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Everything you ever wanted to know about your customers--from your customers

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This story appears in the February 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

When it comes to promoting your business, knowledge is power. The more you know about your market, customers, competition and prospects, the more likely you are to make smart decisions. So why do so many small businesses ignore the power of even the most basic market research?

According to Paul Richards, president of Castle Hill Consulting, a Morris Plains, New Jersey-based market research and consulting firm, many entrepreneurs think research is either too expensive or can't tell them anything new. Richards maintains that varying degrees of market research are available to even the smallest businesses--and those that avail themselves of such information maximize success.

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