How To Start & Grow Your Business

What is Market Research? A Definition and Overview.

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    1Form your initial question. 2Choose the research style. 3Analyze the results.
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Market Research

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When you’re starting a business or just exploring ideas, certain information is vital to guide the development of your business model and to later explain it to investors. You’ll want to know how much of a demand there is for your idea, what the competition looks like and who your best customers will be.

The American Heritage Dictionary succinctly defines market research as: “The gathering and evaluation of data regarding consumers’ preferences for products and services.”

A more extended explanation of market research as it relates to small businesses can be found on

An article on Qualtrics Blog gives nine steps to conduct market research, making it seem simple and approachable, even for us non-analysts.

By approaching research like a marketing analyst, you can find your own answers to any questions you’re having. The process begins with a main question to investigate. For example, you can conduct market research to address problems within an existing business like, “Why are sales down?”

Use either of these methods:

  • Objective, “scientific method” approach with more quantitative data or
  • Subjective approach, which utilizes more qualitative research


Then you’ll have to decide between:

  • Experimental methodology or
  • Non-experimental methodology


Two basic methods of data collection:

  • Interviews
Common modes of research communication include interviews conducted face-to-face, by mail, by telephone, by email, or over the Internet. This broad category of research techniques is known as survey research.
  • Observation
Another way to collect data is by observation. Observing a person’s or company’s past or present behavior can predict future purchasing decisions. Data collection techniques for past behavior can include analyzing company records and reviewing studies published by external sources.Scott Smith

After going through the meticulous process of market research, you’ll be rewarded with an abundance of helpful data to help inform your actions in a more intelligent way. To read the original article in its entirety, please visit Qualtrics.

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From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: