Laundry shops nowadays are very common in Dumaguete City. Everywhere you go, you can see a laundry shop. That is why business is very competitive. The worse thing is that there are times laundry shops have small income since most people have washing machines in their home. For a laundry business, increasing profitability is important especially small laundry services.
That is why there is market research. Like what Philip Kotler (1999) said, “Competing[underscoring added] in the new millennium will demand more skillful marketing than ever before. Marketers must become more world class in their marketing decision making practices. Monitoring your success and doing course corrections are critical for survival and growth in the new millennium, he warns (p. 6C).
To clarify, although many laundry businesses in Dumaguete City do not undergo market research, acquiring both positive and negative information about the behavior of the customers and competitors through market research can ensure the profitability of laundry businesses in Dumaguete City as it helps define the scope of the specific services an owner wants to offer, helps in identifying the right strategies for a faster service, and helps in acquiring new costumers especially commercial clients (universities, hospitals, hotels).
This paper represents the discussion on why market research is effective in ensuring profitability of laundry businesses in Dumaguete City in four parts. The first part shows that market research defines the scope of the specific services an owner wants to offer. The second part also shows the identifying of the right strategies for a faster service. The third part mention about acquiring new costumers especially commercial clients (for example: universities, hospitals, hotels, resorts, etc. ).
The final part presents the reasons why market research is not widely used by laundry businesses in Dumaguete City and arguments regarding how to overview these reasons. With market research, the owner can define the scope of specific services to offer. Through defining the scope, the owner can obtain opportunities to add extra services. And in adding extra services can be done by recognizing the prospects to serve various groups of customers. In this way, the “take all comers” approach will be very effective in the business. The owner will never turn away any customer that wants to do business.
Being a business with a variety of services will also make the it recognizable in your community, especially when the it is the only one with many services to choose from. The downside of this method is you cannot attempt to have low prices because of the expenses (Clark, n. d. ). Expanding the services can be achieved by identifying the unmet needs of a certain group of customers. From an anonymous author of Strategyn (n. d. ): “Looking through a jobs-to-be-done lens, we see that a market opportunity exists when customers struggle to get a job done.
Indeed, addressing those unmet needs is the key to success. ” Surely, Conducting a focus group is helpful in identifying the unmet needs of customers. A focus group is a small six to ten different people group that will have an open discussion about specific topic. This will help in discovering the unmet needs of the business’s customers since it will bring out different opinions or complaints. To put it in another way, interviewing customers is a great tool in knowing the unmet needs of clienteles. Just like the importance of interviewing by Zhivago (n. . ): “You simply can’t be successful in marketing if you’re not talking to customers. There is no other source of political power. ” Without customers, a business can never gain income. Pleasing the customer is always a way to have a reason to always specifically choose a laundry business to go to. In addition, considering what services clients want to acquire is another good way to know the unmet needs of customers. When customers mutter suggestions or ideas, always pay attention to what they are saying.
And when considering the services clients want to inquire, they will always feel they are well respected and important. That feeling is always good to have with customers because they will make the business special to them also (Friedmann, n. d. ). Another thing is, by defining the scope; the owner can acquire information from clientele to expand existing services. “To discover customer requirements or expectations for service”, one of the “ten most common objectives” in service business (Walker, Boyd, & Larrech, 1996, p. 2), can be helpful in increasing the quality of existing services. Expanding existing services are always good. This way, the laundry business’ existing services will be well equipped, updated and fast. Moreover, The owner may observe the comments of the clients to the existing services. Comments usually are in two ways: positive and negative. Especially with customers, always contemplate the comments they made, whether good or bad. Depending on their comments, the business can expand its existing services or abolish them.
Another is the businessman may interview valued customers to suggest the services they want to expand in the business. Interviewing is always an option. Since when interviewing customers, the interviewer (someone hired from a laundry business) can be up and personal with the interviewee (customer of a specific laundry shop) making them comfortable and be able to express their opinions and ideas about the services they want to expand or the services they do not like.
In the same way, the proprietor may administer questionnaires about the services of the laundry business to a specific group of clients. Even though there is a great liability when conducting questionnaires, it is still important to do since some customers are busy or they do not want to be interviewed, a survey can be a great help especially when the business is in need of a large number of people with their opinions and ideas. Another keypoint by means of market research, the owner can identify the right strategies for a faster service.
And examining the size of the market that includes knowing how many people have the unmet need may provide information about the right strategies for having a faster service (using what type of detergent, softener, bleaching powder, folding method, and how to deliver the items). Firstly, Examining the size of the market can identify common problems that may arise among workers. Getting workers’ opinion is an effective way to know the problems in the workplace. And evaluating workers’ performance is also essential in ensuring a productive environment in the workplace.
