October 2004      Vol. 13, No. 9  REAP HOME PAGE  A publication of the Center for Rural Affairs    
REAP Rural Business Roundtable

Topic:  Market Research Survey

Introduction: Successful Ventures include Market Research
The time is right for the entrepreneurial climate to flourish in the Midwest. Indications are that people are moving to the center of the nation from the coasts for a better quality of life. We have the opportunity to meet the diverse and unique needs of current community residents and new residents moving to our area. But to increase the chances of success in a new business venture, we need to do some market research.

Just because we have a "great idea" does not necessarily mean it will be profitable. One can take some steps to determine whether or not a business will succeed. It does take work, but that's something Nebraskan's understand. One step is to determine what the needs are.

A successful business provides solutions to customers' problems. We are usually asking, "What's in it for me?" As a business owner you must ask, "What's in it for them?" What will you do to make your customer's life easier? Why would they buy from you rather than a competitor? You must have a competitive advantage. And you must be able to communicate that competitive advantage.

In our geographical area, one must consider the number of customers needed by the business to be profitable. If you are providing a product or service needed locally, do you have enough customers? If your market is not limited to the local area, how will you get the word out to potential customers?

Determine if you need to adjust or add to your products or services to meet the needs found in your market area. REAP future business rewards -- enjoy success! Note: the Quick Market Survey can be found following the Roundtable Topic Questions immediately below.

Roundtable Topic Questions

  1. Discuss ways you can use this instrument to help with market research for your business(es). Can you think of other pertinent questions to add to this survey?
  2. Test the survey instrument on other roundtable or REAP association members. Make extra copies and interview potential customers.
  3. Print a blank survey form to compile and study the responses.

Quick Market Research Survey
On printed copy, circle the appropriate response and write in notes where appropriate.

1. Who

Would you be interested in buying this product or service? - or - purchasing an item at my store?
     Yes _____          No _____

Note the following about your interviewee:
    Gender:     Male _____          Female _____

    Age:     0-10     11-18     19-25     26-35     36-49     50-65     over 65

    Location:     Town ___________________           County___________________

    Family Status:     Single     Couple, no kids     Couple, kids at home     Couple, grown kids



2. How?

How often would you purchase my product or service? - or - buy something at my store?
    Only once       Weekly       Every 3 months       Every 6 months       Other



3. Where?

Where would you most likely buy a product or service like mine?
    At work       At home       In a store       Internet       By phone/mail/catalog order
    From a business that delivers       Other



4. What?

What would you be willing to pay for this product/service?
(If yours is a store with many products, ask what price range they would expect to pay?)



5. When?

When would you most likely purchase from me?
     A certain day of the week or time of day?     At certain times of the month or year?



6. Why?

Why would you buy this product/service?

If not interested in the product/service, why not?


7. Find me?

Where would you look to find my product or service?
     Radio       Yellow pages       Internet       Newspaper       TV        Other



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