Where to Get Research Assistance for Your Business Plan
If your business planning research requires questionnaires, focus groups, or phone or in-person interviews, consider bringing in specialists to help you maintain objectivity and convey professionalism throughout the process. Contact research firms, marketing firms, and public-relations companies for help.
Another good resource is your Small Business Development Center. To find a nearby center, visit the Local Resources listing of the Small Business Association website.
|Questionnaires and surveys||Obtain general information||Anonymous, inexpensive, easy to analyze, and easy to format and conduct in person or online||Impersonal, feedback may not be accurate, and wording can skew results|
|Interviews||Obtain information and probe answers||Develop customer relationships, are adaptable to each situation, and access fuller range of information||Time consuming, reliant on good interviewers, and difficult to analyze|
|Observation||Document actual buyer behavior||Anonymous, immediate findings, and relatively easy to implement||Can be difficult to interpret findings and to target which behaviors to monitor|
|Documentation review||Study factual history of clients and transactions||Readily available, not disruptive to operations, not subject to interpretation||Time-consuming, research may be incomplete, and research is limited to previously collected data|
|Focus groups||Find out about and compare customer experiences and reactions||Convey information to customers, collect customer impressions||Requires expert facilitation and advance scheduling; difficult to analyze findings|