Is there a poignant pain point that needs to be addressed in your company or industry? Do you have a possible solution but want to test your theory? Why not turn this drive into a transformative learning experience and an opportunity to produce a high-quality business case study? However, before that occurs, you may wonder how to write a case study.
You may also be thinking about why you should produce one at all. Did you know that case studies are impactful and the fifth most used type of content in marketing, despite being more resource-intensive to produce?
Below, we’ll delve into what a case study is, its benefits, and how to approach business case study writing:
Definition of a Written case study and its Purpose
A case study is a research method that involves a detailed and comprehensive examination of a specific real-life situation. It’s often used in various fields, including business, education, economics, and sociology, to understand a complex issue better.
It typically includes an in-depth analysis of the subject and an examination of its context and background information, incorporating data from multiple sources, such as interviews, observations, and existing literature.
The ultimate aim is to provide a rich and detailed account of a situation to identify patterns and relationships, generate new insights and understanding, illustrate theories, or test hypotheses.
Importance of Business Case Study Writing
As such an in-depth exploration into a subject with potentially far-reaching consequences, a case study has benefits to offer various stakeholders in the organisation leading it.
- Business Founders: Use business case study writing to highlight real-life examples of companies or individuals who have benefited from their products or services, providing potential customers with a tangible demonstration of the value their business can bring. It can be effective for attracting new clients or investors by showcasing thought leadership and building trust and credibility.
- Marketers through case studies and encourage them to take action: Marketers use a case studies writer to showcase the success of a particular product, service, or marketing campaign. They can use persuasive storytelling to engage the reader, whether it’s consumers, clients, or potential partners.
- Researchers: They allow researchers to gain insight into real-world scenarios, explore a variety of perspectives, and develop a nuanced understanding of the factors that contribute to success or failure. Additionally, case studies provide practical business recommendations and help build a body of knowledge in a particular field.
How to Write a Case Study – The Key Elements
Considering how to write a case study can seem overwhelming at first. However, looking at it in terms of its constituent parts will help you to get started, focus on the key issue(s), and execute it efficiently and effectively.
Problem or Challenge Statement
A problem statement concisely describes a specific issue or problem that a written case study aims to address. It sets the stage for the rest of the case study and provides context for the reader.
Here are some steps to help you write a case study problem statement:
- Identify the problem or issue that the case study will focus on.
- Research the problem to better understand its context, causes, and effects.
- Define the problem clearly and concisely. Be specific and avoid generalisations.
- State the significance of the problem: Explain why the issue is worth solving. Consider the impact it has on the individual, organisation, or industry.
- Provide background information that will help the reader understand the context of the problem.
- Keep it concise: A problem statement should be brief and to the point. Avoid going into too much detail – leave this for the body of the case study!
Here is an example of a problem statement for a case study:
“The XYZ Company is facing a problem with declining sales and increasing customer complaints. Despite improving the customer experience, the company has yet to reverse the trend. This case study will examine the causes of the problem and propose solutions to improve sales and customer satisfaction.“
Solutions and interventions
Business case study writing provides a solution or intervention that identifies the best course of action to address the problem or issue described in the problem statement.
Here are some steps to help you write a case study solution or intervention:
- Identify the objective, which should be directly related to the problem statement.
- Analyse the data, which could include data from interviews, observations, and existing literature.
- Evaluate alternatives that have been proposed or implemented in similar situations, considering their strengths, weaknesses, and impact.
- Choose the best solution based on the objective and data analysis. Remember to consider factors such as feasibility, cost, and potential impact.
- Justify the solution by explaining how it addresses the problem and why it’s the best solution with supportive evidence.
- Provide a detailed, step-by-step plan of action that considers the resources required, timeline, and expected outcomes.
Example of a solution or intervention for a case study:
“To address the problem of declining sales and increasing customer complaints at the XYZ Company, we propose a comprehensive customer experience improvement program.“
“This program will involve the following steps:
- Conducting customer surveys to gather feedback and identify areas for improvement
- Implementing training programs for employees to improve customer service skills
- Revising the company’s product offerings to meet customer needs better
- Implementing a customer loyalty program to encourage repeat business“
“These steps will improve customer satisfaction and increase sales. We expect a 10% increase in sales within the first year of implementation, based on similar programs implemented by other companies in the industry.“
Possible Results and outcomes
Writing case study results and outcomes involves presenting the impact of the proposed solution or intervention.
Here are some steps to help you write case study results and outcomes:
- Evaluate the solution by measuring its effectiveness in addressing the problem statement. That could involve collecting data, conducting surveys, or monitoring key performance indicators.
