Attending focus groups is something that I have done myself for a number of years now. The opportunities aren’t always widely available, however, I usually complete at least 1 or 2 per month. More on a good month. This is pretty easy money for something that doesn’t usually take a lot of time. I’m going to share with you today information on focus groups. I’ll even tell you where you can sign up to have the chance to attend focus groups.
What are focus groups?
Focus groups are typically meetings that allow companies to ask you questions, have you sample a new food or try out a new piece of technology. They will want to gain your genuine opinions, as you’re likely to be in their target audience once the item goes on sale. Companies may be looking to improve an item, re-design their website or perhaps introduce a new foodstuff to the market.
What is the typical fee for attending focus groups?
Typically fees are between £40 – £125, based on my own personal experience. I have had 15 – 60 minute focus groups for this fee. I have also been invited to focus groups that require a meeting of around 1-2 hours over 2-4 days and these typically pay from £200 upwards.
Travel fees are generally not included in the fee for focus groups, however, there is no harm in asking. When I have attended focus groups at the last minute I have always asked for travel expenses too. On occasion I have been granted an extra payment to cover the travel expenses. Travel expenses are also a legitimate business expense so that is something to bear in mind. You can find out more about this in the TMS self-employment toolkit.
What happens at focus groups?
Focus groups might be 1-on-1 meetings or they might be group meetings. I have certainly attended a varied mixture. I have been to some focus groups that were just a small group of people sitting around a table. I’ve also attended focus groups where there are literally hundreds of people. You will often be given sheets of questions to answer throughout the session, especially if there are a lot of you.
Some focus groups may require you to be recorded, for in house purposes. This is also communicated in advance of attending focus groups, at least in my experience. I have refused on occasion and have still been invited to attend focus groups, instead they have either recorded my voice or just made written notes from the session.
A recent focus group that I went to, for a utility company, was full of existing customers. We ranged in demographic, location, household income etc and it was a really diverse group of people. We were invited to address any questions and concerns that we had direct to the utility company.
At quite a few sessions I have been provided with food or drink. I tend to find that the evening ones are best for putting on a spread. I attended a 1.5 hour focus group recently and they had an amazing buffet and even a 15 minute break to allow you to get food. This was so thoughtful and I think it was partly because the big bosses were there for a change!
Where can I find companies that offer focus groups?
There are such a wide number of companies that offer focus groups. Some focus groups offer sessions in particular areas of the company, others have a vast array of opportunities spread throughout the UK. Some of the best, that I have found, are:
If you want to find a HUGE list of companies that offer focus groups then be sure to check out this great thread over on the TMS forum. The forum is full of fantastic individuals who offer help to one another, support one another in earning money online and stay motivated.