How Digging Reveals Opportunity Treasure
Businesses are all too often caught up in day-to-day operations, ensuring existing customers and enquiries are dealt with effectively and not thinking too far into the future. But what happens when the enquiries stop coming in? Do you know why – is it because the industry has moved on?
What is Desk Research?
Desk research involves collating information from industry reports, articles in media publications, the internet and other sources of information on your chosen area of interest to form a clearer picture.
Why Conduct Desk Research?
There are many reasons why businesses conduct desk research for example:
- To identify trends in your industry or market sector
- To understand the current state of your industry and where it is forecast to go
- To determine where your business fits into that future picture
- To identify if your business could operate in a different industry or market sector
How can you conduct Desk Research?
As with all market research, it’s important to have a clear objective; an understanding of what you want to find out from the research and how your findings will influence your business moving forward. Having determined your objective there are a number of steps to take:
Define your industry / market sector
Although you may be positioned in one particular industry or market sector, there may be other related industries and/or market sectors that will have an influence on your business. For example, a traditional print newspaper publisher will be affected by the online publishing sector.
Identify potential sources of information
As previously stated, there are numerous sources of information available, some free of charge whilst others would incur a fee:
- Mintel Reports
- Industry publications
- Industry bodies
- Thought leaders within your industry
Check information for relevance
Having identified potential sources of information, it is then important to check the relevance and authenticity of the data, opinions or facts stated. Any information you find could provide valuable insights for your business but it should be considered in light of the following questions:
- When was the information published and what dates does it cover?
- Is the information based on the industry in the UK (or the geographical area you operate in) or is it a more general overview?
- What sources of information have been used to create the report / article? Are these sources credible?
- Does the information come from a voice of authority within the industry?
Once you have collated your information from the various sources you can build a picture of the history of your industry from the past through to the present and where it is forecast to go in the future. From these industry forecasts business decisions can be made regarding how to develop your business moving forwards. For example, if your research shows that the industry is forecast to decline in the near future, decisions can be made regarding whether to diversify your business to offer your existing customers something new.
Following any research, it is important to communicate with your employees to ensure they are aware of your future business plans. This will reduce the likelihood of employee unrest due to any changes made as a result of the research, especially where these changes have a direct impact on your employees.
If you would like to discuss how we can help you to better understand your industry /market sector through desk research, give us a call today.