Me and a friend are considering starting our own computer repair business, however we’d like to carry out some market research before deciding to invest any money. The only strategy we have thought of so far is to stand in a crowded shopping mall and ask people to complete a survey but we doubt this will be effective.
I would appreciate any suggestions on other types of market research or confirmation that surveying is a good method and also how many people we should survey to make our data credible.
You are right, your approach would not be effective. You can hire a market research firm to do the research and they should provide you with good results. There are many things to consider: the competition, the type of service you offer, the price you plan to charge, the population in the area you can serve, etc.
You would have to decide whether you expect customers to bring their equipment to you or do you go to them to make repairs. Is there a market for computer repairs? Computers become obsolete so fast, and prices have declines so far, that many people simply buy a new computer when their old one breaks down. There is a difference between computer repair and computer servicing. You may do better servicing working computers. This involves setting them up, networking them, installing software, installing additional hardware, etc. Repairing broken computers may not be a good business. A market research firm should be able to find out.