TUESDAY: RESEARCHING THE ANSWERS.
Today you will learn about the places you can go to answers to your questions. you can research your answers from:
The first place to find ready-made information is inside your head. So the first to do is to go through the list of questions you drew up and write down all the answers you are sure you already know.
YOUR OWN RECORDS:
This is one of the best places to start, and one of the many reasons for keeping through customers records.
For example, if you look at how your customers responded when you introduced an express delivery service – how many used it regularly, how many used it occasionally, and so on – you can start to answer the questions about delivery times.
DIRECTORIES AND WEBSITES:
These are some of the most useful directories and websites.
- BRAD (British Rate and Data) www1.bradinsight.com/
- Bureau van Dijk http://www.bvdinfo.com
- The Directory of British Associations http://www.cbdreserach.com
- Europages http://www.europages,com
- EXPO21XX http://www.expo21xx.com
- FITA (The Federation of International Trade Associations) http://www.fita.org
- Kompass gb.kompass.com/
- Marketsearch http://www.msearch.com
- The Municipal Yearbook Book
- The Retail Directory
- Solusource http://www.solusource.com
- The Source Book
- Wer liefert http://www.wlw.de
- Yellow Pages and Thomson Directories
TRADE ASSOCIATIONS AND REGULATORY BODIES:
Regulatory bodies such as Law Society and the British Medical Association, are often good sources of information, along with trade associations.
THE TRADE PRESS:
BRAD will give you a list of every trade and specialist magazine or newspaper you can imagine.
Go to http://www.statistics.gov.uk in the UK or FedStats.gov or USA.gov in the US for list of government publications. If you need information about exporting, contact the Department for Business, innovation and Skills (BIS) in the UK or export.gov in the US.
YOUR LOCAL ENTERPRISES AGENCY:
This will be listed in the Yellow Pages under ‘Business Enterprise Agencies in the UK or Business Enterprise Programs (BEP)
The three categories of customers you can talk to are:
- Existing customers: to find out why they buy from you.
- Potential customers: to find out what would persuade them to buy from you.
- Ex-customers: to find out why they stopped buying from you.
TALKING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS FACE TO FACE.
TELEPHONING YOUR CUSTOMERS
USING WRITTEN QUESTIONNAIRES
GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR RESEARCH:
- Keep your questions neutral.
- Don’t be ambiguous.
- Be consistent if you want to add up the answers.
- Don’t ask the customers to give up more than five or ten minutes of their time.
- Use multiple-choice questions on written questionnaires.
- Don’t expect an overwhelming response to postal questionnaires.
The author had mentioned one more book. If you want more information about conducting this kind of research, you will find another book in this series. SUCCESSFUL MARKET RESEARCH IN A WEEK.
You could able to find your answers from the internet, Forums, Blogs so on. And from the other people such as suppliers, picking competitor brochure and advisors.
RESEARCHING UNDER TIME OR BUDGET LIMITATIONS:
Ideally, always allow yourself a few weeks at least to put together a marketing plan. The work is likely to take a solid week or two but it will probably need to be spread over several weeks.
You will have to put the time available into answering the questions that fall into one of two categories.
- Questions that are important.
- Questions to which you can’t even hazard an answer.
However, with the information you have gathered today, you will have some well-researched and accurate answers by using four main sources of information.
- The internet.
- Other people.