There are two ways to grow profits: increase revenue or reduce costs. Members of the Columbus Chamber are using our research services to do one or both, to the tune of more than 200 research requests per year.
Research can help businesses find new customers. Some of our members ask for lists of businesses and organizations by industry, employment, revenue and other characteristics. For example, a document destruction company requested a list of law and accounting firms and other businesses that may need to destroy sensitive records. Business lists can be precise to the most appropriate individual contacts, whether it’s the CEO, human resources or procurement.
Members that serve consumer markets seek demographic and socioeconomic information to better market to their existing catchment area or select the location of a new shop or restaurant. For one member, we overlaid consumer data with major thoroughfares to find ideal spots for billboard advertising.
As much as members learn from our research, the Chamber also learns from our members. Two years ago, a landscaping company asked for a list of recent real estate sales in Franklin County exceeding a certain dollar amount. The member’s logic was that recent buyers, commercial or residential, may have an interest in improving or changing the landscaping around their property. This concept could apply to number of other products and services, from office furniture to architecture.
Besides finding new customers, research helps Chamber members operate their businesses more efficiently. The flip side of a member looking for new business customers is one looking for new suppliers and service providers. Perhaps they are not satisfied with a current vendor or have new needs that come with growth. Again, the Chamber’s research team can slice and dice the universe of businesses in Central Ohio and beyond by various characteristics.
Many Chamber members are small, fast-growing businesses that are adding new positions for which they are unfamiliar with typical pay levels. Research can provide data on average wages, or at higher percentiles, so that recruiters are competitive with the market. Welder or customer service representative, warehouse picker or financial officer, our analysis can take into account years of experience, educational attainment, relevant certifications, and other factors that influence wages.
In this post, I’ve only described a few of the myriad ways that research can serve businesses. To grow revenue or reduce costs, a business needs to be bold and creative. The same criteria apply to market research. If someone is making money on something or regulating something, data will be out there on that subject. It may be difficult to obtain, possibly costly, but someone’s keeping tabs. The Chamber works with member businesses every day to produce actionable research in a cost-effective manner.
On Wednesday, August 19, Jung Kim will present at the Fifth Annual Franklin County Retail Summit. Kim will discuss the report along with sales tax revenues, consumer demographics and e-commerce trends and impacts. Tickets are $25 for Chamber Members and $40 for non-members. The deadline for RSVP is today, Thursday, August 13. Click here for more information and to register.