When you’re running a business, whether you’re selling physical products, downloadable software, services, or your own expertise as a consultant, the most important resource you have are the people buying from you. Whether you call them customers or clients, they are the people bringing the revenue that let’s you pay your employees, expand, and demonstrate your success to attract new talent and additional rounds of funding.
To maximise your revenue, you need to learn about your customers: how they behave, what they value, and ultimately, what they want from you. Without this information, you can’t model outcomes of different actions and come to informed decisions. You’re blundering about with no better tools than instinct and trial and error. If you’re going to run a successful business you need a better decision making process than flipping a coin, and that’s where market research companies come in.
They can offer lots of sophisticated services, but starting out, one of the most useful is one of the most simple. Look for Omnibus Survey companies and you’ll find the key to a lot of useful information.
An omnibus survey includes questions contributed by a lot of different businesses, packed together like the omnibus of an episodic tv show. It comes front loaded with demographic questions to gather data about the respondents, you get access to this demographic data when you get the results to the questions you submit. If you choose your questions carefully – and a good market research company or consultant can help you to get the maximum data from the minimum number of questions – the data you get back is a picture of entire market. You can see who is most engaged by your questions, who knows about your niche and has some insight into it, who is ready to spend money on what you have to offer. What’s more you can break all of this down by age, gender, background, location and more, helping you build a profile of exactly who your customers are.
With this data interpreted, turned into genuine, actionable insights, you can make sure your business is optimising the customer experience for the people most likely to spend money with you. You’ll know whether to position yourself as a luxury service, the perfect option for people on a budget or somewhere in between, and how to do that in a way that will appeal to the maximum number of people, and boost your profits the maximum amount.