Post-COVID Small Business Market Research Tips

Post-COVID Small Business Market Research Tips

Market research has proven to be more important now than ever — especially when it comes to making big decisions for any business, big or small. Making decisions based on evidence and data is the only reliable way to keep any business up and running. Decisions that can make or break your business must be made from evidence and not assumptions. 

Mass layoffs, furloughs, and business closures have repeatedly been reported in the news. These directly made an impact on our economy and sadly, the purchasing power of the consumer market has been put at dimming light. With these occurrences, small businesses exhaust all their efforts to keep their pricing and overhead costs at a bare minimum while maintaining the service or product quality. And even if businesses are slowly reopening their shutters as the COVID-19 vaccines are being rolled out, smart entrepreneurs anticipate another grueling phase is coming their way post-pandemic. These things only made market research more vital for businesses to undertake. 

The pandemic is forcing massive shifts in lived experiences and continues to shape market behavior. This is the kind of data you want which can help determine consumer needs and preferences in a different light. 

Now presents a perfect opportunity to identify how customers are behaving in reaction to a crisis and what is going to help them going forward. Keeping your sales aspirations on the side and focusing on things you can do to help them can be your roadway to beating the stiff market competition. Doing market research can inexplicitly reveal what kind of approach you need to turn leads into deals as well as to discover what is essential to them which you can supply later on. Times are tough and your potential or existing clients are keen on how your brand responds and reacts to the situation. This can impact your survival and also your recovery once things are back to the true normal. 

Here are five tips to consider when making a small market business research post-pandemic:

  1. Allow collaborative and simultaneous work.

Ensure each department is fully represented and meet with the entire team. Remember that two heads are better than one. Brainstorming sessions bring out the design thinker in everyone. Make a compendium of all the ideas that transpired in your meeting. You want to assure that your market research objectives, questions, and methods encompass all the ideas and concerns that surfaced during the meeting. While you are at it, discuss which strategy works best, growth marketing, digital marketing, or both, in surviving a crisis.

  1. Revisit your methodology.

How will you gather the responses? Certainly, you will have to get rid of the traditional pen and paper brand awareness questionnaire. Choose a survey method that will allow you to elicit answers regardless of lockdowns, social distancing rules, or quarantine protocols. Lean on an online survey administration software like Google Forms or Survey Monkey so you can easily process the information, make inferences, and act on recommendations right away. Your consumers are as meticulous as you and would prefer it to be done digitally and contactless. It is expected that people prefer engaging in online communities nowadays anyway — especially when it comes to sharing their experiences, aspirations, needs, and wants. 

  1. Set an acceptable frequency and work consistently.

World events happen in a snap and can instantly mold people’s behavior and priorities. Frequent and consistent collection of data will provide insights as to how your small business can provide them support in times of great need. Identify the factors that delimit or influence purchase behavior and mobility outside their homes. Through this data set, you can define what kind of strategy is appropriate to use during and after the pandemic season.

  1. Be extra sensitive.

This needs to be stressed enough. The questions you ask and to whom you ask them can make or break not only the objectives of your market research but also your brand. Be aware of the sensitivity to questions within the healthcare, travel, and illness realms. Stay grounded and reflect on the reality experienced by all industries including you. You want honest respondents and not mad ones so quiz lightly and kindly. Use an iterative approach to achieve a smooth and sequential flow of questioning.

  1. Compare data.

Perhaps you have done market research before and have a complete data set of a past study lying around. You may compare its results with that of the current one and analyze significant differences. While it is easy to point out the obvious, everything should still be backed up by documentation and no matter how predictable you might think it is, there will always be findings and results. Have the courage to test behavioral and attitudinal models built in the past and see whether they still ring true despite the pandemic.

Market research post-pandemic is the best dependable way for small businesses to assess the impacts of social and economic changes as well as how these can affect your business goals. The sooner you get your research started, the better you will understand the right response, tools, approach, message, and offerings to your community. Truly, keeping a business afloat in these uncertain times equally has to be practical and wise.