September2013

Boosting your business confidence

Dear Reader,

There have been a lot of reports recently that the UK (and global) economy is turning the corner out of recession.

As recovery starts to appear, this edition of our newsletter addresses what is happening with your sales. Now is an ideal time to take an in-depth look at the reasons behind any recent increase or decrease in your sales figures.  Market research can help you dig deeper, and provide clear evidence to further boost your business confidence.

Should you have any further questions about this month’s topic, click here to email me, or post them via LinkedIn or Twitter.

Best wishes


Martin Holliss

e: martinh@research-insight.com
t: +44 1235 812 456
m: +44 7931 376501

Boosting your business confidence

We can all agree that the last couple of years have been tough. Confidence that the economy is taking an upward turn again is a fragile commodity, at the mercy of any doom-and-gloom media reports.

But recovery does now appear to be arriving. For the first time since the end of 2010, all the major sectors of the economy – services, industry and construction – have shown positive growth, and many people now feel more confident about spending, which in turn will cement the recovery further.

In the midst of more positive economic news, now is an ideal time to look at what is happening with your sales. Discovering why your sales are increasing or decreasing will put you in a stronger position for the future.

So, as business confidence returns, let’s look at some reasons behind changes in your sales figures:

A strong upturn in sales

There could be many reasons why your sales are on the up but, rather than just accepting your good fortune and hoping for it to continue, use market research as a tool to investigate further. Questions to ask yourself are…

  • Has your market share increased? If so, why?
  • Are you benefitting from product or service innovations (especially those introduced by your competitors)? Your competitors could have a growing market share despite your own increase in sales.
  • If increased business confidence is also being felt in other countries, is now the right time to export to new markets? (Have a look at a previous newsletter on this topic here).

Plan for recovery

As recovery filters through the economy, you will understandably want your business to benefit from the resulting boost in confidence and spending.  But if your sales have not yet started to recover, it’s important to stop and ask “What’s going on, and what can I do about it?”…

  • Is your business still providing what customers need?
  • Have you lost customers in the downturn? 
  • Are your competitors selling the same product/service to your customers but at a lower price?
  • Or are these customers buying a new or improved product/service that addresses their needs better? 
  • Lastly, do explore whether there is attractive potential in other countries? If yes, now is likely to be a good time to launch into new territories.

Market research will help

It’s tempting, but dangerous, to use Hunches and Guesswork when trying to understanding where your business stands. Much better to explore robustly and independently what is going well and what is not, and to take a detailed look at your competitors.

Independent market research will clarify what changes need to be made to your business, and put you in a stronger position than your competitors.  A recovering economy is a good time to push your company confidently back into a growth cycle, and to benefit from the upturn in market confidence.

How do you find out more? It’s as easy as picking up the phone to us, to outline your situation and to explore the different ways that independent market research could help your business.

This initial consultation is completely free of charge and provided on a “no obligation” basis.

Take the plunge and pick up the phone!

Resources

Two articles published in the Guardian highlight both the upturn in business confidence and ways in which market research can be of benefit, and Lloyds TSB publish a series of useful “self help” guides, designed especially to help small businesses grow.

‘Reasons to be cheerful’ The Guardian

‘How to use market research to improve your business’, The Guardian

Useful for small businesses: Lloyds TSB free ‘Business in Britain’ reports for SMEs