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Small businesses are the lifeblood of local communities. They provide essential goods and services, support local families and organizations, and contribute to the tax base. They are also the source of much-needed jobs. Therefore, as a small business owner, it is important to stay up-to-date on the latest research in your industry and local community. This will help you make informed decisions about your business and better serve your clients. Here are three research questions every small business owner in local communities should consider:

  1. Who are my customers?
  2. Where do they hang out (online and offline)?
  3. What are their constant needs (problems)?

Honest answers to these questions will help you understand the current landscape and make the best decisions for your business.

WHAT IS A LOCAL BUSINESS? defines local business as any company that provides goods or services to a local population is considered a local business. Often denoted by the phrase, “brick and mortar,” a local business can be a locally owned or corporate business with multiple locations operating in a specific area. What are the questions you should ask?


1. Who Are My Customers?

Customers are everywhere. This makes their needs vary in their separate geographical location. Thus, it is erroneous to target everyone in the global market. Defining and understanding who your target customers are will play a pivotal role in growing your small business. Narrowing down your scope and offers to a specific group will be an added advantage. In fact, another benefit is that it reduces your chances of spending on unproductive campaigns and risk-taking.

Carrying out thorough research to determine your customers helps refine the way you brand your business. This gives you a clue on how to best deliver quality service to customers in your local community and beyond.

Hence, it’s time for you to research those eligible to do business with you – i.e. customers who are qualified to patronise your products and services. You need to consider their age, gender, income, and interests. Do not forget to also gather information about their purchasing power and willingness to afford your products and services. This demographic data will equip you to know what they need and how your business can be of help.

2. Where Do They Hangout (Online and Offline)

It is injurious to splash huge amounts of money on social media ads or/and offline publicity only to get zero sales. The main goal of every business owner is to make profits at all costs. This should be your ulterior motive too, right? Hence, the need for you to take a calculated risk that will augment every penny spent to attract customers.

Take for instance, if you are a photographer in a local community, how do you get your clients? The truth is that doing thorough research on where your customers hang out will help your small business grow. This is the game changer for you.
Note that your research should cover both online (social media) and offline (people living in your local communities).

Social media is the most efficient and fastest way to reach your audience. It is affordable, relevant, timely and targeted. Don’t be surprised to see that your customers are actively on one of the social media platforms, like Facebook, scrolling to find some information. You can maximise the use of this potential marketing tool to attract their attention to your small business. Get to know where your target customers or clients are and engage them immediately.

The point here is that if you want your small business to grow, there is a need to critically research and discover where your customers hang out. Try to beam your searchlight on their location. If you do this properly, it will save you lots of effort and money and keep your business running.

3. What Are Their Constant Needs (Problems)?

According to Oxford Dictionary, the word “need” is defined as the things that somebody requires to live comfortably or achieve what they want.

It is practically believed that human needs are numerous and insatiable. This claim gives a clue as to the kind of research question you should ask yourself every day – What’s the constant beer of my customer in the local community? I bet you have an answer to this question.

There are various and numerous ways you discover the needs or problems of your potential customers.

Read 3 ways to identify customers’ needs

Don’t forget that the main reason why you are in business is to satisfy the numerous needs of your customers. These needs are in varying degrees, for which you created your products or services. For instance, reading this article is a good exahelping you to address. The same scenario happens when your target customers try out your products or service to quell their needs or solve their problems.

Nonetheless, a proactive research into the constant needs or problems of your target customers will grow your small business. This will also refine and re-prioritise your customer service. The research will widen your business horizon and scope and keep you motivated every day.

Remember that the continuous existence of your business is dependent on what need or problem your products or services can solve. Customers can only feel the relevance of your small business when you meet their needs or solve their constant problems.


Running a small business in a local community is very demanding and challenging. It takes more than courage to set up, finance and manages such. If proper research questions are not asked and considered, it can strangulate your small business to death.


Therefore, invest more time and effort into determining who your customers are, where they hang out (location) and their constant needs or problems. Why? Because this is the reason why you started your business and the recipe for your business growth.

Notwithstanding, please feel free to share your thoughts about the major challenges your small business is facing in the comment below. Please, feel free to like, subscribe and share if this post helps you.



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