A common engagement at RMS is conducting feasibility studies in which we work with clients to explore new business opportunities or enhance existing operations. The primary purpose of a feasibility study is to understand the market and determine whether enough demand exists to make a given venture successful—which typically translates to the client “will the project get us the return on investment (ROI) that we need and expect?”
A feasibility study with RMS can include various components:
- Market Assessment: RMS conducts secondary research and analyzes the market in question. Information is collected about the market such as population trends, age, consumer expenditures, education, and any other relevant demographic statistics that would impact the feasibility of the project. RMS also uses secondary research to find existing industry trends and ancillary data that is worth consideration. RMS may also conduct a labor supply and demand study if it is applicable to the project.
- Competitive Assessment: The competitive assessment takes a look at competitors in the market area that would impact the new business venture. RMS creates an extensive profile of each competitor that is often informed by mystery shopping calls and/or visits. By analyzing competitors, RMS can help clients understand product or service gaps that can be capitalized on.
- In-Depth Interviews (IDIs) with Key Stakeholders: IDIs are a great option and allows the RMS team to better understand the key drivers and potential goals in an open-discussion format. Stakeholders can range from key personnel inside the client’s organization to anyone with relevant insights into the local economy or about similar business plans.
- Quantitative Survey: This is where the fun begins for the data-lovers among us as primary data collection gets underway. Survey questions focus on things like current usage, predicted usage, and understanding the impact the new business idea will have on the market. Responses from the quantitative survey serve as the foundation for the forthcoming demand model and estimates. This is typically done online or by phone to an identified target market.
- Summary and Recommendations: In addition to a detailed report, a succinct and actionable summary will be developed by RMS highlighting the key assumptions, findings, model output, and objective recommendations based on all the research conducted.
Real World Example—CASE STUDY
A higher education institution partnered with RMS to conduct a feasibility study to determine whether enrollment demands supported the development of a satellite education site in a neighboring county. RMS developed a multi-phase research plan to gather the data necessary for the client to make an informed decision about the satellite site’s viability.
RMS staff conducted interviews with perspective students, local employers, economic leaders, and school district superintendents to determine workforce needs, interest in potential partnerships with the college, and evaluate the potential satellite site locations. Other activities included creating a comparative analysis of demand in the region (and the United States overall), using labor supply and demand databases. RMS staff also performed in-person site visits for several potential satellite locations to help determine the most viable option for the college to pursue. In addition, at the client’s request, RMS drafted a high-level operational budget for establishing the potential satellite site.
Ultimately, findings revealed multiple areas of opportunity for the college to capitalize on, including that the enrollment projection developed by RMS supported the establishment of a satellite location.
RMS is a full-service market research firm located in Central NY. If you are interested in learning more about our research capabilities, please contact Sandy Baker, our Vice President of Corporate Development at SandyB@RMSresults.com or by calling 1-866-567-5422.