Startups

Part
01
of two
Part
01

How much do startups spend yearly on community building tools/activities?

No data is available either as a pre-compiled figure or as a calculation that describes how much startups spend yearly on community building tools/activities. This is because this area is fairly niche, and the data has yet to be collected. However, I was able to find that tools like Slack and Ryver are particularly popular in this area.

METHODOLOGY

In order to answer this question, I first searched for a pre-compiled figure that described how much money startups (based in the US) spend annually on community building tools/activities (such as Slack and conferences). First, I looked through industry reports on the Startup market in the US, for example in this US startup outlook for 2017 and for 2018. However, I found no useful data available in these reports. Next, I looked through reports on budgets for startups in the US (e.g. here and here), but again, details of spending on community building tools/activities was not available. I also looked at online database, Statista, the National StartUp Association, and through various reports statistics of US startups (e.g. this one from Small Biz Trends). However, no useful data was reported. Finally, I searched through recently published articles, news stories and research papers on startups in relation to this topic. But unfortunately I can conclude that no pre-compiled data exits online. I believe that this is because it is a fairly niche topic, and data collection has yet to be carried out.

Next, I attempted to calculate this figure. To do this I decided to look for how much are startups spending annually on particular tools (e.g. Slack). I looked for lists of most popular community building tools/activities that startups are using (these lists were scarce but I was able to find this list of tools used by startups, and this one on the top 27 startup tools of 2017), and then tried to find out how much startups are spending on the tools specifically focused on community building. To do this I first looked for pre-compiled figures of how much startups in particular are spending on each tool. However, after a thorough search I found that this was not available for any company, most likely because the data has not been collected. Next, I looked for the percentage of startups who use the tool in order to calculate how much this totals to by using annual prices of the tool, and the number of startups in the US. However, I found that this data was also not available online. I also looked for specific conferences that startups are attending relating to this area, but again, data was not available. Therefore, there is no data available either as a pre-compiled figure or as a triangulation that tells us how much startups spend each year on community building tools/activities.

USEFUL FINDINGS

While I could not find a direct answer to your question, I was able to gather some information about this topic, which I think will be helpful for your project.

I was able to identify some of the tools which are popular with startups. To begin with, I have found that Slack has developed close relationships with startups. According to this article, the company invested $80 million in startups building software for the company. In particular, Slack has a close relationship with startups in the area of software development. To date, the company has supported 11 new bot startups.

Ryver is another community building tool that is popular with startups. The tool is being consistently recommended to be used by startups. It is also identified as one of the game-changing software solutions being used to power startups.

POSSIBLE CONTINUED RESEARCH

In understanding what types of information are and are not publicly available on this topic, I’ve suggested a few other routes you may be interested in researching.

For example, you may wish to understand more about the specific companies that startups are using in this space. It might be interested in seeing how the main players (such as Slack and Ryver) compare and contrast in a competitive landscape.

CONCLUSION

To sum up, I have found that there is no data available online to tell us how much startups spend yearly on community building tools/activities. There is also no data that allows for this to be calculated. This is because this area is quite niche and the data has yet to be collected. However, I was able to find that tools like Slack and Ryver are particularly popular in this area.
Part
02
of two
Part
02

How much do startups spend yearly on feedback/surveys?

While there is no pre-existing information to fully answer your question, we have used the available data to pull together key findings. Initial market research for startups, which is considered an essential expenditure, can cost $1,000 to $15,000. It is estimated that startups spent $3.19 billion on similar market research in the United States in 2016, while the overall market size for market research among all types of businesses in the United States was $22.75 billion in 2016. Online quantitative research is the most popular type of survey conducted in the United States. Below you will find an outline of our research methodology to better understand why there is no publicly available information that can pinpoint the exact annual spending on feedback and surveys incurred by startups.

METHODOLOGY

In order to determine the annual cost incurred by startups for collecting feedback and conducting surveys in the United States, my colleagues and I reviewed industry reports and trusted media sites to attempt to gather an estimate for the market size for this industry. Despite exhaustively researching this topic, we identified no publicly available estimates for market size. We then reviewed online survey platforms, such as SurveyMonkey, Zoomerang, and GetFeedback, in order to gather any available information about pricing that would enable us to triangulate an estimate for the market size of conducting surveys for startups. Unfortunately, our findings indicate that the costs associated with conducting surveys and collecting feedback is one of the least discussed topics online. The majority of relevant information gathered pertains to the practical applications of conducting surveys, such as suggestions for structuring a survey in order to gather meaningful data. We identified no information that would allow us to estimate costs for startups, small businesses, or even large corporations. It appears that there has not been a cohesive effort by any credible research body to analyze the annual expenditures by startups on conducting surveys and gathering feedback in the United States, so we were unable to provide a direct answer to your question. However, we did pull together some key insights on conducting market research for startups, which has been identified as the first and most critical step for a business to take. We have also provided the market size for the market research industry in the United States, as a result of the aforementioned finding that market research is critical for startups. We have also identified some general estimated costs for conducting surveys and collecting feedback, which are certainly applicable to startups. Finally, we have provided some pricing schemes for popular survey providers.