Edwards (n. d. ) wrote about how to solve conflicts between employees: “Identify the problem. Handle the problems as soon as possible. Talk to each employee…ask what he has a problem with. Face-to-face discussion usually in from[sic] of a private meeting (underscoring added), is one of the most successful approaches to conflict resolution because it concentrates on solving the problem directly. ” This way the harmony and togetherness of the staff will go back.
With no more tension and aggression, the work will be faster and more precise (Hester, n. d. ). Also, investigating the scope of the market can lead to the inspection of valued customers for a better approach. And asking for feedbacks can help inspect valued customers for a better method. Receiving customer feedback enables a business to correct any issues or concerns customers may have with laundry’s services. When customers provide feedback, a laundry shop is able to save money, time and improve relationships with customers.
Not being in tune with the customers is like living in an alternate reality; the way you think your customers feel about your services is not always the same as what your customers really think about your services. A dissatisfied customer may tell five or six other people about his/her bad experience, which could harm the laundry business’ reputation. Feedback allows you to correct these problems. And then, improving the operations of the laundry business through the use of right strategies will result to a faster service. Increasing employees in the business (from doing fry cleaning, ironing, transporting, folding, etc. will surely result to a faster service. Having more employees will make the work done faster, especially when workers are in harmony and in sync. Likewise, having up-to-date machinery will improve the operations of the laundry business. Usually costumers nowadays want to go to a laundry shop with a fast service. With machinery, doing the work will become firmer and accurate. Especially with washing machines, having a recent model will surely boost the business’ work process. Identically, having a multitude of transportation vehicles can help improve the operations of a laundry business.
With multiple vehicles, the business can deliver clothes at the same time. This is also used when the business experience the same time in delivery of clothes to different customers but their houses are so far away from each other. The last keypoint by way of market research, the owner can acquire new customers especially commercial clients (universities, hospitals, hotels). With this, drawing the attention of potential customers is a great way of acquiring them. And in applying the right kind of advertising strategies can draw the customers’ attention. Advertising is a fast way for the business to be notice by people.
With proper advertising, it will have a great impact on selling the services of the business especially when maximizing the business’ money to make an effective advertisement of any kind (anonymous, n. d. ). Also, accommodating promos for big customers can also attract possible commercial clients. Promos are a great way to attract customers. Every person is always attracted when catching worthwhile promos especially when they can benefit from it the most. In the laundry business, it does not hurt the business when it will rarely run promos for customers. The business should always show they are not greedy.
And in inquiring for the clients’ expectations is an approach to know how to acquire new customers. From the important customer expectations by McGraw (2007): Customer expectations are beliefs about service delivery that serve as standards or reference points against which performance is judged. Because customers compare their perceptions of performance with these reference points when evaluating service quality, thorough knowledge about customer expectations is critical to services marketers. Knowing what the customer expects is the ? rst and possibly most critical step in delivering good quality service.
Being wrong about what customers want can mean losing a customer’s business when another company hits the target exactly. Being wrong can also mean expending money, time and other resources on things that do not count to the customer. Being wrong can even mean not surviving in a ? ercely competitive market. (p. 55) Just like satisfying their needs may result to clients’ loyalty. And having a good atmosphere in the business may produce secured customers. Smith (2013) talks about the advantages for having a welcoming atmosphere for laundry shops: “Having a welcoming atmosphere for example, can tremendously improve your performance and profits.
Employees, co-workers, and customers appreciate a welcoming environment because it reduces stress levels (n. d. ). ” There are so many misinterpretations about market research and its uses. For some, market research means a difficult method that only professionals can do. For others, market research is just a useless thing because it provides data that are very hard to understand (Chapman, n. d. ). There are also the reasons why market research is not widely used by laundry businesses in Dumaguete City. Firstly, many laundry businesses experienced budgetary onstraints. Processing and gathering data requires a huge amount of money. There are some companies that don’t have experts to conduct extensive market researching.
Because of that, they will rely on secondary sources because of its cheapness but these data is not perfect. It will have many flaws and the liability of the data will increase (Riley, 2012). As what Breen and Blankenship (1999) have written, “Almost everyone fails to understand that most marketing research studies can be done quite adequately in a ‘cheap and dirty’ manner” (p. ). Due to the lack of information and budget, many laundry businesses ignore the benefits of market research. Even though the business will suffer budget constraint, with effective market researching, the business will gain back its income and acquire more. The business will have more benefits in conducting market research than not conducting it at all. Aside from that, they don’t have enough knowledge about the used of low-cost methods of market research. In addition, most of the laundry businesses suffer from time constraints.
