Cut Research Projects Down To Size

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Research projects that aren't focused don't get done. They either never get started because the task seems too vast or they are never completed because the researcher doesn't know what to research or when to stop.

Avoid both pitfalls by carefully defining your research objectives at the start of the project. Write a simple, one- or two-sentence statement describing what you want to research and what you want the research to accomplish.  Instead of “Research our competitors,” for instance, write: “Find out how ABC company is marketing its line of purple widgets and evaluate the impact on our company if we adopted the same techniques."

To get the project moving, make a list of questions you’ll need answered to complete your research and assign each question an "answer by" date. To complete the research project, answer the questions one by one. Organizing the work in this way will keep the research on target and help you get it completed on schedule.

Avoid both pitfalls by carefully defining your research objectives at the start of the project. Write a simple, one- or two-sentence statement describing what you want to research and what you want the research to accomplish.  Instead of “Research our competitors,” for instance, write: “Find out how ABC company is marketing its line of purple widgets and evaluate the impact on our company if we adopted the same techniques."

To get the project moving, make a list of questions you’ll need answered to complete your research and assign each question an "answer by" date. To complete the research project, answer the questions one by one. Organizing the work in this way will keep the research on target and help you get it completed on schedule.

 Looking for research data to benchmark your business results? Here are two helpful sources:
http://factfinder.census.gov/

 © 2006 Attard Communications, Inc. May not be reproduced without permission. 

About the author:
Janet Attard is the founder of the award-winning  Business Know-How small business web site and information resource. Janet is also the author of The Home Office And Small Business Answer Book and of Business Know-How: An Operational Guide For Home-Based and Micro-Sized Businesses with Limited Budgets.  Follow Janet on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/JanetAttard.

 

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