Hello! Is there advice for market research anywhere around here?

9 replies
Hello! (again)

I want to start a business. The business idea is to setup open source, self hosted software for small businesses - basically devops and nothing else. So for example, a client would say they need accounting software for their business, and based on what they need I would setup either akaunting or apache ofbiz (or whatever software they need). Client would pay for domain and hosting rather than subscribe to quicken or freshbooks.

I want to do some market research for this idea. I made a little survey for it, but I am not sure where to post it - for critique first and then for responses.

Is there any forum on this site (or off) where I can post the survey for critique and make it better for market research? Is there a forum to learn about market research in general?
#advice #market #research
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  • Profile picture of the author DWolfe
    Originally Posted by undoingtech View Post

    Hello! (again)

    Is there any forum on this site (or off) where I can post the survey for critique and make it better for market research? Is there a forum to learn about market research in general?
    You can search youtube for market research. Their are videos for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
    you can also use a panel company like people.fish to cheaply send traffic to your survey
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    • Profile picture of the author Matthew Stanley
      Goes without saying it will be v important to craft a survey that concisely and clearly asks the right demographic and behavioral questions, presents your idea/concept and asks about competing products, and perhaps gauges willingness to pay. There's some good blog posts about how to do this well (Startup Grind on Medium for one) that are probably worth perusing if you've not yet read...
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  • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
    I've never been a fan of marketing surveys - at least not any that asks hypothetical questions. It's always more reliable to watch what people do rather than what they say they'd do.

    On top of that, asking small-business owners whether they'd be willing to ditch tried and tested software like Quicken or Freshbooks in favor of some unknown developer and experimental system is likely to get only one response. It's tough to get enthusiastic about accounting software, so any survey is going to be faced with an engagement issue.

    If I were launching this, I'd pick a few businesses I knew about and offer them a free trial of the system. Let it run for a while and use that real world feedback to promote the service to others.
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    • Profile picture of the author undoingtech
      I have been thinking about what kind of customers will want what kind of software. I don't think individuals would be interested or have need for this service. And as you pointed out, businesses want reliable software. I wonder if it would help to make a list of open source software I could setup that is backed by both community and a business or organization.

      I like the idea of doing free trials. Would you forego the survey entirely?
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      • Profile picture of the author Frank Donovan
        Originally Posted by undoingtech View Post

        I like the idea of doing free trials. Would you forego the survey entirely?
        Yes, I would. It's a new service - as it stands, your potential customers don't know about it and don't know why they want it. Your job is to show them how your system is going to benefit them. And seeing a system in action is much better than trying to picture a hypothetical scenario they probably hadn't even considered up to now.

        Have confidence in your service and go for it.
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  • Profile picture of the author rimsha ahmed
    Banned
    you can also use a panel company like people. fish to cheaply send traffic to your survey
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  • Profile picture of the author Jason Kanigan
    Originally Posted by undoingtech View Post

    Hello! (again)

    I want to start a business. The business idea is to setup open source, self hosted software for small businesses - basically devops and nothing else. So for example, a client would say they need accounting software for their business, and based on what they need I would setup either akaunting or apache ofbiz (or whatever software they need). Client would pay for domain and hosting rather than subscribe to quicken or freshbooks.

    I want to do some market research for this idea. I made a little survey for it, but I am not sure where to post it - for critique first and then for responses.

    Is there any forum on this site (or off) where I can post the survey for critique and make it better for market research? Is there a forum to learn about market research in general?
    You don't need a survey unless it is a step in your qualification funnel.

    Are people already buying these service? Why yes, they are! They have been for decades!

    You do not need to confirm or deny your idea.

    The real question is WHO will you serve. "Anyone" is not good enough. What size of business? What kind of business owner/CFO? What stage of business are they in, and what is prompting their need for a transition of or to accounting software?

    ...these and other positioning questions, ie. getting to know your real customer, is where you need to focus next.

    A survey there could be fine, but you still need to target, find and approach these people. No one is going to magically find your survey out there on the internet.

    Personally, I would:

    a) niche down so I know exactly who I'm serving
    b) find out where they are and how I can approach them
    c) get in front of them with a leadgen tool, which could be as simple as a 7-point checklist on What To Be Thinking Of When You're Adopting A New Accounting System
    d) have a follow-up sequence to further qualify and warm up those who get the leadgen tool
    e) have a Call To Action to book a call with me after they've consumed that content and are now educated about what they need and why they need me to provide it for them.

    Yeah, it's like work, isn't it.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoLogin1
    Hello
    YouTube, various articles, forums.
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