IAN FERGUSON: Proper research vital to a competitive edge


Ian Ferguson

In business, knowledge is power. The ability to make informed decisions is crucial for any company’s success and growth. To achieve this, businesses rely on research.

Business research involves a structured investigation aimed at collecting and analysing data to address specific challenges or explore potential opportunities. This often includes conducting market research studies and producing business research reports based on the findings. It is a multi-faceted process that employs various methods, including quantitative and qualitative techniques, to acquire knowledge that drives decision-making.

Business research is one of the most effective ways to understand customers, the market and competitors. Such research helps companies understand demand and supply forces in the market. Using it will help businesses reduce costs, and create solutions or products, that are targeted to the demand in the market and the correct audience. No matter the size of the company, market, customer and even competitors, research is crucial to survival.

In-house business research can enable senior management to build an effective team, or train and mentor when needed. Business research enables the company to track its competitors and obtain the upper hand to stay ahead of them.

Failures can be avoided by conducting such research, as it can give companies a signal as to whether the timing is right to launch a new product and also if the audience is correct. It will help a firm understand brand value and measure customer satisfaction, which is essential to continuously innovate and meet demand.

This will help the company grow its revenue and market share. Business research also helps recruit ideal candidates for various roles in the company.

This week we focus on some advantages for companies in conducting in-house research:

• Business research helps to identify opportunities and threats

• It helps identify research problems and, using this information, wise decisions can be made to tackle the issue appropriately

• It helps to understand customers better, and can help a company communicate better with clients or stakeholders

• Risks and uncertainties can be minimised by conducting business research in advance

• Financial outcomes and investments can be planned effectively using business research

• Research can help track competition in the business sector

• Business research can enable a company make wise decisions as to where to spend money and how much

• Business research can enable a company to stay up-to-date with the market and its trends, and appropriate innovations can be made to stay ahead of rivals

• NB: Ian R Ferguson is a talent management and organisational development consultant, having completed graduate studies with regional and international universities. He has served organisations, both locally and globally, providing relevant solutions to their business growth and development issues. He may be contacted at tcconsultants@ coralwave.com.


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