How to Set Up a Focus Group

By Trula Laib

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A focus group can be an effective tool for small business. These groups allow business owners to get an idea of how people will react to a new technical products, services or advertising. It was first used by the powerful Fortune 500 and medium enterprises; however, the use of focus groups has spread to even small businesses. Before starting a discussion group to test a new idea, it is important to ensure that it is an effective and viable segment of your target market.

  1. Location - Decide the destination city or town too set the group in and guidelines to be used in selecting the first group of member from different ages and income level. Decide on the monetary award for the members after seeking the recommendation of a moderator.

  2. Screening - screen the first Participants before the session scheduled to begin. Make sure you get a true representation of your market, you must first select a group within the right demographic area, and then continue to develop this team to the participants, are the necessary characteristics. Always have a group composed of the right consumers who have direct influence on the product.

  3. Moderator - Give each focus group a moderate. A moderator is one of the most important aspects of a focus group. They keep the whole group together and the task is able to interpret clues to the participants. Get someone who has experience in the target group in moderation. Work with the facilitator in the development of a list of issues or focus group guide and rules. Distribute copies of the rules to key people within the company. Let the moderator to select the plan. Set a deadline for an editor to select the participants. Set a date and time for group discussion and to inform all members of the management team in the calendar. Ask the moderator to remind the participants of the focus group three days earlier. The moderator has to buy tickets if the group is out of town.

  4. Schedules - Carrying out more than one group as each client is unique and the answers you get from a group of people can be completely different from the responses you receive from another. Schedule at least two or three discussion groups and then compare answers to find the real data.

  5. Concepts - Develop concept 3 boards, or handouts that summarize the new products, the company wants to test.

  6. Recording - Recording the proceedings. You need to take notes and monitor the newsgroup, because you may lose some things. The registration procedure with a voice recorder or video, so you can play again.

  7. Plan - Plan the logistics of your discussion group. The group meeting should take place in a location convenient for participants. Furthermore, it should offer refreshments and the moderator should be responsible for ensuring that the group is involved in the process. A focus group of bored, hungry and uncomfortable members will produce very different results from a group that has a comfortable and conducive environment.

After these steps, collect your data analyze them and present them to the concerned company as you would have found the most viable results.

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