Small Business Success: Qualitative Research Services | SBDC UNF

Small Business Success: Qualitative Research Services

It’s All About Research.

In January of 2003, Elaine Anwander left a long career in the corporate sector and wanted to explore entrepreneurship. She attended a How to STARTUP Your Own Business workshop offered by the Small Business Development Center at the University of North Florida. At the workshop she met Kevin Monahan, Certified Business Analyst at the SBDC, who encouraged her to explore her business idea further through a feasibility plan.

Her business concept was to provide qualitative research to any customer in the Jacksonville area interested in her services. Monahan recommended she begin by researching who that customer might be and where they were. Her background in research made this an easy task, and she enjoyed the process of business planning. Monahan also recommended some changes in her financial projections, and the final plan looked very good. Pricing for services would be based on what similar businesses charge in cities nationally with demographics like Jacksonville’s.

In working with the Small Business Development Center, Anwander realized she would have to network and educate clients as to what qualitative research was and how it would benefit them. She named the business Qualitative Research Services to help transmit the message more effectively. Monahan helped her prepare for networking and recommended she join the local Chamber of Commerce.

By June of 2003, Anwander had her first client and was on her way.Anwander is now a member of several professional organizations: Qualitative Research Consultants Association, Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce, Women Business Owners of North Florida, Small Business Resource Network, American Society for Training and Development, Professional Women’s Council, and Business Builders Network. She has conducted research for United Way on its Seniors Initiative, and works with the Area Agency on Aging in its Communities for a Lifetime planning.

The relationship with the SBDC has been a good one for Anwander who says, “Kevin Monahan was right there with me from the beginning. Now I know all of the staff at the Small Business Development Center at UNF and am a proud member of the Small Business Resource Network”. Monahan and Anwander meet periodically to update each other on new trends and developments. Qualitative research is a recognized name locally for research consulting with the medical community, health insurers, corporate decision makers, consumers and not-for-profit organizations.
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