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Wyoming Business Tips for May 12-18

May 3, 2013

A weekly look at Wyoming business questions from the Wyoming Small Business Development Center (WSBDC), part of WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz, a collection of business assistance programs at the University of Wyoming.

By Debbie Gorski, WyomingEntrepreneur.Biz  social media community manager

“Why did I receive a survey? Will my information be kept confidential?” Cindy, Hanna

Before I worked for a nonprofit, I disliked taking surveys. What is it about surveys?

There are probably many reasons such as:

-- Time: Anything beyond 5-8 minutes is probably not going to get a response.

-- Privacy: Why do they need this information, and what are they going to do with it?

-- Repercussions: If I don’t respond in a positive manner, will there be a consequence?

-- What’s in it for me? Sometimes, there are incentives to completing a survey such as receiving coupons, money, free products, etc. Sometimes, it is just out of the goodness of your heart.

I think surveys have been overdone in the past, and that could be another reason for hesitation. I recently read the average response rate for surveys is 10-15 percent, which seems pretty dismal. This makes our job to receive needed information challenging.

It is that time again when Wyoming Entrepreneur sends out our annual Chrisman survey. We randomly select a certain number of clients who have received five or more hours of counseling from one of our team of advisers and market researchers.

There is a little bit of science that goes with surveys. A certain number are mailed and a certain number need to be completed and returned for reliability.

We are genuinely interested in your response. There are several questions pertaining to the quality of service you received from all Wyoming Entrepreneur entities. If you were happy with our services, tell us. If we can improve our service, tell us that, too.

There also are several questions pertaining to your business statistics, also known as impacts. We want to know if our counseling services provided positive impact for your business. All responses are anonymous and will be kept strictly confidential. All responses are compiled and analyzed by a third-party researcher. The best news: It should take only about five minutes to complete.

Through the years I have been involved in several surveys and understand the angst of the person being questioned, but I also have compassion for the surveyor. Funders, stakeholders and the public want to know what the ROI (return on investment) is with the money received. Gathering impact and performance feedback is valuable information for us.

If you were one of the lucky recipients to receive a survey, and have already completed it and mailed it back, thank you. If you haven’t completed the survey, please take five minutes. We appreciate your time and effort.

A blog version of this article and an opportunity to post comments is available at

The WSBDC is a partnership of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Wyoming Business Council and the University of Wyoming. To ask a question, call 1-800-348-5194, email or write 1000 E. University Ave., Dept. 3922, Laramie, WY, 82071-3922.

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