Business Research Strategies
Doing business research can be a daunting experience, especially when
it involves data (and it almost always does). Where does one begin?
What is the next step? What sources of information are there? As a
guide, consider these five broad areas of business research questions:
Companies and Organizations
- How does the company compare with others of its size and of its industry?
- How is the company managing critical issues and trends? Is its strategy sound?
- How does the company communicate with all of its stakeholders?
(customers, investors, employees, the media)
- How does its future look? Are you optimistic about its future?
Industries and Products
- What does the industry do/produce?
- What are the most critical issues and emerging trends currently driving this industry?
- Who are the major players in this industry?
- How have technology, globalization and competition affected this industry?
Topics and Events
General questions to consider:
- What is the issue?
- Who does it impact?
- What are the challenges?
- Is there a(nother) solution?
e.g. foreign investment:
- What are the country's size, location, population, capital, natural resources?
- Are its political climate and regulatory environment favorable toward business?
- What about the country's major economic drivers?
- What are the most important investment trends in the country?
Economic and Financial Data
- production and trade of goods and services
- GNP and GDP (gross national and domestic product)
- imports and exports
- financial and equity markets
- money supply
- interest rates for saving or lending
- foreign exchange rate
- stock market indexes
- price indexes and consumption patterns
- consumer and wholesale price indexes
- general consumption of products and services
- housing market
- labor and employment
- labor force characteristics
- employment and unemployment
- trade union membership
- income and wages
- income levels and poverty rates
- wages and compensation
Demographics and Consumers
- Who are my potential customers? (age, gender, income, marital or family status, race or ethnicity)
- Where are my potential customers? (geography, industry, supply chain)
- What are the current consumption patterns? (expenditures, frequency, brands, distribution channels)
- What new products or services might be sugested by demographic changes?
Go to the Rutgers University Libraries Business Research Guide
Revised 16 August 2011