How To Start & Grow Your Business

How Market Research Can be Affordable

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    1Offer incentives for participants. 2Ask questions to discover their struggles and desires. 3Include a survey link at the bottom of your emails.
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Market Research

Chalkboard with research concept Photo Credit: Roland IJdema Shutterstock

Many businesses launch new ideas without doing proper market research, fearing it is “incredibly expensive and time consuming,” says Meghan Keaney Anderson in her article How to Conduct Market Research on a Tight Budget, published on Hubspot Blog.

Unfortunately, she says, skipping this step often results in embarrassing gaffes, such as the failed logo redesign that Gap attempted in 2010. The popular retail brand was forced to revert to its old logo after 4 days of intensely negative consumer reactions.

For small businesses and startups on a budget, Keaney Anderson offers three ways you can conduct market research without an expensive marketing consultant. All of her suggestions cost between $0 and $50 to implement. One of the suggestions is to interview both existing and potential customers.

How to Conduct Market Research Interviews.

It can be as simple as inviting a few prospects or customers into your office and asking them for feedback. The idea is to start a conversation with the consumer.

Here’s where to find people to interview:

  • If you have a beta test group, interview them.
  • Social media users — offer them a small free gift in exchange for their time.
  • Ask coworkers that regularly interact with customers for recommendations of good candidates.
  • Send out a survey link with every piece of correspondence, and tie its completion to a small reward, like a gift card.

To gain insights into the market and your position in it, Keaney Anderson recommends that you ask penetrating questions such as the following:

What challenges stand in the way of getting your job done? What are your top three headaches right now? How would you describe this product to a boss or client? How would you describe it to your mother? What other types of [product category] have you tried? What were their strengths? In what situation would you recommend us over another company and visa versa?

The article continues describing two other budget-friendly approaches to market research: Run a Content Strategy Survey, and Run User Testing on Your Website, both of which will be explored in a future bizHUMM post.

To read the original article in its entirety, please visit Hubspot.

About the Author

From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: