Entrepreneurial Best Practices For Using Surveys

When it comes to running a survey, whether it is with potential customers, past bosses or employees, there are lots of best practices. Using these will improve data accuracy, response rates and the quality of actions you can take after undertaking questionnaires. However, so many entrepreneurs don’t follow the best practices.

So, here is a list of the best practices for using surveys in your business ventures that can make you a success.

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1. Don’t Use Family And Friends

The first call for most people is to get their friends and family to respond to surveys. This results in some very quick data returns, but it doesn’t favor true reflection of people’s feelings. When friends and family reply to the questions you’ve asked, they are more likely to give you a positive feedback than a negative one. This is because many don’t want to hurt your feelings.

While their intentions are good, that doesn’t mean that this is the right thing to do. This data is almost worthless, and you can’t make any good decisions which will lead to a successful decision-making process.

Even using family and friends within a larger survey population can cause problems. It can still lead to skews in data that can be harmful to business decisions. Therefore, instead of including family and friends in data collection, leave them out. Your business decisions will be better, due to this.

2. Minimize The Number Of Survey Questions

Another major problem that can happen while creating surveys is that too many questions are asked. This reduces the number of people who complete the questionnaires. So, either you have fewer responses, or incomplete data, which doesn’t allow for a proper decision making.

Too many questions also mean that your respondents can provide less detailed answers when you have qualitative queries. This is generally because those who are answering are looking to just finish the survey and too many questions is stressful and feels like the survey will take up too much time.

Asking fewer queries will result in less stress on the audience and more time spent on each.

For a good ratio, try to provide about six to eight queries per survey. When you’re asking qualitative questions, keep the number at about six.

3. Provide A Time Frame For Your Surveys

When you’re looking to get a good population for your surveys, you want to entice the most people to complete the exercise. This can be done by giving a time frame for completion. It should normally be under ten minutes with five minutes being more acceptable to audiences. This sets an expectation that audiences can work towards. It also relieves worries that you’ll be keeping them tied up for an hour answering your questions.

During the survey, you should also note how many questions are left to go. This progression bar/notification is a little motivator and allows the audience to see how far they are from the end. It helps lower the abandonment and improves the commitment, with your audience.

4. Use Online Survey Systems

While going out and engaging with audiences is a great way to collect data, there are many flaws in the system. For one, you need to grab the attention of the right audience and not be interrupting them. Often when you’re grabbing people off the street you’re interrupting their day, and this can create a negative impression of your brand and can affect the survey results.

Instead, do an online survey where participants can be asked questions when they have time and are more willing to be involved. This makes your brand look better and avoids any negative reflection.

Using an online system also allows for faster analysis of your data results and a larger population that improves the quality of data. Compared to physically going out to survey audiences, there is no comparison, online surveys are far better for your business.

5. Get A Second Opinion While Writing Questions

When you’re looking to write survey questions, a second opinion or professional writer never comes in the way of the process. One of the biggest mistakes that people make while creating their feedback systems is that they ask queries that will result in poor answers, with limited value to the business. This might include some that sway opinion or result in poor data collection.

Either a second opinion or professional survey writer might be able to help you prevent this. Therefore, you should always look at getting at least one of these involved during the design process. The potential reward for the long-term success of your business is well worth the extra commitment.


When it comes to being an entrepreneur, the success lies in the detail and spotting trends before others. That is where surveys can help. By using them throughout the life cycle of the business, you can identify trends and start offering services/products that can help you succeed.

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