Tips on How to do Market Research for your Small Biz… For Free!

by Amishi Takalkar on December 22, 2010


Big companies spend hundreds of thousands of dollars every year to get valuable feedback from their customers and prospects. That does not mean you, as a small business owner,  will have to do the same. Rather than assuming what your customers and prospects are thinking and thus investing considerable amounts of your budgets based on gut feel – you can use some easy, quick and most importantly inexpensive ways to hear from them. Here are 5 easy ways to go about doing it:

  1. Company Website: The easiest and best way to solicit feedback is your company/business website. Include your e-mail address in the footer on the bottom of every page on the site. Another way to get feedback is having a “Send Feedback”,  ”Tell us what you think” button or a text box where visitors can easily type in their thoughts.
  2. Social media tools: A lot of small businesses are using Facebook, Twitter and Blogs to engage with their customers and prospects. Invite your customers to leave comments on your blog or Facebook wall with what they like and don’t like or what they would like you to offer next. You can also set up quick polls on Twitter and Facebook to ask them specific questions.
  3. Surveys: There are a few survey tools available that will let you create a list of questions and email them to your customers and prospects. SurveyMonkey provides an excellent (free and paid-for) service for creating surveys. Also, Google Documents is completely FREE and the new survey/forms feature is a wonderful tool that allows anyone to easily reach out for online feedback without spending a dime.
  4. Secondary Research Resources: Secondary research is another way of conducting market research. However it differs from primary research as the information found has already been put together by someone else. http://pewresearch.org/ and http://www.census.gov/ are a few websites where you can get some of this information at no cost.
  5. Local Chamber of Commerce: Reach out to your Local Chamber of Commerce to understand your market and join their workshops or seminars. You can talk to them and ask questions about your target market very easily at no cost.

Other Resources: Disclaimer Network Solutions has no relationship with these companies and provided as information only.



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