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A focus group involves gathering 10 to 12 people who can provide information on a company’s products or services. Companies tend to use these for new product or service rollouts prior to blanketing a market with new goods. Selecting the most accurate focus group questions are of vital importance for this process. A proper way to select these questions starts with developing a script, brainstorming with multiple individuals in the business, and placing questions in a proper order. The last step is very important with focus group questions in order to not derail the entire meeting.
The script is a typical starting point for any focus group. The company sets the meeting for a specific purpose, whether it focuses on a particular product or a service. The focus group leader creates the script with input from others, such as the owner or other executives. The number of people and length of the focus group also affects the script. Most times, a company does not have unlimited time to conduct a focus group or ask focus group questions, therefore a tight script and meeting process is required.
Allowing one individual to come up with all the focus group questions is a poor plan. Multiple individuals should have input when creating or selecting questions as different commentary may be necessary for specific business processes. For example, a production manager may have questions on product quality. The sales manager tends to ask questions on price and product discounts. Multiple individuals who provide input on focus group questions can strengthen the overall process and help the company earn the most value from the meeting.
Like any other business meeting, there must be some logic placed into the order of events — or questions — when conducting the meeting. The individuals who are responsible for handling the focus group should sit down and figure out the order of the focus group questions. The process may start with questions on quality, then price, placement, or other general thoughts. A final question may simply ask for other general comments from the focus group attendees. The most proper order of questions will vary based on the focus group type in most cases.
Other aspects of the focus group meeting should also have places in the planning stages. For example, the focus group leader may wish to break up questions into groups at different stages of the meeting. This allows for the most input on a given topic at one time.