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Looking for a service that will help you make decisions based on robust, unbiased, current, and authoritative evidence? Scottish Enterprise’s Research Service could help. 

What is desk-based market research and why should you do it?
No matter what stage you are at in your business journey, taking the time to do some market research can be beneficial to ensure that you are making decisions based on robust evidence. It can ensure that you don’t miss out on key opportunities or that you don’t waste time and money pursuing the wrong opportunities.   

If you are at the start of your business journey, you will probably have quite a few decisions to make.  

  • Before you start to speak to speak to potential customers, you need to decide who would be your ideal customer, who requires the product or service you are offering? 
  • For business planning, you need to know what is the size of your potential market? Is it forecast to grow? What are the key trends and challenges? These might drive demand for your product or hinder it. 
  • To identify your USP, you need to look at who your competitors are and what they already offer.  

To answer any of these questions, it’s a good idea to start with some secondary, desk-based research to see what information has already been collated and published by others. This can save you time and might also shape the primary research that you do when you start to speak to customers. 

What are the challenges in doing desk-based market research?
Google means that there is a lot of information available at your fingertips, so it’s vital to consider the purpose of your research – is it for a funding application, choosing an export destination, finding customers or something else? This will direct your search for information and can stop you getting lost down a virtual rabbit hole.  

You should also make sure you know what type of resource – whether market reports, journal articles, a directory, or country information databases – is likely to hold the information you need. You will need to take some time to evaluate the source of the information to ensure that it is trustworthy and reliable.  

How can we help?
We produce free market reports for Business Gateway covering over 100 different markets which include information, statistics, research and facts on your specific area of business. These are a great starting point when doing your own secondary research.  

We have also produced a guide with some useful tips and resources to help you get started.  

We subscribe to a range of commercial research reports. Market reports like these can help you keep on top of the rapidly changing consumer and business environment. Each month we update our website with details of some of the most recent reports that have been published. Tailored extracts from these reports are available for free for Scottish companies.  

We also have a team of Researchers who can work with you to understand what it is you are trying to achieve and let you know what information you might need. Once you have defined this, we can carry out the research for you and pull together the information you need to make those key decisions.  

If you’d like to speak to a Researcher or if you have a specific market research need that you think we can help with, you can get in touch with us by submitting an enquiry through our website.  

At Women’s Business Centre we aim to be a go-to source of support for you as you work through your business journey. Sign up for exclusive access to additional content, resources and information.

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