Research: The Secret Weapon To Your Success

Research, it is not the most exciting or even sexy part of business for many small business owners. However, you need to find a way to sexy research up because it is absolutely a non negotiable if you want to achieve success. Many established business owners start to get stuck on the battlefield. They lose the energy and determination to conquer their business hurdles. And ultimately become stuck after trying everything but nothing works! But here is the thing that all these business owners have in common. They bi passed the business foundations, jumping straight ahead to delivery. Afterall, many of us have come from careers where our sole responsibility was to deliver, right? So let’s dig a little deeper into one of the core elements — the under rated research.

What is research

Research is a detailed study of a subject, especially in order to discover (new) information or reach a (new) understanding*. So in summary, in order to evolve in your business, you need research!

What is the research focus for small businesses?

Now, you might be thinking, where do I even start (cue procrastination city). Because with research it is easy to get distracted and thrown off course unless you know what you are there to do. You do not want to get caught up with comparisonitis or waste time in the social media scroll. Don’t worry, I got you. Let’s take a peek at the core research you should be carrying out.

  • Competitor research

You do not want to get caught up in comparing yourself or making yourself feel crap here. The objective is to keep your eyes on the industry, see how others are evolving and use this as inspiration. No, this is not a copy your competitors moment (they never exist!). It is purely seeing where you want to drive your business. And understand the market need so you can be sure you are constantly on your top game.

  • Client research

You do not need to hound your clients with a constant request for feedback in order to be successful here. You want to be sure you are able to deliver to clients in the best capacity as possible and solving their problems they have now, not last year! The objective here is to make sure your offers are evolving and helping your clients fix the problem they have currently. This also helps your client retention rate. Because you are able to support them throughout their business journey, not just on the one thing you are currently doing for them.

  • Market research

This is one of those you should be doing constantly. You need to know your industry inside out, you need to know what is happening so you can be the expert in your industry. Be on top of news, and the troubles so you can provide peace of mind and useful guidance to your clients. The objective here is to be able to stay present and stamp your ground as the industry authority. Now, it is not just industry news, you also want to keep an eye on the day to day news and developments so you can step in and provide the right solutions at the right time. Take covid as an example here, many people suffered hugely with their businesses because it changed over night. However, there were others that thrived throughout the pandemic and this is because they were taking action from the minute covid was discovered in December 2019. By the time it affected us here in the UK majorly in March 2020 they were already a couple of months ahead. So ending here with adapt and evolve.

How often does research need to be carried out?

Now, you are probably thinking, ok I get that completely, however I am really time strapped at the moment. How often do I need to do this? And the answer will be different for many people, because ultimately it depends on you, where you are in business, how you plan and whether you have a team or not. For me, I carry out competitor & client research every quarter, this is because I plan quarterly and it makes sense to me. A yearly research / planning week just does not work for me. Things evolve and change so much, I need to stay on alert and adapt so I do not fall behind. In regards to market research, this is one I carry out daily to an extent, but at least monthly I will check in with whats happening and look at what I am offering to decide if it is the right thing for now. So that is it for me this week. I hope you have found this super helpful, and as always any questions feel free to reach out. *source: Cambridge dictionary



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