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.