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Market research

Top 5 Qualitative Market Research Techniques

Qualitative market research is a powerful tool to plumb the depths of new territory and discover... read more

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Jef LippiattCo-founder at Startup Chucktown
I agree that focus groups have limitations, especially since it is questioning out of context. You may be asked if you'd buy something that costs hundreds of dollars (which without having to hand over at that time skews the context). Many of these areas overlap with User Experience Design, however, the focus or outcomes are used differently. One method I use is Contextual Inquiries which is very similar to in-depth interviews. The point is to see the user in their natural environment interacting with the product as they would if you weren't there with them. Another great method that is similar is the Master-Apprentice relationship. Let the user or customer know that they are the master and you are there to observe and learn from them. This sets up the stage to grow a bond of mutual trust.
Phil KhorFounder at SavvySME
Great article Alex! I guess it pays to use a combination of techniques but I often find 'observation research' you referred to as most useful. I suspect our human brain knows more subsconciously about what we like or don't, than words can ever describe. So I reckon it's more accurate to observe what people do, rather than what they say.
Market research

Top 20 Online Customer Survey Forms

Online customer surveys are a great way to gather information, from voting for your next team... read more

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Wendy Huang Full Time Blogger and YouTuber at A Custom Blog in 4 Minutes
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Kathie BolithoDIrector at Tough Cookie Marketing
Great information, thanks!
Sharee JameiWeb Developer at SavvySME
Thank you!
Questions

How many small to medium size Australian businesses are sold every year in Australia?

A stat that I had trouble finding information on - How many small to medium size Australian... read more

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Neil SteggallPartner at Wardour Capital Partners
Hi Johnathan, I did a little checking and came up with a June 2014 report prepared for the Australian Institute of Business Brokers (AABB) which could provide the info you are looking for. I cannot attach the file here but if you email me - neils@ (wardourcapital.com - added as the site blocks email addresses!) I will forward a copy of the report to you. A good site for statistics on various industries is bizstats (.com.au)they have a good selection of free data and a wide range of specific industry data available at low cost. I hope this helps, let me know how you go, Cheers, Neil.
Hi Jonathon,  I am not sure have you rang the ABS?  In my experience they are very helpful and many stats that don't appear on their website are available if you are prepared to pay a small fee for them.  With small business contributing significantly to the Australian GDP it would be surprising if they didn't have it somewhere. I also want to add an initial thought that popped up when I read your question. It is this - "how many business are sold in Australia each year for what the business owner felt was a fair price" Too often I see business owners slugging away focused on revenue when really their focus should be asset value.  It is sad that over the last 15 years or so I have seen many (that's right MANY) business owners walk away from their business because there was no buyer.   They had either set up the business to rely on them and so when it came time to retire they had no business to sell. Or, the business had no assets such as a customer database, documented marketing campaigns, successful sales funnels, robust financial systems etc.    It should be noted too - these businesses are not included in the ABS business stats on business 'failure'. Succession planning and asset building is essential.    
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Questions

What makes the best corporate Christmas gifts?

Naturally being from Oak Room Wines we are hoping that you will say something to do with wine ;)... read more

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We had great success with books this year with a hand written note inside. Of course the suggestion was that you enjoy it by the pool over the summer break with a glass of wine!
Leo EliadesOwner at INSPIRENOW PTY LTD
Love wine! and don't mind beer however I prefer something that will hang around perhaps just a little longer.  
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Questions

Which business are you REALLY in?

This was in Darren Hardy's blog,... read more

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Richard SchembriEntrepreneur - Team Coach and Mentor in Network Marketing at Team Berrygood
Hi Fleur, Awesome question! I guess in my business I can offer a range of products to create a healthy lifestyle. I can also offer an alternate income source for entrepreneurial mined people. My "job" is to listen to the client and see where I can help them, finding a solution to their needs. So I am in the consulting business! Thank you for the reflection.   Richard Schembri
Jennifer MartinFounder and Small Business Owner Mentor at Zest Business Consulting
Hi Fluer What a great question! I love considering what business I'm in from the position of What does my product or service promise to bring my clients? I am in the business of giving small business owners freedom.  
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Questions

How do you approach a competitor for market research?

I am wanting to do some research in a niche market for an entrepreneurial friend, and without doubt... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
Ling Lee, that is a really hard question to answer with no context!  But I'll give it a go. The very first thing you have to do is decide whether you are going to be upfront about the fact that you are a (potential) competitor or whether you are simply going to pose as someone interested in the area and see what they will share. There are cases where similar businesses are not competitors - often because they are in different locations and customers want someone local, or possibly two restaurants on the same street offering different cuisines - but more likely you will find it is not in their interest to share with a potential competitor.  So an honest approach may limit the amount of information you get. If you want to be honest (and depending what stage your entrepreneurial friend is at), one approach is to explain that you are trying to decide between a number of niches and you'd really appreciate any information about whether this is a good niche to invest time and money into. If you're happy not to disclose who you are, you can often get a lot of information by ringing up posing as a potential customer and just asking questions chattily to see what comes out of it. Whatever you decide, the general rules for gathering information are a) be polite and friendly b) respect their time and if they prefer fix a time to call back which is more convenient for them c) say thank you and d) ask them what other sources (publications, associations, websites, individuals) they think might be helpful for you in your research.
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Market research

Do Customers Know What They Really Want?

  It's constantly drilled into us to listen to our customers. The standard process is: identify... read more

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Market research

Decoding your Facebook page – Facebook Insights

Do you have a Facebook page for your business? I’m sure you do. But I wonder how many of you bother... read more

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Ling Lee Director at Japanese Sword Auctions Australia
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