So you own a small business and the responsibility on doing the marketing rests on your shoulders. What can you do? What steps should you take to set up a good market research study? Many small business owners think they know what their customer needs, but a small, impromptu study can be just the edge your business needs to bring in more customers. Below are five steps to building a successful study.
Figure out what are the goals you want to reach by having this research study completed. Know the objectives and the people that will qualify in your final analysis. Are they men or women? Do they have children? Only you can decide on what people to talk to and the questions to ask. Your poll should be short enough to not deter people, yet ask the questions you need answered. Do not forget to have a way to contact people who take the poll. Have an email address and/or phone number spot so you can keep up communication.
After your marketing questionnaire is complete, it is important to follow up with the people who were involved. You can ask these people more questions in a personal interview and then have them come in for a focus group to further ask specific questions that couldn’t be determine by the first two lines of questioning. Remember to reward people for their time and effort to helping you complete your study.
Compile the results of the questionnaires, personal interviews, and focus groups. Determine what type of information you received. Did you extrapolate trends that you didn’t recognize? Do people expect something different from your company that you are not providing? Figure out what you need to do to make this research successful and come up with conclusions to make positive changes for your company.
When you’ve determined what needs to be done, make sure you communicate this to people within your company and to your customers. Explain to your employees why these changes are going to be made. Ask the people who work for you if they understand the changes and to let you know if there are steps that you overlooked in your conclusions that will make the process easier.
Let your customers know that you have done the research and, thanks to them, you are taking their advice and moving in a positive direction. Listening to the people, both in your company and without, will help your business thrive and will let your reputation as a business owner grow.