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Finding a Market for Your Services

Does anyone need what your business is offering? To find out, the best approach is the direct approach.

This story appears in the May 2003 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Q: I'd like to start a bookkeeping, tax and payroll service. If I were to conduct a survey to see if there's a need for my service, how should I proceed?

Name withheld

A: Business services like bookkeeping and payroll have the advantage of enabling you to identify specific prospective clients whom you can interview face-to-face, by phone or using a mailed survey. Chances are, you'll be able to talk with quite a few business owners by going door-to-door in an office building or store-to-store with locally owned businesses. Your questions may actually prompt some businesspeople to become clients.

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