This week in small business: Become a master of DIY market research

I was really pleased to find some good guidance on market research to share with you this week. It’s a topic that doesn’t get much attention, but one that can make or break a startup or any plans for expansion.

Marketing and sales

Need a DIY guide to market research? In his SurveyGizmo article, Chris Watkins does a good job hitting all the bases. (A little nod to the young MLB season there!) To go a little further, check out Vikas Agrawal’s “5 market research tips every startup should know.”

Jayson DeMers asks and answers the important question: When it comes to SEO, how cheap is too cheap? And if that makes you a bit concerned about your SEO, you’ll probably want to check out the three SEO tips to get your small biz noticed from John Swanciger.

Anyone directly responsible for content creation (blogging) for the purpose of SEO needs to hear what Lisa Montenegro has to say about “keywords versus topics.”

While Pepsi’s recent ad featuring Kendall Jenner caused a media storm, Jake Romm argues that it was actually a resounding success.

Check your website against Jennifer Lobb’s list of five things it must have…unless you want to lose customers.

Leadership, management, and productivity

Rasha Khawaja, Toucan founder and CEO, is the woman business leader profiled in this article by Laura Emily Dunn.

There’s no question about it: We’ve been in a productivity funk for several years. Philip Salter says that small business adopting technology is the key to raising productivity. And while they aren’t techy, the six productivity hacks in this article by Christine Warner are solid.

Munira Rangwala offers three easy ways to help women succeed in business and we all succeed when more women succeed.

Entrepreneurship, startups, and innovation

Not all networking strategies are good and in his Entrepreneur article, Kimanzi Constable outlines one terrible way of networking via social media for entrepreneurs.

Need convincing that a strong social media presence is required for your startup? If so, this Social Media Daily article lays out the reasons.

Finally, are you primed for a little inspiration and guidance? Try this piece by Brian Roberts: How I came up with a million-dollar ecommerce idea in 20 minutes.

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