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What is the Appropriate Sample Size for a Survey?

How Many People, do you need to Target While Sending out Survey Questionnaires?

Determining the number of people you are targeting with the surveys is essential.  Understanding the business survey sample size you require help you get dependable results. While this process may be cumbersome, the following steps will break it down and give you simple ways to estimate the professional survey sample size.

Five ways to accurately estimate the required sample size

STEP 1

Understanding Your Population

In this context, population is taken to imply to the people you are targeting and those who end up taking the survey. For instance, if the survey is aiming to understand the best way to market a toothpaste in Italy, the population in this case is the residents of Italy. Understanding the population you are targeting with your surveys is vital in determining the success of your SurveyForBusiness. After understanding the people you are targeting with the survey, you may now proceed to the next step.

STEP 2

Determine your accuracy

Accuracy in this case may be taken to mean the risk you are ready to take. This is mainly because not all the questionnaires you send will be answered by the target audience. To understand the risk, you need to answer a set of questions.

1.    By how much do, the answers reflect the views of the respondents?

Basically, a margin error of 5 percent is used in surveys. The margin error may be anywhere between 1 and 10 percent, but it is not advisable to increase the figure beyond 10 percent. For instance, you can have a survey whose objective  is to understand the number of people who like grape bubble gum. If 90 percent of the answers indicate that the respondents like the gum, it means that between 85 and 95 percent of the population like grape bubble gum, taking into account the margin error.

2.    How do you ensure that the answers reflect the views of the population?

This concept mainly revolves around the confidence level of the business survey, the likelihood that the sample you selected made an impact on the results. 95 percent is the commonly used confidence level. This figure may be anywhere between 90 and 99 percent. However, it is not recommended to have a confidence level of less than 90 percent. A confidence level is the likelihood that a response from the sample you picked matches the others. For instance, if the confidence level is 96 percent, it implies that you are 95 times more likely to get the same response from the chosen demographic group.

STEP 3

What sample size do you need?

To estimate the size of the target population you require for your survey, you have to take into account the  margin error, the confidence level as well as the population of the community you are addressing. This value is the number of surveys you need answered for you to draw valuable conclusions from the data.  An example is where you have a population of 500 people. If the margin error in this case is 10 percent, you will need 50 questionnaires to be answered from the information to be valuable. In the same example, if you have a confidence level of 90 percent, you will need to have 74 questionnaires answered.

Note: if the population you are targeting is greater than a million, you may need to round the figure to the nearest hundred.

STEP 4

How will the population respond?

It is rather unfortunate that not all the people you send the survey to will respond to the questionnaire.  This is where the response rate (the number of people who actually take the survey) comes in. Working out your response rate will help you determine the number of surveys you would need to send out and get the required number of responses. In case you are giving out a business survey to a population that you have no relationship with, you should expect a response rate of between 20 and 30 percent. However, if you have never sampled the population before, it is advisable to expect a response rate of between 10 and 15 percent.

STEP 5

Ho w many people do you need to sample?

To accurately determine the number of respondents you need to send the survey to, you will need to divide the figure you got from step3 by the figure you got in step 4. This is pretty easy, right? For instance, if the survey is targeting 100 ladies who use shampoo and you know that only 10 percent of the target group will respond to the survey, you will have to divide 100 by 10 percent, which will result in 1000. In such a case, you will need to send 1000 professional survey questionnaires to get 100 responses.

If you are looking for the suited demographic group to fill your surveys, check out SurveyForBusiness.com Audience.

At SurveyForBusiness.com, we have millions of respondents, who are ready to fill your surveys. All the respondents on the site have been profiled against numerous geographic, demographic, occupational and lifestyle data points. As such, you can easily target only the group you intend to get answers from. With the company, you can easily launch a project. All the required set of data will then be collected and the results presented to you for analysis. All you require is a SurveyForBusiness.com account.


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