The quality of information at your disposal as an entrepreneur constitutes the basis for your success. If accurate decisions will be made with high ROI, then you must gather data, you must study and research. Knowledge is indispensable to your success, hence you must seek it with everything you have. Your ability to detect future trends and changes in your industry and position your brand accordingly can put you ahead twice as fast. However, the quality of your decision will not differ from the quality of the information you have, anymore than a search engine will be more powerful than the technology that powers it.
In the light of the above, suffice it to be said that to lead the industry or dominate the market, then you must live a researchful life. You must arm yourself with relevant information concerning everything that concerns your business: From best practices, to consumer behavior trends, to how best to position your brand, you must get a handle on these things, else success will elude you.
There a lot of things to research about your business and we will look at a few of them in this article, but before then understand that this is not a one-off; you know, do it today and it covers for the future, No! It must be part of your work. Research must be done in continuum and should be planned for and done in the most sophisticated way possible. These are a few things to understand about a successful research:
1. Your source
Information from articles, videos, podcasts and blogs of authorities and industry leaders are usually accurate and for obvious reasons. Therefore locate and follow the leaders in your industry and you will not lose your way. Also, if you are gathering data on ecommerce stores in your country, then you may want to search for them online and visit their websites. Study and observe all they do and draw up your conclusions and make your inferences. For statistics, find organizations, companies or individuals who have carried out a research on what you are working on take advantage of the data they have put forward.
The relevance of your information cannot be over emphasized. One of the ways of doing this is narrowing down your search. For instance, ‘Importation’ and ‘Importation of smart phones’ will offer two different search results. One will be generic and the other will be specific, the more specific you are the more effective your decision will be. In this case, you may want to read reviews of those who have bought in bulk from the merchant you intend to work with, gather data on the modus operandi of their delivery system, terms and conditions etc.
3. Properly processed and Interpreted
The information gathered must be properly analyzed and interpreted, with inferences for it to be usable. If studies reveals there are 5 times more active users of the internet than there have been in the last decade, what does that mean to your business? What does this imply for your marketing strategy?
What Do You Research?
1. Consumer Behaviour
Google trends, Trendwatching and Think with Google can help you amass quality information as regards consumer behavior, what they are searching for and topics they are interested in, these could make for an integrated marketing campaign for your business. To make it even more fun, customer barometer can go a step further and compile a profile for your customer based on the details of your search. With these information you can develop clear cut buyer personas which will help you target your marketing effort to fit seamlessly to the demands of your customers.
2. Your Competition
Your value proposition is what you have to offer that your competitors don’t have or don’t offer like you do, therefore you want to be in the know regarding what your competitors are offering. Success doesn’t hide, you can discover their digital footprints using Alexia, SEMRush, Similar website and snoop around their social media handles to see what they do and how, what you can improve on and how.
3. Your brand perception in the market place
You will also need to research how people perceive your business from time to time and tools like Omgili, Spezify and the likes can help you achieve this. Your page reviews and the level of engagement on social media is a clear indicator of what people think of your business.
With all these information at your beck and call, you can maintain clarity knowing exactly where you are in different areas of your business and what you need to do. You must be constantly growing into something, your targets, goals must always be before you and you must push for them. No matter the size of your organization or business, you must have a Research and Development department (R &D) who will continuously research and gather data for analysis, as simple as this may sound it has the potentiality to transform your business and help you survive turbulent times.