We are marking an amazing ten years in business for Research Matters – a good time for a refresh (new branding, new website, new blog …) and a moment to reflect.
We’ve been thinking about what we’ve learnt after our first decade … Obviously, there is all that’s involved in running a business, especially in a technologically changing and enabling world, but more than that, here are some of our “so what’s” so far …
Time and again, we have seen deep, thorough, objective, scrutinised research combined with client engagement, systematic thinking and intelligent insight help businesses and organisations make better decisions. We want our research to make a difference, sometimes small, sometimes more significant, so we work hard to make sure it hits the spot. Research matters – this is what we love to do and it’s why we do it.
‘Start with why’
Knowing our clients is the first priority, personally where possible – we always try to meet people face to face. But more importantly, understanding what and especially why they are need to know something is the starting point. More about Start with Why to follow…
Working with integrity means saying no
Not as a rule, but when we know we can’t do work as well as we want to, we’ve learnt to say no. We’ve also found solutions much more quickly than expected, resulting in curtailed projects and reduced revenues.
McKinsey ethos is fundamental
We rely on our shared McKinsey ethos and experience. It has proved invaluable and transfers well enough from a global strategy consulting firm to our small business of two! The professionalism, ‘client first’ mantra, rigorous research, clarity of communication and relentless focus on ‘so what?’ are the cornerstones of our approach and enjoyment. It gave us a great network too!
Not usually in a nice, even flow, quite the contrary, but it always comes. That doesn’t stop us getting anxious when times are leaner, but that is the nature of small business.
Good work is the best marketing
When the work speaks for itself, repeat business and recommendations follow. So it can be worth going that extra mile or just being.
Don’t apologise about price
Let the work do the speaking again!
Education and health are our favourite things
For Research Matters at least. So many interesting issues and sectors researched, but all our client work on education and health has been especially satisfying and fascinating. These have become ‘themes’ for Research Matters, as well as areas of expertise and from time to time we will post or retweet about these.
Girls matter too
We’re women in business, working with other women in business. And we’re Mum’s of girls. We’ve done lots of research into the impact of education for girls at one level, to issues around the glass ceiling for working women at the other end of the spectrum. Here’s another important ‘theme’ for us that we support and will raise from time to time.
Home is best
We love visiting clients around the country, especially in London, but it’s great coming back to York and Yorkshire!
So mostly, our learnings are about having confidence, knowing what we’re good at and loving what we do – it’s that increasingly hackneyed idea of working authentically (Why have we become so obsessed with the pursuit of authenticity?) What have other small businesses learnt about working in ways that feel right and work well (or authentically?!)?