You’ve set out a list of market research questions and you’ve collected the results ‒ what next? Now it’s time for the interesting bit ‒ applying the insight to your operations to grow your franchise effectively. Here’s our guide on using marketing research to improve your business.
If you’ve spent time and effort creating a market research programme, you’ll want to make sure it does its job and gives you the information you need to adapt your business for the better. It’s no good having endless statistics and feedback forms if you don’t know what to do with them.
We’ve already looked at the value of market research and how you conduct it; just take a look at the guides below to get up to speed.
- 5 Questions to Ask When Doing Market Research For Your Franchise
- How to Conduct Market Research in a Way That Actually Addresses Your Business Needs
Now, let’s explore how you can grow your franchise by analysing the findings and making meaningful changes to your business. We’ve created a checklist of seven steps to make sure your market research efforts don’t go to waste.
Using your market research data - 7 steps
1. Organise your data
It’s common to feel daunted by market research when you’re faced with a huge amount of statistics and no clear results. The first step you should take is to organise your data into clear tables, charts and graphs. You might find it useful to categorise your study participants by demographic, occupation, location or education level, for example.
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2. Look for common themes
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by large volumes of data, try to seek out trends in the information. Once you’ve noticed a few common themes, you’ll feel more confident about where your market research is taking you and how you can start implementing changes to grow your franchise.
3. Compare your results with previous findings
You’ll be able to make your research work even harder for you if you can put them up against results from older studies. These don’t necessarily have to be your own; if this is your first time researching a particular area of your business, you can seek out data collected by other organisations. Ideally, try to find statistics going back several years. Then, you’ll be able to identify any long-term trends and see where the market is heading.
4. Corroborate your results
It’s always worth double-checking your data, not only to make sure it stands up, but also to avoid subconscious bias. When you’ve already got ideas about franchise growth in mind, you might cherry-pick certain results or read too far between the lines. Secondary research from an external third party should help you avoid these pitfalls.
5. Consider your business model
At this stage, you should start to think about how you can apply your findings to your franchise. Which adaptations could you make? Are there any new avenues to pursue? How would you implement your changes? You might like to identify several possible options and take them to your colleagues for a second opinion.
6. Create a market research report
You’ve already organised your initial data; here, you might find it useful to create a report covering the potential changes to help stakeholders understand the opportunities. Start with an introduction detailing the programme information, such as its objectives and analysis methods. Write a data summary and present the most relevant results in clear visual charts. Finally, explain your recommendations on how you can grow your franchise.
7. Trial the changes
Before you make any changes ‒ big or small ‒ take the time to test them out. See whether they have a negative impact on your workforce, and whether customer reaction is positive. You may find you need more information, so don’t be afraid to conduct further market research.
Case Studies ‒ how big businesses have used market research
- McDonald’s ‒ Back in 2015, the franchise was experiencing falling sales and its products were perceived as being unhealthy. After conducting market research, McDonald’s stopped selling chicken containing antibiotics and ingredients like phosphates and maltodextrin. It also added more salad options and healthier desserts such as apple slices.
- Lego ‒ This company’s famous product has long been loved by young boys, but struggled to attract an equal proportion of girls. To combat this incongruity, Lego spent four years researching the market, and spoke to more than 3,500 girls. Later, the business launched a new product line with vibrant colours and different figurines, and the number of female users rose significantly.
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Grow your franchise with effective market research strategies
Hopefully this article has given you some helpful tips on how to use market research to improve your business. Our comprehensive guides (linked towards the start of the article) take you through the fact-finding process step by step. Once you’ve established what you’d like to learn and created a robust plan to find answers, you’ll be in a better position when it comes to making business changes. The final step? Organising your results and exploring ways to use actionable insights to grow your franchise.
We’ve got a huge range of resources to help you succeed in business, whether you’re a franchisor, franchisee or independent owner. You’ll find hundreds of handy articles on all industries and processes, from finding the perfect franchise opportunity to retiring. Use the search box to find out more about a specific topic.
If you’re interested in joining a franchise and launching your own business under a recognisable brand with an existing customer pool, you can browse our current investment openings. Here at Point Franchise, we advertise the very best franchise opportunities. To get started, select your chosen sector from the drop-down menu on the left; you’ll be able to sort the list by investment cost and popularity.
Alice Tuffery, Point Franchise ©