Why Business Owners Don’t Hire Market Researchers
May 21, 2012 Leave a comment
When I get the change to talk with small business owners or those thinking about starting a business, I regularly get push back from them asking why they need to hire someone to do market research. Before I answer them, I ask them why they are asking me. The typical answer is that they know who their customer is. So I ask them who their typical customer is. Frequently, I get two types of answers: either so broad you would never be able to efficiently promote to them, or so specific, that there would not be enough of them to make your business successful. In my mind, this provides me an opportunity to show how I can help them succeed.
At this point I ask them about parts of their business that, based on their business type, are typically outsourced. These areas include payroll, website development, and maybe even promotion. I ask them why they outsource those areas of their business. Although the answers range, the answers are are either because the business owner knows that the outsourced company can do it better, faster, more effectively or more efficiently. It all comes down to what they know and what they are good at. Most business owners are good at what they do…running that restaurant…selling clothing…developing the newest smart phone app. The business owners will outsource many key functions of their business almost without a second thought. However, when it comes to specific research for their business, it is rarely given a second thought. A lot of times is because they feel like they do not need it.
At the end of the day, many business owners see market research as a cost, not a revenue generator or cost reducer. It is our jobs as market researchers to show the value of what we do and how we can help businesses grow. Part of this needs to be done through education. By showing successes from past research or case studies and show them how it directly applies to their business, we can start to show the value (and positive return on investment) of our work.
Let me know what you think.
–J. Nolfo helps companies understand their market and customers though a variety of market research strategies. He has over ten years of experience of market research for strategic planning purposes. He is the Director of Research at Rhino Market Research. He shares his thoughts about market research and business concepts with his blog “Pensare…Understanding Market Research in Business“. If you would like to discuss this blog or how J. can help you understand your market and customer needs, email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.