Considering DIY Market Research? Consider these three questions first.

diy

Many small businesses and soloists are doing their own market research these days in order to cut costs, and with so many online software tools available, it is the not surprising that many feel it is easy to do it themselves.

I believe that doing your own market research is a good way for small businesses to get the information they require without having to spend too much money.  However there are times when DIY research is not necessarily the best option.

If you are considering carrying out your own market research ask yourself these three questions.

How much will the market research really cost?

Sure your immediate out-of-pocket expenses may be greatly reduced, but what is the real cost of running the research yourself.   By this I mean time and resources that you could be doing other things such as running your business, and servicing your clients.   Your productivity in your core business activities could be vastly reduced.

Do you have the skill set or the tools required?

I have seen a number of DIYers use the free online survey tools to write a few questions to ask respondents, in reality though they are very limited in their offering.  For example the free versions often do not have any skip logic options, therefore respondents are forced to answer questions that are not relevant, which can lead them to write anything regardless of whether it is accurate in order to complete the survey.   This will lead to confusing data and incorrect information.

Do you or anyone in your business have the skills to compose questions in a way that draws the correct information out of the respondent – without leading the respondent to the answer you want?  The templates offered by survey software sites are not necessarily the best option and still require tailoring to your business.

Can you be really objective?

This is very important.  I used to run an ongoing study in which sales people received their bonus based on the ratings their customers gave them for their service.  As you can imagine report time always proved interesting.    The sales staff were always arguing about why certain negative responses should be dropped.  Many were down hearted if their satisfaction rating dropped by one per cent, when in reality the result was not statistically significant.

My point is it is hard to be objective when you are measuring yourself or your own ideas.

However, if you do want to run you own research then I have a number of tools to help your for free on our Free Resources page.    Alternatively if you want some help with some parts of your research such as designing or reviewing your questionnaire then fill out the form on my Hire Me page and I will get back to you.

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