How to Start an Online Survey Company

by Miranda Brookins; Updated September 26, 2017
Businesswoman typing on computer

Small business owners, nonprofit organizations and even bloggers use surveys to assist them in gathering information about their clients and readers so that they can better serve them with targeted products, services and information. While surveying is integral to gathering customer feedback and demographic information, many organizations don’t have time to invest in creating surveys, so they opt to use consultants to develop them, and then compile and evaluate the results. If you understand survey design and are familiar with the online tools used to create effective surveys, you can start an online survey company.

Items you will need

  • Computer
  • Internet
  • Printer
  • Graphic designer
  • Website
  • Business cards
Step 1

Identify your target audience. Decide if you want to create surveys for a specific niche that may be of particular interest to you. The more knowledge you have about an industry, the easier it is to determine and understand the needs and wants of the decision makers for whom you create surveys. If you have an interest in fashion, you can reach out to fashion bloggers, fashion designers and boutiques to sell your survey creation services.

Step 2

Name and register your survey creation business with your state's business office.

Step 3

Find an online survey tool you can use to create surveys for your customers. Sites like Zoomerang, Survey Monkeys, Survey Gizmo and Constant Contact.

Step 4

Determine whether you will price your survey creation services by the types of survey questions businesses want to ask. Survey questions are either closed-ended or open-ended and appear in a variety of styles. Likert-scale questions ask respondents to select how much they agree or disagree with a statement, while multiple-choice questions ask respondents to select the response that best answers the question. Ordinal questions ask respondents to order their responses using all possible answers using a scale ranging 1-5, while categorical questions ask respondents to select the category that best represents them. Lastly, numerical questions ask respondents to respond with an absolute number, like their age or salary.

Step 5

Create your final price list that outlines the services you plan to provide. For additional income, offer to not only create surveys, but also administer them, and compile and evaluate results. List your preferred payment methods on your price list.

Step 6

Work with a graphic designer to create a logo, business card design and web presence for your survey creation business. Use the website to list your services, examples of surveys you’ve created in the past and to offer research and surveying tips to readers.

Step 7

Develop a contract that includes a project outline you can give to potential clients. The contract should list the name of your business, the name of the business you’re servicing, the purpose of their survey, when it will be administered, whether it’s an online, in-person or mail survey; it should also list any special instructions and considerations the client provides. The contract should include the full scope of the project, and it should be signed by you and your client.

Step 8

Craft a sales letter you can send to potential clients via postal mail and email. Explain the importance of surveying and introduce yourself as an expert in survey creation. Use benefit-oriented language to persuade business owners to sign up for your survey creation services.

References

  • Six-Week Start-Up: A Step-by-Step Program for Starting Your Business, Making Money and Achieving Your Goals; Rhonda Abrams; 2004
  • Conducting Online Surveys; Valerie M. Sue and Lois A. Ritter; 2007
  • Purdue OWL: Surveying

About the Author

Miranda Brookins is a marketing professional who has over seven years of experience in copywriting, direct-response and Web marketing, publications management and business communications. She has a bachelor's degree in business and marketing from Towson University and is working on a master's degree in publications design at University of Baltimore.

Photo Credits

  • BananaStock/BananaStock/Getty Images