Market research: Where to begin?!

Posted in: Blog.

Tony leaned back in the Committee Room chair and dunked a Rich Tea biscuit in his tea. According to research*, he’d have at least 20 seconds before it crumbled. Enough time for a deep sigh but not to ponder his problem. Or should that be “opportunity.” 

The Borough Council had been in touch to offer the local community association, of which Tony was Chair, the opportunity to be fully responsible for the management and operation of Bowwood Community Centre. Despite being one of the busiest in the area, for years the Association had felt it – and they – could do a better job. But now that they had the chance, there were so many unknowns…

What did people want from the centre? Would they use it? How to get new people using it? Could the Association run it efficiently and effectively? Was it financially viable or could it be made so? – all these questions!! It was obvious they would need to do some research but did they have the skills to do it themselves (even should they do it themselves) or should they bring in some eternal expertise? Working all this out was evidently going to be more of a four biscuit task…

CEIS work with many organisations faced with issues and questions similar to Tony’s. As with all research projects, the starting point is having a clear and well-defined understanding of the opportunity or challenge that your organisation faces. This is key to the rest of the research process, ensuring that you don’t waste your research time and money, and ultimately make a poor business decision. Designing your research project follows on from this ‘problem definition’: which of the many available methods and tools do we use; who and how many people do we talk to and how do we get them talking; how do we turn responses into information we can use; what resources do we need for the research; and do we do it ourselves or do we get someone else to do it for us?

In order to help people like Tony (and you) answer these questions, we’ve created a range of business development workshops including – Market Research: A Beginner’s Guide and also offer one-to-one support. This full-day workshop is aimed at non-research practitioners who may need to undertake basic market research within their role and is designed to provide delegates with an introduction to the subject including:

  • What is market research and why do we do it?
  • Different approaches and tools
  • Tips and techniques
  • Working with external researchers
If you feel your social enterprise could benefit from greater market research but lack the expertise to make it happen why not contact CEIS online, chat to Emma Stratton on 0141 425 2900 to discuss the options available or check out our event calendar for upcoming workshops and dates.

To see how else CEIS supports inidviduals, businesses and communities, click here

Through the Scottish Government’s Just Enterprise business support programme, qualifying social enterprises may even be able to access support for free. 

*Source: Guru Magazine, March 2014

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