Business research is an important tool in identifying markets for a startup business and also understanding your customers’ needs and competitor strategies. It is a systematic approach to inquire about challenges faced in a business or foreseen and coming up with ways to help solve these challenges. Leonard (no date) identifies that business research involves the practice of a business in which managers acquire data, analyze it to better manage their business. Further, companies that use business research have a better understanding of their operations, their niche in the market and how to take advantage of other business opportunities.
Business research has a number of advantages to the organization that practices it. Fulton (2017) asserts that a business research process identifies problems. It is a tool that an organization uses to improve their financial outcomes. Market pricing, for instance, is one area of a problem that can be overcome using business research, a business research may show that based on the market price and the costs of operations, profitability may not be achieved thus the need to reassign resources to other more profitable areas. Market research also helps identify customer issues and complaints as a result of the quality of some business products. Business research is also very important in determining the course the business takes as it helps identify the best course of action when faced with multiple choices.
Approaches to business research
Grounded theory refers to an inductive research method that allows one to come up with a theory which comprehensively offer an explanation about the concerns of the research population and how that concern can be addressed by the research process. Grounded theory can use both qualitative and quantitative data or data of any type and offers guides on data collection and analytical procedures. A shortcoming of this approach is the tendency of using large amounts of data that are not easily manageable hence the researchers using this approach must be highly knowledgeable.
Kokemuller (2018) identifies focus group as a qualitative research technique that is applied by companies to market their products and services. It entails a discussion with a small group of participants who identify themselves with a company and/or its products where they can discuss the company’s products or service with the customers. It helps an organization to understand the position of its products in the market against its major competitors and also to identify possible opportunities or improvements to capture.
Hypothesis refers to the research question that is formulated and that the research activity needs to answer. Hypothesis testing is basically the process of trying to answer the question of the research. It is also known as significance testing as it seeks to find the significance of the research study in addressing the research problem (Laerd statistics, n.d). Hypothesis testing is however reliant on the concentrations that are being tested and the statistical data is also highly influenced by the variables being tested.
Protocol analysis involves one on one interviews with open-ended and unstructured questions that allow the interviewee the liberty to express their positions regarding a company and its products. It also enables the interviewee to ask questions and give feedback too. It is noted that this approach may come with challenges such as an interviewer asking leading questions that would affect the quality of the interview.
This approach uses case studies in determining the interaction of customers to a company’s products. It allows the organization to evaluate the satisfaction of its clients, their ease of using products and their attitude. The use of a section of customers as case study also enables the organization to redefine their business position setting the organization apart from the major competitors. Case studies tend to be a one person oriented with only one experimenter and also are not scientific in approach hence cannot be generalized.
This is a research technique which involves a group problem solving using creativity by using a group intelligence collectively to approach a problem and solve it. It is a very inspiring research technique because it makes the group to think outside the box and come up with creative and innovative ideas that helps an organization overcome problems in their operations. Brainstorming is effective if used from the very beginning of a project in the organization and it should be structured in such a way that it addresses a specific problem (Zhao, n.d). Th e main disadvantage of brainstorming is that the brainstorming team produces ideas that are not screened before implementation.
Leonard, Kimberlee. (n.d.). What Is Business Research? Small Business - Chron.com. Retrieved from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/business-research-43341.html
Business & IP Center. (2016, March 30). 4 Types of Research Methods for Start-Ups. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://www.bl.uk/business-and-ip-centre/articles/4-basic-research-methods-for-business-start-ups
Fulton, Jeff. (2017, September 26). What Are the Benefits of Business Research? Bizfluent. Retrieved from https://bizfluent.com/info-7759574-benefits-business-research.html
Kokemuller, N. (2018, April 13). The Focus Group Research Method. Retrieved May 11, 2018, from https://smallbusiness.chron.com/focus-group-research-method-17464.html
Zhao, H. (n.d.). Brainstorming. Retrieved May 16, 2018, from https://designresearchtechniques.com/casestudies/brainstorming/
Laerd Statistics. (n.d.). Hypothesis Testing. Retrieved May 16, 2018, from https://statistics.laerd.com/statistical-guides/hypothesis-testing.php