Information about customers and customer surveys are huge in determining whether or not your project or business idea is viable. My project is based out of Kigali, Rwanda. It is a great experience and learning opportunity to conduct business in a foreign country but it has come with its fair share of obstacles.

We are facing
• Language Barrier
• Niche Market
• Distance

Other projects that I have worked on were local so customer interviews were easy. Many times I was able to identify our target market, drive a short distance, sometimes even walk and just have a quick meeting where the interview would take place. This project is completely different. The trip to Africa in January was very beneficial because I was able to have these same types of meetings where I was able to travel a short distance to specific locations and talk to specific people face to face. Now that I am back in the States, it is more difficult to gather this information. We have worked to overcome these obstacles by creating an online survey to send out to well-connected contacts that we reached out to during our time in Africa. Having a foot in the door with connected people in our target market has made is easier to reach out to other potential customers that we wish to gather information from. The internet is also a very effective vehicle to reach potential customers because it allows us to be in contact without having to travel far distances or send surveys in the mail and wait long periods of time for responses. It was very important to gather information about the project while we were on the trip, such as finances, the business atmosphere, and to create business relationships, but it was also crucial to make contact with potential customers and members of our target market to discover efficient ways to gather information and stay in contact while we are back in the States thousands of miles away. We have sent out one survey so far and have gathered responses that make us hopeful for the viability and success of the project, but we are still in the process of gathering customer data.