How do I organise a survey of potential clients?

By : Forum Member
Published 3rd August 2015 |
Read latest comment - 10th September 2015

I'm a self employed bookkeeper and run a CIS monthly return service for a few clients.  I want to expand this part of my business but before I invest in new software I want to find out how many builders or contractors might be interested in it.  I know I can use Survey Monkey or similar to create the survey but who do I send it to?  I thought of collecting details from the internet and e mailing a request for people to complete the survey but have been informed I can't do this as it infringes data protection laws or is classed as illegal spamming.


Does anyone have any ideas?  I have a very limited budget. 


Thanks , Luna.


One option is to put the link on Twitter and Facebook etc. and see if you get any takers.  Another option is to ask on a forum dedidated to the market you're targeting, e.g. builders forum.

Hope that helps and good luck. 

Just for info, you don't need to duplicate questions in different parts of the forum, just ask the question in the one you feel is most appropriate - the duplicate one has been removed.

Trouble is with surveys, people tend to get bombarded with them, so response rate tends to be low. To get people to fill them in you have to keep them short, which reduces the amount of useful info you can collect, as it starts to turn more into a poll.

Harvesting information from the internet is a dangerous strategy and I would advise against, but any business that has their email in the clear is open to abuse, so it's a fine line. You could Google local businesses, and give them a bell or fill in their contact forms.

General trader communities such as forums as suggested by mrb is a good one.

Maybe look to social media. For building type contractors, Facebook groups is a useful and free way to make contacts or ask questions. For more IT type contractors, Google plus communities can be a good place to hunt.

LinkedIn is also still a powerful community, not sure about construction type trades, but lots of IT type communities. SEO freelancers or web-designers still need to keep accounts.

If you have a budget, maybe a targeted facebook campaign, aimed at your exact ideal audience.

Become active in local networking communities and be known as the go to bookkeeper

Hope that helps.

Steve Richardson
Gaffer of My Local Services
My Local Services | Me on LinkedIn

Have you thought about paid services? Some companies will offer you guaranteed responses for a fee.

Fixed Fee Legal Services | Bespoke Document Drafting | Document Templates

A simple solution would be to ask the clients you already have. You have friends outside of your business,ask them, ask other people doing a similar job..dare I say using  linkedin/ facebook/ other social media

I personally dont send out marketing gumph, as its to costly for what I do, however when I sign a new client up, I ask them if they would like to receive no more than 2 texts messages a month, explaining that some months they might not receive anything from me. I always give an option to stop receiving messages. then make sure I take that person off the list, with a conformation text telling them they have been un-subscribed

Hope my input helps



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