- Present the results clearly and concisely, using graphs, charts, and tables to represent the data where applicable visually. Be sure to include both quantitative and qualitative results.
- Compare the results to the expectations set in the solution or intervention section. Explain any discrepancies and why they occurred.
- Discuss the outcomes and impact of the solution, considering the benefits and drawbacks and what lessons can be learned.
- Provide recommendations for future action based on the results. For example, what changes should be made to improve the solution, or what additional steps should be taken?
Example of results and outcomes for a case study:
“The customer experience improvement program implemented at the XYZ Company was successful. We found significant improvement in employee health and productivity. The program, which included on-site exercise classes and healthy food options, led to a 25% decrease in employee absenteeism and a 15% increase in productivity. “
“Employee satisfaction with the program was high, with 90% reporting an improved work-life balance. Despite initial costs, the program proved to be cost-effective in the long run, with decreased healthcare costs and increased employee retention. The company plans to continue the program and explore expanding it to other offices.”
Case Study Key takeaways
Key takeaways are the most important and relevant insights and lessons that can be drawn from a case study. Key takeaways can help readers understand the most significant outcomes and impacts of the solution or intervention.
Here are some steps to help you write case study key takeaways:
- Summarise the problem that was addressed and the solution that was proposed.
- Highlight the most significant results from the case study.
- Identify the key insights and lessons, including what makes the case study unique and relevant to others.
- Consider the broader implications of the outcomes for the industry or field.
- Present the key takeaways clearly and concisely, using bullet points or a list format to make the information easy to understand.
Example of key takeaways for a case study:
- The customer experience improvement program at XYZ Company successfully increased customer satisfaction and sales.
- Employee training and product development were critical components of the program’s success.
- The program resulted in a 20% increase in repeat business, demonstrating the value of a customer loyalty program.
- Despite some initial challenges, the program proved cost-effective in the long run.
- The case study results demonstrate the importance of investing in customer experience to improve business outcomes.
Steps for a Case Study Writer to Follow
If you still feel lost, the good news is as a case studies writer; there is a blueprint you can follow to complete your work. It may be helpful at first to proceed step-by-step and let your research and analysis guide the process:
- Select a suitable case study subject: Ask yourself what the purpose of the business case study is. Is it to illustrate a specific problem and solution, showcase a success story, or demonstrate best practices in a particular field? Based on this, you can select a suitable subject by researching and evaluating various options.
- Research and gather information: We have already covered this in detail above. However, always ensure all data is relevant, valid, and comes from credible sources. Research is the crux of your written case study, and you can’t compromise on its quality.
- Develop a clear and concise problem statement: Follow the guide above, and don’t rush to finalise it. It will set the tone and lay the foundation for the entire study.
- Detail the solution or intervention: Follow the steps above to detail your proposed solution or intervention.
- Present the results and outcomes: Remember that a case study is an unbiased test of how effectively a particular solution addresses an issue. Not all case studies are meant to end in a resounding success. You can often learn more from a loss than a win.
- Include key takeaways and conclusions: Follow the steps above to detail your proposed business case study solution or intervention.
Tips for How to Write a Case Study
Here are some bonus tips for how to write a case study. These tips will help improve the quality of your work and the impact it will have on readers:
- Use a storytelling format: Just because a case study is research-based doesn’t mean it has to be boring and detached. Telling a story will engage readers and help them better identify with the problem statement and see the value in the outcomes. Framing it as a narrative in a real-world context will make it more relatable and memorable.
- Include quotes and testimonials from stakeholders: This will add credibility and depth to your written case study. It also helps improve engagement and will give your written work an emotional impact.
- Use visuals and graphics to support your narrative: Humans are better at processing visually presented data than endless walls of black-on-white text. Visual aids will make it easier to grasp key concepts and make your case study more engaging and enjoyable. It breaks up the text and allows readers to identify key findings and highlights quickly.
- Edit and revise your case study for clarity and impact: As a long and involved project, it can be easy to lose your narrative while in the midst of it. Multiple rounds of editing are vital to ensure your narrative holds, that your message gets across, and that your spelling and grammar are correct, of course!
Our Final Thoughts
A written case study can be a powerful tool in your writing arsenal. It’s a great way to showcase your knowledge in a particular business vertical, industry, or situation. Not only is it an effective way to build authority and engage an audience, but also to explore an important problem and the possible solutions to it. It’s a win-win, even if the proposed solution doesn’t have the outcome you expect. So now that you know more about how to write a case study, try it or talk to us for further guidance.
Are you ready to write your own case study?
Begin by bookmarking this article, so you can come back to it. And for more writing advice and support, read our resource guides and blog content. If you are unsure, please reach out with questions, and we will provide the answers or assistance you need.