I have been working with Access/Information for over seven years. In that time I have learned a lot about market research, and strategic business decision making in general. There has been a lot of market chatter surrounding the use of data; however, it is my belief that for small businesses data and market research are underutilized.

At Access/Information, we are members of the Economic Gardening® National Strategic Research Team. The goal of Economic Gardening® is to foster local economic development by helping second stage, small businesses to grow. To expand any business, no matter the stage or size, it is essential to understand the market you are operating in (or planning to operate in).

Market research is a key component of innovation. Innovation works best when solving an unmet need. When considering introducing a new product or service it is important to understand the pain points of your customers. You also need to know if the market will support your new product or service, and if your competitors have already entered into that space.

The most fulfilling part of my job is the knowledge that I have provided data to help grow a business. This leads to additional jobs and contributes to the growth of the economy. Are you utilizing market research to innovate and expand your business?