Testing Business Ideas by Surveying Your Competitors’ Customers

Jan 19, 2012

Getting feedback from potential customers can be a great way to test out new business ideas. Finding people to survey can be tricky, though.

In a recent article, NFIB suggested that your competitors’ customers can be a great resource.

NFIB offered these three tips for surveying your competitors’ customers:

Get Referrals. Your competitors might give you contacts with whom they no longer do business if they can no longer meet their needs, Charles Gaudet II, owner of Managed Marketing LLC and founder of PredictableProfits.com, small business consulting companies in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, told the NFIB. Gaudet also suggested encouraging your competitor to maintain a good reputation with former customers by referring them to you.

Use Forums and Social Media. Small business owners interviewed by NFIB suggest reaching out to competitors’ customers through online forums or competitors’ Facebook pages.

Ask the Right Questions. Ask specific questions so that the customer senses your professionalism and purpose, Jay Abraham, founder and CEO of Abraham Group Inc., a business strategy consulting firm in Los Angeles, suggested in the article. For example, don’t ask, “What did you like and dislike about the service?” Ask, “What attracted to you to the service in the first place? What made you decide to stop using it?”

To read the complete NFIB article, click here.