05 02

How to research small business

how to research small business

Small Business Survey 2014: businesses with employees - GOV.UK

by Kimberleo
Companies use focus groups to sharpen their marketing strategy.

Companies use focus groups to sharpen their marketing strategy.

David Woolley/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Business research is a field of practical study in which a company obtains data and analyzes it in order to better manage the company. Business research can include financial data, consumer feedback, product research and competitive analysis. Executives and managers who use business research methods are able to better understand their company, the position it holds in the market and how to improve that position.

Financial Data

Financial data takes qualitative information--such as sales reports, revenues and cost reports--to see what areas make money and what costs money. By reviewing data, managers can find the products, staff and departments that are most efficient and determine areas of unnecessary costs.

Consumer Feedback

Understanding what the public says about the products and services a company provides is essential to making sure the company is meeting consumer needs. Customer feedback includes case studies, focus groups, customer surveys and questionnaires.

Product Research

Product research seeks to improve the product to meet the needs of consumers. This may include technological advancements, improved customer service or access to the product through a variety of distribution channels.

Competitive Analysis

Competitive analysis is when one company compares its products and services to those of another company. This can be done to improve the product, create a niche or determine a more attractive price point to lure customers.

Industry Data

Using research tools such as the information compiled by Dun & Bradstreet can help a company to understand how the industry as a whole is doing. This can help executives make decisions based on economic factors affecting their industry that are not limited to their own products.

About the Author

In 2001, Kay Miranda had her second screenplay purchased, then started writing a weekly column in "The Messenger," with work appearing in "Xquisite" and "Valley Scene Magazine." Miranda earned a Bachelor of Arts in bio-psychology from the University of Colorado. Fortunate to play collegiate tennis, Miranda has extensive travel and coaching experience.

Photo Credits

  • David Woolley/Digital Vision/Getty Images
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