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The Costs and Benefits of Primary Research

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When you decide to launch a new product, enter a new market, or pivot your business’s market profile, the first step should be research. Before funding is sought and storefront locations are scouted you’ll want to understand the ins and outs of the market you’ll be entrenched in. That understanding comes from the accumulation and analysis of data. But how should that data be gathered? And what can you spend on it?

How that research is gathered is the question you’ll be determining as you start preparing your business plan. Both primary and secondary research provide great benefits. Each has an associated cost as well.

Secondary research involves the gathering and analysis of existing research. There are limits to the precision of this research to your exact purpose and the specificity with which it can answer your particular research questions. While secondary research can present a solid tool as you explore potential avenues for your business, the potential gaps will need to be filled in. This can be done in a number of ways, but if you can spare the additional expense, primary research will eliminate them entirely.

Primary research allows you to gather information directly from your current or potential consumer base to learn how to improve current products or services or what potential exists for new products or services in that market. You’ll also be able to gather information on consumer opinions, experiences, and preferences. This information can be used in a number of ways, in addition to its ability to answer your essential research questions.

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