
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  • Written By: Sheri Cyprus
  • Edited By: Heather Bailey
  • Last Modified Date: 26 August 2014
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In general, business research refers to any type of researching done when starting or running any kind of business. For example, starting any type of business requires research into the target customer and the competition to create a business plan. Conducting business market research in existing businesses is helpful in keeping in touch with consumer demand. Research for small businesses begins with researching an idea and a name and continues with research based on customer demand and other businesses offering similar products or services. All business research is done to learn information that could make the company more successful.

Business research methods vary depending on the size of the company and the type of information needed. For instance, customer research may involve finding out both a customer’s feelings about and experiences using a product or service. The methods used to gauge customer satisfaction may be questionnaires, interviews or seminars. Researching public data can provide businesses with statistics on financial and educational information in regards to customer demographics and product usage, such as the hours of television viewed per week by people in a certain geographic area. Research used for advertising purposes is common because marketing dollars must be carefully spent to increase sales and brand recognition from ads.

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Other than business market research and advertising research, researching is done to provide information for investors. Business people aren't likely to invest in a company or organization without adequate research and statistics to show them that their investment is likely to pay off. Large or small business research can also help a company analyze its strengths and weaknesses by learning what customers are looking for in terms of products or services the business is offering. Then a company can use the business research information to adjust itself to better serve customers, gain over the competition and have a better chance of staying in business.

Most industries have trade journals that include research reports and statistics that relate to a certain type of business. International information is especially important to businesses that have ties with other countries and need to understand more about the cultures and demographics of other nations. For example, International Business Research is a publication of the Canadian Center of Science and Education and includes business essays and academic editorials from businesspeople from different parts of the world such as Australia, India and Malaysia.

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sunshine31
Post 2

Sunny27- That is so true. I once participated in a focus group. It was really fun. We were asked our opinions of various home appliances and where we did our shopping.

They wanted to know our opinions of the various retailers with respect to their product assortment and level of customer service. I think I received about $200 for my time. I would definitely do it again. As the pay was great and I loved talking about my opinions.

Sunny27
Post 1

Great article- I agree that market research is among the most important things to consider when starting a business. Many businesses fail because the product or service did not serve the intended market properly.

Market research allows the potential business the knowledge if the proposed business is too narrow or wide in scope. It also offers feedback regarding what product or services might be in the highest demand, thus raising the possibility of a successful business venture.

Market research can be done with simple online surveys or with detailed focus groups. It really depends on the type of product or service. Higher end product or services usually entail focus groups for market research.

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