Time is directly related to the costs, as the longer the research takes, the more costly it may turn out for the company. Questions must be prepared, answers must be provided by volunteers and answers must be examined by employees within a given time period. When the research takes longer, it is because the researchers are taking it seriously. Especially when giving surveys to people, it will take time and effort. Time is one of the important factors in conducting market research. Having limited time for this kind of research may result to inaccurate data and faulty conclusion.
As an effect, many businesses’ owners don’t prioritized market research. But sacrificing time is the least of the business’ worries. Conducting market research does take time, but when it will be finished, it will really help the business. Improving the business is much more pleasing than not doing anything at all. Another reason is that many laundry businesses’ owners questioned the reliability of the data acquired from market research. Data is the most critical in market research. This is really depending on the people answering the survey and avoiding bias interviewers.
To ensure this, expenses will increase but this is a necessity if the researchers will want to avoid suspicious answers (Riley, 2012). Everything in this world revolves around money. Especially when getting information. Some people want to be paid when they will share their information. But in this way, the information the researchers have gathered will be accurate, and not biased. Sacrificing a little bit of money for people to give their answers is expected. Especially when Dumaguete is surrounded with many beggars or poor people.
But even though it will cost a lot, benefits and advantages of market research is more than the disadvantages it held. Lastly, Countless owners of laundry businesses suffer from limited volunteers when they conduct market research. From Mary Jane’s (n. d. ) study: “Market research is primarily based on people’s opinions and views of a single product or service. The lack of respondents may also be a negative factor for a company’s market research. If the company sends out an online questionnaire, not everyone can fill it out, especially those with limited Internet access, for example.
Another disadvantage of performing market research is the lack of an experienced interviewer representing the company. ” There is a need to have enough respondents in conducting market research. Because of the fact that the word “market research” may entails a difficult responsibility or job, volunteers for different methods of market research are low. There are also the means on how to refute the opposing viewpoints stated above. The first one is lessening the budgetary constraints in conducting market research. This may be done in two ways. One way is the use of inexpensive materials.
Free resources are available such as free statistical records compiled by federal, state and local government. Talking to a customer is a low-cost way of communicating to respondents. By also doing this, the researcher is able to directly talk with a potential costumer. Some may think this method is effective because potential costumers will label the laundry business conducting market research as friendly. And the use of cheap labor like consulting to professor instead of hiring a market researcher is a very effective way of saving money (Davis, n. d. ).
Another way is knowing the right number of respondents. This will result to saving of money because no wastage will be done in terms of the materials in surveying, the cost of transportation, and etc. The second is reducing the problems of time constraints. It can be accomplished by setting a specific goal. Having a goal will direct you to the right path and as a result, time will be managed. Reducing the problems in time constraints can also be achieved by applying the right methods that are suitable in the study. No repetition is needed when the researcher apply the suitable method.
Doing this can also gain more accurate data. The third is having a reliable data. This is very essential in making decisions and in evaluating past performances (Peter, Donnelly, & Tarpay, 1992, p. 42). The first way to have this is through the use of the mastered method. A researcher can do the research well when using his/her mastered method. With that fact, the researcher can obtain reliable data that are needed in the study. The second way is through the choice of the right kind of respondents. The researcher must know who to ask or who to survey because only the right people can give accurate data.
And lastly, the following can do taking enough volunteers: First is through the making of right-formatted cover letter. This will entail a great impression to the respondents. An interviewer is most likely to cooperate when he/she receives precise cover letter. Correct formation of cover letter can help convey the respondents to comply voluntarily and accordingly (Shuttles, & Bennett, 2013). The second is through giving of ideas to respondents about the goals of the market research. The researcher must give the respondents a quick background or objectives of the study.
This will help gain volunteers because the respondents will understand the study and will be more willing to do the research. The last way to acquire more volunteers is through ensuring the respondents about the data that it will be kept confidential and will be used correctly in the study. In this way, the researcher can get their trust and loyalty. And also the volunteers will be eager to answer any questions about the study. Based on the sources that the researcher has gathered, there is enough information for the researchers to analyze the effectiveness of market research.
The researchers conclude that Although many laundry businesses in Dumaguete City don’t undergo market research, acquiring both positive and negative information about the behavior of the customers and competitors through market research can ensure the profitability of laundry businesses in Dumaguete City as it helps define the scope of the specific services an owner wants to offer, helps in identifying the right strategies for a faster service, and helps in acquiring new costumers especially commercial clients.
Courtney from Study Moose
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