Creating questionnaires for gathering market research:
What good would sending questionnaires to your customers do for helping small businesses gather market research?
A questionnaire is something that you would write and send out to your customers to help you find out things such as what your customers like, your customers' buying habits are, and what types of things your customers need. You would send this questionnaire to certain people within your own target audience. You would not send it to a general audience because everyone may not be interested in your business; you only want to send it to those who you already know are interested in your field.
For example, if you sent a questionnaire about gardening to Tiger Woods and it contained questions such as, "What types of tools do you like to have when gardening, what types of tools do you need when gardening and what types of tools do you usually buy for gardening" Tiger Woods probably would not be able to give you helpful information. Gardening probably is not a big deal for him.
That is why you would want to send it to customers who you know do a lot of work in you certain field. A gardener would be able to give you a lot more helpful information about the needs of a gardening customer then a professional golfer would. If you send the questionnaire to the correct audience, you could get back very valuable information about what good to produce and what goods people will buy.
What types of things would a small business want to put into a questionnaire?
First of all, you wouldn't want to make it too long because then your customers will not want to do it. If it is brief they will be a lot more willing to do it because it will not take to much time out of their day to do it.
You will also want to make sure to give good instructions about how you want the questions answered. If they are not answered in the right way it will be harder for you to pull out from them exactly the information that you need.
You will also want to be sure that each question is not packed full of too much stuff. Have each question based on one topic and have it be very direct. It will be easier for them to give clear, concise information if they do not have broad questions.
You want to make your questionnaire look appealing. Do not make it look as if they are taking a test. People do not generally have good feelings about tests. Make it easy to understand and easy to answer. Make it so that they will want to fill it out for you rather than having them want to throw it away and forget about it.
Finally, it would not be a bad idea to create some sort of reward for those who fill out the questionnaire and send it back to you. Of course you do not want to make this reward be something that just anyone would want. Then people would fill it out just for the reward and you probably would not have the results hoped for. Make it something that only those who are part of your field would be interested in. Then you can make sure that those who send it back are those who are giving honest answers.
A questionnaire is a great way for you to be able to find out about what your customers will and will not buy. You do not want to be producing things that will sit on the shelf and never be bought. It would be a waste of your money and time to produce these things. You want to produce things that your customers will be buying.