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Old 28th July 2008, 11:16 AM   #1
Kurt
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Posts: 2
Default Business Idea - Requesting Feedback

I'm thinking of starting a new company and would like to get some feedback to my idea.

First a little about me and the potential business:
I'm an experienced market research professional who has worked for one of the largest market research firms on the Honomichl Global Top 25 (I won't name names) and a smaller market research firm with fewer than 15 employees. As a market research professional, I am responsible for designing surveys, managing the entire scope of the research project, and preparing a report on findings from the data including recommendations (to put it simply). These market research projects are typically conducted on behalf of large corporations and are not cheap (out of reach for most small businesses).

What I want to do, is provide professional market research services for companies that otherwise couldn't afford this level of market research (e.g., small businesses). I see the target market being small businesses who want to know more about their customers and are looking for ways to improve and/or grow their business. In its simplest form, the service would include creating a professionally designed survey, collecting data from customers (or consumers in general), and creating a report that summarizes the survey results and provides insights and recommendations for how to apply the data to the client's business.

So my questions for you small business owners:
Do you have a need to better understand your customers or potential customers?
Would this type of service be valuable to you?
Would you be willing to invest in this type of service? (I say "invest" because market research really is an investment. There may be an upfront cost, but the research should more than pay for itself if the findings are applied properly.)
How much would a small business be willing to spend on a reasearch project that would provide information needed to improve its business.

I appreciate your help as I try to do some research of my own before jumping in.

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Old 29th July 2008, 12:41 AM   #2
StarCityBook
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Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Virginia
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Default Sure, sounds like a great idea but..

my concern is that small businesses typically have a hard time budgeting for thee kinds of services and arent sophisticatd enough to know what to do with the research. I would have no idea how to measure the return on investment in my case. Do you have a plan on how to sell it, make your money, and provide a measurable ROI for the client? I'd be interested in hearing about it.

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Old 29th July 2008, 10:17 AM   #3
Kurt
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Default

In terms of budgeting, that's a concern of mine as well. That would have to be overcome by convincing a small biz that they will receive a positive ROI (in the same way that effective advertising will yield a positive ROI).

In terms of knowing what to do with the research, that would really be the role of my company and where I see the company providing the most value. It's not just handing over the data, it's analyzing the data, noting key findings, and providing actionable conclusions and recommendations. Of course putting those recommendations into place is the responsibility of the client.

Measuring ROI could be tricky, or it could be pretty simple, it really depends on the nature of the research project. For example, a company currently advertises in the yellow pages, on the radio, and on TV, and they want to determine the effectiveness of each channel. A research study is conducted and it's determined that less than 3% of their customers are aware of their radio ads. The company decides they are not receiving an adequate ROI from their radio advertising and decides to pull their radio ads, saving $5,000 for the rest of the year. In this example, the ROI for the research is immediate.

I agree with you that being able to provide a measurable ROI will be important. I think it would have to be on an individual case basis to determine how that is measured though.

Thanks for the feedback...

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