Researching A Franchise
One of the primary goals of being an entrepreneur even in a franchise relationship is to ensure customer satisfaction for that is a major determining factor of the success or failure of a business. A franchisee needs to clearly understand customers’ tastes and requirements to achieve customer satisfaction. To determine customer requirements, the franchisee first needs to ascertain and understand the demographics of their target base along with other supplementary factors such as geography and lifestyle.
An effective market research study should cover all angles in great detail and contain future plans for a franchise’s promotions and product positioning. It serves as a useful tool for forecasting and planning ahead as well as helping potential entrepreneurs determine the feasibility of certain business plans. Experts recommend undertaking market research studies every time there is a plan for a new product or service. Good research helps to decrease costs and also provides honest feedback on product lines.
There are several popular methods to conduct research. The adoption of a specific method depends solely on the type of information required and the budget available. Some research methods include:
- Surveys: Probably the most popular method, surveys are usually in the form of questionnaires and can be conducted almost anywhere. Surveys can be via telephone, in person, through mail or online. - Focus Groups: This method involves getting a group of people together to gather their opinions and allow discussion. - Observation: This consists of observing people’s reactions and recording it for business purposes. - Field trials: Merchandized products are researched in this fashion to identify their sales potential.
The decision to carry out research and a decision on the method of research must be made after taking into consideration the primary characteristics of a business and the requirements of its customers.