Market research for startups

It has been noted that the first and most important step taken by any startup should be conducting market research in order to most accurately assess that the proposed business venture will be profitable. While there are a number of startup business cost estimators that are available to predict all the costs associated with launching a startup, we have focused only on those costs relevant to market research reports. Our findings indicate that startups have three main options for obtaining market research, which is typically provided by consultants. Pricing for each type of report is provided. It is noted that because these market reports are provided as an upfront cost, they will be incurred only in the first year of operation. Our findings indicate that in obtaining initial market reports in the first year of operation, startups can expect to spend $1,000 to $15,000.

1. Top-Level Reports

Reports of this nature typically cost no more than $1,000. They provide startups with basic information about the industry in which the startup will be entering.

2. Full-Market Reports

Reports of this nature can cost up to $5,000. They are comprehensive, full-market studies, and they may be helpful in providing forecasts for the future of the industry.

3. Product Detail Market Reports

These reports can cost as much as $15,000, but they offer extensive and in-depth analysis of the industry. They are useful when a startup needs to collect feedback about a particular product or sub-sector.

Market size for market research

In 2016, it is estimated that 50 of the top market research firms in the United States generated approximately $22.75 billion in revenue, which accounted for half of the $44.51 billion global market research revenue. Taking into account that it has been estimated that 14 percent of all Americans are new entrepreneurs launching small businesses, we can triangulate that $3.19 billion ($22.75 billion * 14 percent) of this market research was obtained on behalf of startups in the United States in 2016.

Considerations for obtaining effective market research

There are five key attributes of effective market research and market analysis, which include survey research, survey questions, survey distribution methods, survey analysis, and survey reports. It has been noted that "[o]ne of the simplest yet most powerful market research approaches you can utilize is a customer feedback survey." As result, we included market research as a pivotal aspect of feedback and surveys, whether it be at the initial point of entry into an industry or on an annual basis.

1. Types of Market Research Conducted

Of the $22.75 billion in market research revenue, the distribution of spending was dominated by seven survey types and "other" approaches:

• Online quantitative research: 25%
• Automated digital/electronic surveys: 18%
• Online traffic/audience measurement: 12%
• Mobile/smartphone online quantitative research: 9%
• Phone interviews: 6%
• Online research communities: 11%
• Group discussions/focus groups: 6%
• Ethnography/blogging: 1%
• Other approaches: 12%

2. Balancing Cost-Effectiveness with Meaningful Data

Our findings indicate that because startups may initially be operating with limited financial means, one of the simplest and most cost-effective methods for conducting surveys and obtaining feedback is the customer feedback survey. It is recommended that startups work with objective market research companies or online survey companies for data collection. Costs are influenced by three considerations:

Methodology

Startups typically have three choices for customer feedback surveys: email or online surveys, telephone surveys, and mail surveys. The most cost-effective option is online research that is conducted following receipt of an email invitation.

Number of Completed Surveys Needed

Costs are directly influenced by the number of surveys required by the startup. This number ultimately depends on the size of the startup's audience, and it is important for startups to accurately assess their target audience to minimize the risk of conducting surveys that will not provide meaningful data.

Length of the Survey

The length of a survey is directly proportional to the cost of a survey. For example, a survey with only a few questions will be significantly less expensive than a detailed survey.

Examples of survey pricing schemes for startups

As noted, there are a number of survey types available for startups to consider, each with its own cost. Cost varies with the scope of the research and the channels used to conduct the survey. Below are some practical examples of surveys that startups might consider when collecting feedback, with prices.

1. Phone, Mail, Focus Groups, and Personal Interviews

While these options are the most costly, the benefits of obtaining focused, detailed feedback may outweigh the costs. Phone surveys cost between $5,000 and $15,000 for every 200 completed surveys. Mail surveys can cost between $5,000 and $7,000. Focus groups cost an estimated $6,000 for an eight-person group. Finally, personal interviews cost an estimated $325 per person.

2. Online

Online surveys are the most widely used in the United States, and the costs for conducting these surveys will vary depending on the survey needs of the business and the software and/or platforms used. For example, packages at SurveyMonkey can cost around $19 per month. At Zoomerang, packages can cost around $19 per month. Constant Contact offers packages ranging from $50-$150 per month for 10,001 to 25,000 contacts. At Key Survey, packages can cost $162 to $495 per month for a single user.

SUMMARY

Despite the limitations in publicly available information regarding the annual costs incurred by startups when collecting feedback and conducting surveys, we were able to determine that initial market research for startups can cost $1,000 to $15,000. It is estimated that startups spent $3.19 billion on similar market research in the United States in 2016.
Sources
Sources