My start-up needs a basic market survey. Where do I start?

Dear Aunty B,


We need/want to do a basic market survey. We have two main challenges:

  1. How to do this without paying a small fortune, our budget is no more than $5000?
  2. Where to find sufficient candidates to survey, we think 500 would be a good number?


We have looked at purchasing opt-in email list and then using SurveyMonkey and/or MailChimp. The problem is, SurveyMonkey does not recommend using purchased email lists and MailChimp does not allow them at all, regardless of how reputable the source is, and apparently not even if “god himself” sold the list.


Any info/help would be greatly appreciated.


Andrew B,



Dear Andrew,

In the absence of even the most basic information – like what business you are in, what you are proposing to offer to the market and who is your competition – I can only guess that you have an innovative product that is the answer to some real customer need.


So find a list of 20 of these customers and ring them yourself. Then get three groups of people who are most like this group of customers in three states and check out your market offer with them.


This will give you a pretty good idea of the viability of your start up enterprise, and there are a number of small research houses that can run a focus group for you and prepare a report.


If you can’t find them yourself, contact us for the names of some possible suppliers who can manage this whole process within your budget. Quality of response rather than quantity of potential customers is the key to preparing a good marketing plan.


Good luck,


Your Aunty B.

Aunty B - Your problems answered by SmartCompany's business bitch

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