Every year hundreds of thousands of small business owners throw in the towel on their business – and their dream dies.

Sure — there are all these studies about WHY these businesses failed, but it all comes down to the simplest answer — selling the wrong thing to the wrong people.  That’s it.

 

There’s a simple way to overcome this lack of information — ASK PEOPLE.

Oh — I know what you’re thinking —

 

No — it’s NOT expensive.  It USED to be expensive like thirty years ago, but it’s never been easier and cheaper to find out who your ideal customer is and what’s important to them when they are buying what you’re selling.

Online Survey Tools are the Best, Cheapest Way to Build Your Business

Have a business or product idea? Is your idea going to work? Do you know what do your target customers want? These questions can seem overwhelming but getting their answers is really important if you want to create a successful business plan.

Asking a 100 people would definitely give you a clearer picture of what exactly is the people’s voice and how you should plan to cater it rather than working on a guesswork. Here are the top 5 (in no particular order) Online Survey Tools that would help you to understand your customers’ nerve and help planning an ‘effective action plan’. And if you are a small business owner, then this is definitely for you.

 

  1. Polldaddy – Unlimited Polls and Easy Integration with WordPress
    Polldaddy offers a free account with unlimited online surveys and responses that can easily be integrated with WordPress, which means you can create easy and effective surveys for your website, blogs and social network platforms. How cool is that? A fuss-free survey editor with options to embed media from YouTube, Flickr and so on is unquestionably your “go-to” polling method.

    Pricing: Free for unlimited responses; from $29/month for customized analysis.polldaddy-1

  2. Survey Monkey – More than a Survey Tool
    SurveyMonkey is one of the biggest names in the online survey domain and almost everybody’s favorite, Survey Monkey not only provides questions and gather answers but also gives a wide selection of templates and pre-written questions designed especially to get accurate answers from the users. Results are unbiased, which clear your head before going ahead with your business plan.

    Pricing: Generous free plan for unlimited surveys with up to 100 responses; from $26/month for up to 1,000 responsessurveymonkey-1

  3. SoGoSurvey – Unique and Out-Of-The-Box Tool to know Millennial Users
    Today’s millennial buyer is hard to please and it’s harder to know what exactly are they looking for. Their wants change with time and they blatantly switch their brand loyalty. SoGoSurvey could be your savior. Its numerous latest features like, response trend analysis, multimedia usage, online reporting and email support, will surely get your questions answered to execute an uninterrupted success plan. With great deployment and powerful reporting features, SoGoSurvey is an amazing online survey tool. Create free online surveys, forms, polls and quizzes in minutes and be survey-ready!

    Pricing: Free version is available; at $12/month to get amazing featuressogo-1

  4. QuestionPro – Best Location based Survey Tool
    If your business is not based online then QuestionPro is the perfect survey tool for you. It helps you know people’s views about your product or business the moment they walk out of the door. Even if they are not at your desk, with QuestionPro, you can do the survey while they are walking around the event. How? It’s comprehensive mobile app and iBeacons support allows you to send push notifications and take a poll based on people’s location. Even for online business, it’s easy-to-use and “stand out” features let you customize the survey experience and provide broad analysis.

    Pricing: Free unlimited surveys up to 100 responses; starting from $12/month plan for unlimited responses.qp-1

  5. SurveyGizmo – A Playful Version to make Survey Experience Fun
    Surveys could be draining; although survey tools do make the polling process easy but there’s no fun attached to it. SurveyGizmo’s lively design and whimsical robot avatar really make you smile while designing survey for the customers. Best known for amazing service, SurveyGizmo offers beautiful survey themes, live previews and also lets you know the amount of time people will take to complete the survey. You can also invite feedbacks from others on your survey to ensure its quality and efficacy.

    Pricing:  Free limited feature plan, $25/month Basic plan for basic features and unlimited surveys.surveygizmo-1

How does an online survey tool help small business owners?

how-does-an-online-survey-tool-help-small-business-owners-1

  • Discover your customers’ pulse: It’s not enough to THINK you know what your customers are thinking or feeling, you can actually measure those things.  Here’s a tip, create a single survey with about 3-5 questions you ask all the time.  Then run that survey regularly; monthly, weekly or annually — whatever works for your business.  This will allow you to measure exactly what’s most important to your customer and to make specific improvements that will attract even MORE profitable customers.
  • Make effective and actionable business decisions.  THE ONLY reason to run a survey is to help you make a profitable decision.  Start by writing down what decision you want to make, then ask yourself “What criteria will make me move forward with this decision?”  Those are the questions you include in your survey.  Do you need the product or service to cost a certain amount, test your customers’ likelihood to pay a particular price?  Do you need more than 100 of your customers to upgrade, test and see how many of them are attracted to your offer.  Not sure WHAT to offer, create a couple of options and see which ones your customers prefer.
  • Create powerful customer profiles: You may have heard or read about customer avatars or profiles, these are extremely powerful in creating an irresistible marketing message.  Use online surveys to get to know your customers better, understand their specific likes and dislikes, get to know their hobbies and how they use your product or service to make their lives better.
  • Engage and interact with your customers.  Did you know that a customer survey is just the START of a conversation?  Use your questions to get into conversations with your customer.  Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group where you can continue moving the conversation forward.  
  • Uncover profitable patterns and trends. If you run the same survey regularly, you’ll be able to spot patterns and trends that will give you a head-start in your product and service development process.  You might notice a new competitor enter the scene or you might find that customers are requiring more proof of value for a specific price point.  Don’t just run surveys once, run them regularly.
  • Get unbiased and quality responses in real-time.  Thirty years ago, it would take weeks to get information back from a survey and it cost a fortune.  Today, you can ask your audience a question and have an answer within the hour.
  • Let your customers know that you care by asking human-centered questions. When you start talking and engaging with your customers using surveys as the jumping off point, you’re going to see your customer relationship solidify and tighten.  When your customers see that you care enough to ask, they will continue purchasing from you.

Learn-Analyze-Act!

Online Survey Tools have been a good way to validate key startup hypotheses and to measure users’ satisfaction and dissatisfaction. Today, a good online survey tool helps you in the decision-making process and its intelligent analysis lays a concrete pathway to move forward smoothly.

Author Details
Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com. She ranked #21 out of 30,000 influential people on the Internet in Fast Company. Ivana is also one of D&B Top SMB Influencers. She is the book editor for Small Business Trends, a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum and has appeared on MSNBC.
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Ivana Taylor is the publisher of DIYMarketers.com. She ranked #21 out of 30,000 influential people on the Internet in Fast Company. Ivana is also one of D&B Top SMB Influencers. She is the book editor for Small Business Trends, a contributing author to AMEX Open Forum and has appeared on MSNBC.

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