Why is it important to survey your audience? Have you ever conducted any market research with your existing or ideal customers?

This week on the podcast, I talk about surveys and why they are fantastic for your business. As you may know, I’m in the process of setting up a new initiative, The Business Greenhouse. It’s a brand new space for female entrepreneurs to connect, learn, and support each other, and I’ve just run my own online survey, which I shared on LinkedIn.

More than 50 people have already filled it in, which is amazing. And one of the things I learnt from running this survey is that my ideal customers are interested in offline services as well as online products. My initiative is about support and business growth, but also about health and wellbeing. And the survey confirmed that this is definitely important for my audience too!

I already shared an episode on the loneliness that solopreneurs can experience when working on our own, day in and day out. If you’re interested, you can listen to episode #31 Working For Yourself Can Be Lonely Sometimes. And my survey proved that people do want to get away from their computers and have real, human connections and interactions.

It’s not just about the online courses and masterclasses. It’s also about building relationships, strategic partnerships, and getting out there and connecting with people. So now that I know that’s how my audience feel, I will build part of my offering around getting people in a room, working together on growing our businesses, and solving challenges together. There’s power in connection, and the data from my survey proves that.

Plus, thanks to my survey, a lot of fantastic female entrepreneurs have already given me their email address and expressed an interest in me keeping in touch with them about this project. So when I’m ready to put my products and services to market, I have a pool of people I can directly contact.

So at the back of this episode, I have a call to action for you. Do you think you could find out more about your customers? Could you do a mini-survey to understand what opportunities are out there in the market? Or to find out more about the needs your customers might have and how you could help them? If you do run a survey, please let me know how you got on!

Tune in, and you will learn…

Business Greenhouse small leaf Why is market research important for your business?

  • Market research is important for your business because you need to know what your customers want from you. It allows you to find out how you can better serve your customers. Sometimes, as business owners, we think we know what our customers want. But when we stop and ask them, we might find that their problems or needs are different.
  • So speak to your existing and ideal customers. Get as much information as you can about their wants, their needs, their behaviours, their demographics, what they think it’s missing from the market, their views and attitudes towards existing products or services, etc. And with all that information, create your ideal customer persona.

Business Greenhouse small leaf What is the difference between primary research and secondary research?

  • Primary research involves getting in touch with your existing or target customers. You can do this through interviews, surveys, focus groups, and even by doing some competitor analysis. You could do this by buying one of your competitors’ products or services to see what the process or the customer journey is like and how it compares to yours.
  • Secondary research allows you to get information about your ideal customers via places where that information already exists. For example, you could use Google, social media (like existing Facebook groups), or books on Amazon. The aim is to understand what people are talking about and what their problems are.
  • You can get a lot of useful information (often from free) from secondary research. But primary research can give you insight you’d otherwise be missing out on.
  • There can be a cost associated with market research, especially with primary research, where you could also pay for respondents if you have the budget. Or, much like I did, you could encourage your audience to respond to your surveys by offering a free sample of your product or a free consultation or session.

Business Greenhouse small leaf What is the purpose of a survey?

  • The purpose of a survey is to find out more about what your customers want and need. You want to better understand your customers and find out whether the product or service you’re about to launch may be lacking some features that your customers are actually interested in.
  • A survey also allows to explore price points and gauge how much your customers are willing to pay for a particular product or service.
  • And last but not least, running a survey allows you to become familiar with your customers’ language. By using their own words and phrases, you’ll be able to connect with them on a deeper level.

Business Greenhouse small leaf How do you do a survey?

  • You can survey people online or offline. If you go down the online route, you can use services like Typeform or Survey Monkey. Or you can run a survey offline by calling up people, doing mini-interviews, or going to networking events.
  • Whichever way you decide to do it, keep your survey short and sweet. Ask the 10-12 main questions you want to ask. Remember that unless you’re paying your respondents, they’re choosing to give away their time for free. So always be respectful and mindful of that.
  • Include both quantitative and qualitative questions in your survey. Quantitative questions tend to start with ‘how long’, ‘how much’, ‘how likely’, etc. Provide a specific set of answers for your audience to choose from. Qualitative questions are more open and may give you different answers. For example, ask your respondents to elaborate on the reasons for a previous answer. Or ask them to tell you what they think is missing from the market.
  • If you’re a bigger company or are doing market research as part of your business plan, you may need to get a representative sample and understand exactly how many respondents you’ll need for your survey.

Other useful resources 

If you’re interested in finding out more about why you need to speak with your Ideal Customers, take a look at Mini MBA with Mark Ritson.

About me

If you haven’t yet completed my quick online survey, I’d be grateful if you could do so! You can find it here, and I’m giving away a FREE consultation to a respondent selected at random, so don’t miss out!

And if you’d like to work with me to help you grow your business, check out my Work With Me page. You can book a FREE 30-minute discovery call. Let’s discuss the challenges you’re facing and talk about how I can help you grow your business! And if you have any questions for me get in touch via my website or connect with me on LinkedIn, and I’ll aim to cover questions on the podcast.