Below are a few things you can do to make sure you get the most from your budget and, ultimately, your research.
Get a Research Professional Involved Early
The main reason you should use a research professional is that they are trained to ask the right questions in the right way to make sure your answers are valid and can be acted on.
If you ask the wrong questions you’ll get the wrong answers, and if you ask questions in the wrong way you’ll not only get the wrong answers, but you run the risk of damaging your brand or reputation in the process!
You’ll be surprised at how affordable a research professional is and, regardless of their exact fee, they will pay for themselves many times over by ensuring your research is conducted properly and professionally.
If you can, get a researcher involved as soon as possible. It will save you time by helping you to develop your research project and you’ll feel more confident having someone with experience on board.
Know What You Will Do With Your Results
What will you do with your results when you have them? What do you plan to change or achieve? Knowing this is perhaps the most important decision you will make. If you don’t clearly know what you will do, do you really need to carry out the research?
By knowing what you want to change or achieve you will obtain results that help you make your decisions. There’s nothing worse than getting to the end of a research project and still not knowing what to do!
If you’re not sure please get in touch. I’d be pleased to talk through your ideas with you and advise if a research project will benefit you.
Write Down Your Goals For the Research
Once you know that you need to carry out research and what you want to achieve from it, clearly state your research question and write it down. By doing this you and your researcher can refer back to it, ensuring your research project remains focused so you get the right results and don’t waste time, effort or money.
When writing a research brief, don’t worry too much about what method you might use. For example, you might assume a focus group is the way to go, but a researcher might suggest an alternative to best answer your research question. Just focus on clearly stating what you want to achieve with the research and let your researcher do the rest.
Use The Results!
Having spent time and money on your research project, make sure you dedicate sufficient time to implement the findings. Research on its own can’t improve your business or organisation without further, follow-up action.
If you want more help with your research planning there is a guide available from the Social Research Association for commissioning research, or give me a call for a chat.