Are you a Corporate who has, or is, developing funding products aimed at SMEs? Then these are issues you need to consider when doing your next piece of research.

In our last article we discussed that not all SMEs are the same when deciding on your research target population, sample, and methodology. Understanding the differences is key to getting the best out of your  research.

Learnings from the last 20 years have shown us there are various kinds of funding needs. These change at different life-stages of the SME, for different kinds of SMEs, and owners.

What are these diverse types of funding?

  • Start-up funding or seed capital
  • Funding for growth
  • Funding to assist with cash flow
  • Funding for expansion into other countries or diversification
  • Cross border transaction funding
  • Funding for Capital equipment
  • Funding to engage staff
  • Funding for innovation

In addition, women have unique experiences with funding compared to men. This includes gender biases that occur when applying for funding, as well as women being more likely to ask for smaller amounts rather than what they really need. Similarly, youth have less knowledge and experience on the type of funding they need and where to access it.

Research often buckets all funding issues together and these different needs get “lost “ in the product development and communication.

When conducting  research around the SME’s funding needs,  we need to establish, are we talking about all the above or only one of the issues? Who is our target audience for our funding product ? What is the intention of our research: product development, communication or thought leadership?

These are all important drivers behind our research approach when starting a project. We have an in-depth session with your corporate to discuss the purpose of the research – is this is a thought leadership piece or a product development piece? If needed, understanding the concepts being tested and who they are aimed at.

Only then do we decide which methodology is going to best access these respondents. And often this is using a hybrid approach to get to the target audience.

In the SME market there is definitely not a one size fits all, approach. If one wants to cover other countries in Africa, it is even more important to debate these issues before you start your project if you want a good outcome.

At Livingfacts we have 21 years’ worth of experience in understanding what customers, stakeholders, staff, and suppliers need. We collaborate with you to provide current research and insights on how to remain relevant in changing times.