Last week summary

What did I do last week
– Created initial market research
– Created initial client list

What am I going to do this week
– Get email and phone number for every prospect client from the list
– Figure out which communication channel to use to send the survey

My software idea

I never wrote anything about the project I’m working on, so I guess it’s time to reveal the veil of mystery. The big idea is Beauty salon booking app. It is nothing revolutionary, but I think there’s a big potential in this domain, and very few players and quality solutions.

Now when we got that out-of-the-way, we can talk about the goal I’ve set last weekmarket research.

Market research

All of the entrepreneur gurus, sites, books and tutorials are saying the same thing:

Market research is crucial in the process of creating a product

Not to be stupid and stubborn I’ve decided to listen to the advice and start writing a market research survey.

Since I have never wrote any kind of questionnaire before, a proper research had to be done in order to make something useful. As expected, most of the general ideas and guidelines could be found on the two biggest survey sites, SurveyMonkey and SurveyGizmo. Since I’m a big WHY person, realising why am I doing this questionnaire was crucial to achieving anything.

Going through SurveyMonkey I stumbled upon an article with several tips for anyone creating a market research. That seemed like a good start. Here are their tips for the perfect market research survey:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Establish research objectives
  3. Set timelines for your market research survey
  4. Determine who you’re sending your survey to and how much data you’ll need
  5. Use resources and tools to help you
  6. Use the right tools to start collecting and analyze data

Last two items are just selling their own product so I decided to bluntly ignore those. Thinking through, I came up with few simple answers to the questions above.

1. Define the problem

Salons
– Increase the number of reservations/customers
– Customer and reservations database
– Dealing with customer no-show on the appointment
– New salon marketing and market visibility

Customers
– New salon marketing and market visibility
– Time slots availability preview in any moment
– Salon list with score, comments and recommendations

2. Establish research objectives

Salons – Is there a the need to use online booking app
Customers – Is there a need to use online booking app

3. Set timelines for your market research survey

The survey lifespan will be one week

Reason for this decision was quite simple: I’ve read it on, you guessed, SurveyMonkey – How Many Days Does it Take for Respondents to Respond to Your questionnaire.

4. Determine who you’re sending your survey to and how much data you’ll need

To be decided

Client list is still in progress, hence the final number of surveyees would be defined next week.

Survey creation

With these answers on the paper, it was time to create the survey. The first step was of course to google some samples online. There are loads of them, I’ll just list a few examples, example one and example two.

After going through these I’ve started writing down possible questions, first for the salons, followed by another set of questions for the customers. This time I had help of my partner, who gave me valuable insights from female perspective as well. We did three basic iterations:

  1. First batch of questions was just a list of all the things we thought of
  2. In the second iteration we removed the duplicates and refined the rest of them
  3. Third iteration was ordering them in logical groups and additional refining some wording

We ended up with 9 questions for the Salon survey and 12 questions for the customer survey. All together, ~60mins of work per survey. Here’s what we came up with (translated to english).

Salon survey

1. How many employees do you have
2. Which services does your company offer
3. How many average monthly visits do you have
4. What's the ratio of walk-ins vs pre-made reservations
5. How to you take reservations
6. Who is responsible for taking the reservations
7. Are you already using or you have been using any online booking application
8. Would you use an online booking app specialised for your type of company
9. Would you use online calendar for all of your bookings

Customer survey

1. Do you use any online salon booking applications
2. How many times per month you use beauty salon services
3. Which beauty salon services do you use
4. How do you make reservations
5. Do you always go to the same beauty salon
6. Do you check online salon reviews or you trust oral recommendations
8. How many times per month you use online payments
9. Which online payments do you use
10. How much money in average you monthly spend online
11. How much money in average you monthly spend on beauty treatments
12. What's more important when choosing a new salon

Creating the initial client list

There is a simple reason why a client list is important at this stage

We have to send the survey to someone.

Me and my partner had a few ideas on this topic. The first one was going through the government pages and writing down all the companies listed as salons. That showed up to be an issue since there seems to be a handful of companies with access to that data, and they’re all selling the data to the rest of the public, through series of some ancient APIs. As all of them seemed quite obscure, the idea was quickly ditched.

Following the first guideline, the next idea was to go trough the Google Maps and write down all of the salons in the city area. Here’s where my existing job was quite useful, I’ve used code to extract that list from Google Maps!

We wrote down a list of terms by which we can find all the beauty salons, hairdressers, spas, etc. We searched through Google Maps for those terms, executing my code snippet for each of them, including the pagination. After ending up with +1600 salons, we filtered the list, programatically of course, and removed the duplicates, leaving us with 697 salons for the initial list.

Code rules!

This week

For this week the main task is to get contact data for every single of the contacts we’ve found, social network accounts, email and a phone. After we’ve done with that we have to construct the survey, with one of the major tools, and get it finalised for publishing.

See you next Monday!