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Market Research

Identify your customers and start developing your marketing strategy.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a fledgling startup, market research will help you identify your market, set realistic expectations about that market, and reduce business risks. Use this worksheet to document your questions, thoughts, ideas, and action items as they relate to market research. You can use the fillable PDF form fields or print the worksheet and write in the space provided. Market research is generally performed when a business intends to introduce and enhance a product or service; expand geographically; or identify a different target market. What is market research, and how does it affect your business? When you’re ready to introduce new products, expand geographically, or identify a new market, market research provides several benefits. In the space below, list your current (or potential) products or services and beside them identify the results of any research you have completed. For each product or service, can you identify current competitors, target market(s) and their respective size, opportunities for growth, etc.? Who are the potential consumers in your target markets and what are their preferences? There are no wrong answers.

Market Research Questions

If you haven’t completed any market research, or have unanswered questions listed above, you’ll need to develop research questions to drive your market research. Examples of market research questions are:

• How much money does my target customer spend on my product each month?

• What drives my target customer to purchase my service? Is it price, convenience, quality, or something else?

• What other companies offer a product like mine and how does it compare to my product? In the space below, jot down your research questions. If you are still confused, you can also

Primary or Secondary Research? Hopefully, you were able to identify your research questions. (If not, skip this question). In the space below, quickly link the research questions above with the type of research you envision using. For secondary research, you should also list the source that will help you answer your questions.

Create your Questionnaire

If you are going to conduct primary research through a questionnaire, keep reading. (If not, skip this question.) Define the Objectives of Research (as it relates to the questionnaire). Your research objectives for the questionnaire should be similar to the research questions you created above. For example, if one of your research questions was “What drives my target customer to purchase my service? Is it price, convenience, quality, or something else?” Then the research objectives for your questionnaire should aim to get information that can answer those questions.

Develop Your Questionnaire

Use the space below to write your questionnaire’s introduction. Don’t forget to include its purpose, duration, contact information, other details as necessary, and how the results will help improve the business. Develop your questionnaire with your target audience in mind – what will work best for them? Always keep your research objectives in mind when writing questions. If the question won’t help you answer your research objectives, consider leaving it out. Organize your questions, keep them short and succinct, use understandable language, and choose question types that will help you get the answers you desire (e.g., true/false, multiple choice, rating scales, etc.).

Who will be receiving your questionnaire?

After developing and testing your survey with those you trust, the real data is received from actual respondents. Remember to consider how they will receive the survey, and whether or not you will provide an alternate form for responding. For example, if you use an electronic survey, will you also be providing a paper-based option, or focus groups, etc.? Finally, depending upon your target audience, don’t forget to give them enough time to complete the survey.

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