Business Research for the Entrepreneur
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            Research is not just for students and scientists. Gathering and evaluating information is an essential part of planning, implementing, and maintaining a business. The more you know, the more successful you will be and the stronger your position in the world of commerce will be.


            Before beginning your business plan, you must identify a need in the marketplace and how you will fulfill that niche. The two questions you have to ask and answer are: 1. What is the problem? 2. What is the solution? For example, your idea is to open a health club in a particular town. The problem is that the health club that is already there is insufficient, outdated, and does not address all of their customers’ needs. Your solution is to provide a better facility that offers more modern, convenient, and comprehensive products and services.


            Once you have identified the problem and the solution, the next step is to answer how you will satisfy the solution. Make a list of all the specific details that must be accounted for and assessed. Now you can begin your research and put together the necessary data. Clearly compiled information will not only help you to increase your level of expertise, but it shows potential investors you know what you are doing.


            The best way to start your research is to use the Internet. Find applicable articles on reputable websites and online libraries. As much as possible, locate up-to-date peer reviewed journal articles. To illustrate this process, let us consider the establishment of a coffee shop.


            You have already determined that there is no coffee shop in town XYZ. Your only competition would be a local diner, a doughnut shop, and a convenience store. The next step is to ask yourself what you can provide that these other businesses do not and how it will be offered to the local populace.


In researching this topic, I found a useful article by Hetzel (2007) which offers quite a bit of information regarding the coffee shop business. One of the important points that the author discusses is the quality of the water used to make the coffee and how it will effect not only the flavor of the beverage but the life of your equipment. It is the ability to use these kinds of details that will give you the advantage in the marketplace and will help put your establishment at the forefront.


I also found a scholarly article by Zhenjia (2012) which presents a study of the marketing mix and positioning of Starbucks and discusses the advantages and disadvantages of this particular company. The information contained here can be used for these specific aspects of business planning as well as for understanding best practices for success in the selling of coffee. For example, the author recommends that the shop provide a comfortable atmosphere conducive to developing positive, stable customer relationships.


            Business research is only one step among many in the process of starting and upholding your enterprise. Initiate the process effectively and you will have no regrets. The world is your oyster!





Hetzel, A. (2007, March). Fundamentals of Coffee Business Success. INeedCoffee. Retrieved from http://www.ineedcoffee.com/07/coffeebusiness/


Zhenjia, Z. (2012). Study on Competitive advantages of Starbucks Surfers’ Paradise Coffee Shop. Management Science and Engineering, 6(3), pp. 16-21

Conny Jasper, 732-745-9293