One mistake most future business owners make is not doing enough market research regarding their industry. They just take the leap into running a business and hit several wall after wall with their business. Doing market research regarding your industry and customer base is not as expensive as you may think. Today, I am sharing effective way you can do free to low-cost ways to conduct market research for your small business.
This is one of most effective ways to meet people where they are to do something that takes less than 15 minutes depending on the style survey you create. First step would be writing a list of all your friends, family and associates who would be your ideal client or customer for your business. After, you have complied list create 3 to 5 different survives to send out to everyone. Doing a simple yes or no questionnaire works but you want as much details as possible. Give them the option to write maybe one to two sentences as an option too.
When doing focuses groups you have a couple options. Splitting the groups into family, friends and strangers to make sure that you are hitting a broad group of individuals. It is easier to do family and friends by gathering them in your home and hosting an open session asking them questions. If you are wanting to do a focus group with individuals you have no connections with I would suggest creating an event on Meetup or Eventbrite. First, weeding them out by making them feel out a mini survey. You always want to get the right people. You can provide snacks or even early access to your company. Hosting this at your local library so you can keep cost low.
Are you launching a t-shirt line, jewelry, handbag company or even an app? The best place to test new ideas out is college campuses. This is ones of the biggest untapped market to do market research in for your new or existing business. Companies such as Rent The Runaway and Bumble have stated how they went to sorority houses asking to host a presentation and more. Reaching out to campus groups who have your ideal customers will help you do research, in addition to market your business for free.
The most important thing to do when doing market research is collecting the data to measure what is going on in your business. If you are doing in person focus groups be it with your friends, strangers or even on college campuses I would highly suggest doing recording and collecting actual written data. Utilizing Google Drive to save all your data, this way you can always have it with you.
If you have yet to do market research for your future or existing small business today is the day to make the plan to do so. Take the time to really know who your ideal customer or clients are by determining your target demographic.