Introduction

Small Enterprises (SEs), organisations with less than 50 employees, are often overlooked by market research agencies. This is driven partly by our desire to land big accounts, but also because many of our existing relationships are with medium to large enterprises. However, in the UK alone SEs account for 42% of all UK business turnover, equating to £1.102 trillion per year, and representing 99% of all businesses.

It was in this context of untapped opportunity that Northstar began fostering relationships with a variety of SEs. During this process of relationship development and project work we experienced a multitude of unexpected challenges that led us to assess and alter our working practices and approach to client relationships. The benefit of these partnerships has been profound both for ourselves and Metfriendly; the SE we have worked most closely with. As such this paper will address:

  • A blueprint of how best to work with SEs and overcome the challenges we encountered
  • How we then applied these learnings to our existing medium/large clients and further strengthened our relationships with them
  • How this has helped transform our offering, allowing us to become content producers
  • The value market research agencies can add to SEs - with a case study that highlights how one business increased new business by over 50%

The big opportunity that lies with working with small enterprises