Funding Market Research for a Second-Stage Company
Callibrity’s Creative Solution to Market Research Spend
The process of navigating, analyzing and funding new market research for a growing company can be challenging. After establishing a solid business model and sufficient cash flow in a local market, the question becomes: Where do we go next?
Second-stage companies (defined as those with $1 million to $50 million in revenue and 10-99 employees) often debate whether entering new markets is justified or how entrance to a secondary marketplace could be best timed. Second-stage companies understand market research and data is required to support these tough decisions. Funding for necessary market research for a growing company proves the largest hurdle. Successful young companies are often growing at a rapid rate and are using valuable cash-on-hand to fund this growth. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on market research is not possible, but decision-makers realize they need quality research and analytics to move the firm forward. This is the exact dilemma Callibrity faced heading into 2018.
After weighing several expensive Market Research options, Callibrity discovered HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity Economic Gardening pilot program. After meeting with Karla Boldery the Innovation Services Director @ HCDC, Callibrity applied to the pilot program and was accepted, along with 9 other Hamilton County based second-stage businesses.
The program is designed to help second-stage companies grow larger by tackling major strategic issues. During the program (which spans six to eight weeks), companies are assigned a research team from the National Center for Economic Gardening (NCEG). The NCEG’s National Strategic Research Team (NSRT) partners with the company to address challenges and identify opportunities. The goal of the NSRT is to provide analysis and information in five key areas:
- Core Strategy
- Market Dynamics
- Qualified Sales Leads
The NSRT has sophisticated, corporate-level tools that would prove too expensive for growing businesses to otherwise purchase. These tools include Commercial Databases, Geographic Information Systems and Search Engine Optimization (SEO)/Web Marketing applications. The idea is to tackle data-driven strategic issues second-stage company leaders are facing by leveraging NSRT assets and knowledge. In turn, successful growth decisions fuel local hiring, revenue and innovation. Leaders can brainstorm major strategic issues that require data crunching and partner with NSRT to run the analysis. The resulting data analytics helps second-stage companies approach growth and new markets with confidence.
For Callibrity, participation in the program is extremely exciting. Partnering with the HCDC’s Office of Innovation + Creativity as part of the Economic Gardening pilot program allows Callibrity to access data analysis for competitors and potential clients in new markets. Partnering with NSRT, our leaders are able to compare data between multiple potential satellite offices and make informed decisions on next-stage growth. Using the latest in data research techniques to drive strategic decision-making is a dream for company executives. Taking a creative path to discover key strategic data drivers has been a cost-saver for Callibrity, and I am sure it is a path many other growing second-stage companies would find compelling. Now on to the decisions…