Market research is a crucial part of any business plan, which is why it is widely utilized by startups and early stage businesses. While existing, established businesses may not traditionally look to market research to influence their decisions, second-stage companies facing difficulties while trying to grow can benefit greatly from accessing strategic research.
The State of Michigan wants to help your second-stage business grow! The Michigan Economic Development Corp. has partnered with the National Center for Economic Gardening to introduce a new way of supporting businesses through this critical growth period — at no cost to the business. The Economic Gardening Program is designed to provide technical research assistance to qualified second-stage companies. Identifying new markets, generating sales leads or increasing website value can be challenging, and this program aims to make finding the answers easier.
The Economic Gardening Program is available at no cost to participating companies. Companies that are chosen to participate are matched with a team of research specialists who work to identify issues specific to that business. Key business issues to be addressed include core business strategies and management, market research and competitive intelligence, internet presence, search engine optimization and social media marketing and data analysis using geographic information systems. Over the course of about four weeks, the researchers will analyze these issues and provide action-oriented data to the company. This strategic information will help the company navigate through their challenges and continue growing their business.
Because the research is available quickly, participating CEOs should expect to commit 8-12 hours total to communicate with a team leader and national research specialists. The research specialists commit to 35 hours of work with the company and provide customized, strategic research within weeks.
By participating in Economic Gardening, businesses will have access to strategic information to help direct critical growth decisions. This information can include guidance on how to increase visibility in search engine results and increased web traffic along with advice on websites, blogs and online communities to better interact with customers. Participants also will receive mapped geographic areas for targeted marketing, knowledge of market trends, potential competitors and qualified sales leads. This information, when used strategically, can have an enormous impact on your business’s growth.
Currently, more than 300 Michigan companies and CEOs have received this exclusive service with positive results. To be selected for the program, companies should have 10-99 employees, revenue between $1 million and $50 million and be on an upward growth trend. This unique program is incredibly beneficial for Michigan’s growth companies.