Desktop Research

∞ minutes

Desktop research is a crucial component of entrepreneurial success, providing entrepreneurs with valuable information and insights to make informed decisions. 

Also known as secondary research, Desktop Research involves gathering information from existing sources such as books, articles, reports, and online databases. Research can provide you with a cost-effective way to access a wide range of information relevant to new and existing business ventures. By conducting thorough desktop research, entrepreneurs can gather insights, validate ideas, identify market trends, understand customer needs, analyze competitors, and make informed strategic decisions.

Here are some key areas of focus when you perform desktop research on a new market or a new product/service concept:

  1. Market Analysis: Desktop research helps to understand the market dynamics, size, growth potential, and trends. This information enables you to identify business opportunities and position products or services effectively.
  2. Competitor Analysis: By researching competitors, you can gain insights into strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This knowledge helps to differentiate your offering and develop competitive advantages.
  3. Customer Insights: Desktop research allows you to understand customer preferences, behavior, needs, and pain points. This knowledge helps in developing products or services that meet customer demands and create a positive customer experience.
  4. Industry Trends: Researching industry trends helps you to stay updated on technological advancements, regulatory changes, consumer preferences, and emerging markets. This information enables you to adapt your strategies and stay ahead of the competition.
  5. Risk Assessment: Through desktop research, you can identify potential risks and challenges associated with their business ventures. This awareness allows you to proactively mitigate risks and develop contingency plans.

Sources of Information for Desktop Research

  1. Books and Publications: Books, journals, industry magazines, and publications provide in-depth knowledge on various aspects of entrepreneurship and specific industries.
  2. Government Reports and Databases: Government websites and databases offer market data, economic indicators, industry reports, and demographic information.
  3. Academic Research: Academic papers and studies provide insights into industry trends, consumer behavior, and market analysis.
  4. Online Databases: Online databases like market research platforms, industry-specific websites, and statistical portals offer a wide range of data and reports.
  5. Professional Networks and Associations: Networking with industry experts and joining professional associations can provide access to valuable insights, market intelligence, and industry trends.

Steps Involved in Conducting Desktop Research

  1. Define research objectives: Clearly define the purpose of your research and the specific questions you want to answer.
  2. Identify relevant sources: Determine the most relevant sources of information based on your research objectives.
  3. Gather and record information: Collect data and information from the identified sources using appropriate search methods.
  4. Analyze and evaluate: Analyze the gathered information critically, evaluating its reliability, relevance, and credibility.
  5. Synthesize Findings: Organize and synthesize the findings into meaningful insights that address your research objectives.

Tools for recording research: Notion is a popular tool that can be used to record and organize research findings. Its flexible layout allows you to create custom databases, take notes, store documents, collaborate with team members, and create visual representations of your research. Other tools include word processors (Microsoft Word, Google Docs), whiteboarding software (Miro, Mural), and slideshow software (Microsoft Powerpoint, Google Slides).

By conducting thorough desktop research using these key points of value and following the steps outlined above, you can gather valuable insights that inform your decision-making process and increase the chances of success.

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