As a Research Manager operating in today’s business environment, you might feel a little hopeless when it comes to making your budget work for your business, and at the same time, not being every research providers worst nightmare.
The headache begins
It’s difficult being told constantly how much you can benefit from research products, services and methodologies only to have to turn around and say that you simply can’t afford it. On the flipside, it’s hard stretching your budget to cover all the research you actually need.
Data collection is expensive and time consuming, even more so if you are relying on a small internal team of analysts to do it. It’s often hard to outsource just this portion as many research houses offer all or nothing – something that is often not only out of your budget, but way out of time constraints as well.
As far as recruiting your own respondents for research, the process can be tricky and time consuming, with the end sample being less in number, and broader in criteria than you originally planned. You’ve probably come to accept these realities as part of the research headache, and accepted that it’s part your job.
Is prevention better than cure?
Instead of finding a remedy, you’ve taken steps to prevent it. Whether it be prioritising bigger projects for research while smaller ones get weighed out according to their cost vs. financial benefit of research. Perhaps your internal research team works exclusively with your own data and you’ve cut out competitor research as it’s too expensive. Maybe you’re using free survey software and doing research with smaller, broad samples – whatever compromises you’re making, you’re probably not getting the best results and this is in turn, reflecting poorly on you.
How to combat the headache?
Believe it or not, there are research solutions out there that don’t require your entire budget in one pop. Look out for the following:
- Ongoing Research Enabler – A solution that enables you to stretch out your budget over a longer period.
- Frill Free Solution – Don’t get deterred by the cost of all the bells and whistles. A simple research solution that’s suited to you will be more affordable and useful.
- Time Saving – Consider the turnaround times associated with different research options and look for those that save time without compromising quality.
Is it a cure?
You’ll always be faced with tough calls but there isn’t only one way to solve a problem. Sometimes you need to look at ways to stretch your budget, cut down on time and maximise value – and you won’t find that with traditional research packages. It’s not an instant cure, but here’s a start.