My startup is in the customer discovery phase. As part of my latest venture, I've assembled a team that was selected through a competitive contest to study entrepreneurship under Steve Blank as part of an intense multi-school collaborative course in the customer development process. As part of that course, we're conducting interviews of people within our target market (small business owners generally, ideally small business owners running companies with 5-25 employees) to test product-market fit before we start building out the product at all. We're trying to see if the thing we're looking to build is a product worth building - if it solves a real problem that small business owners actually need solving.
Ideally, I'd like to interview between 60-100 small business owners during the two week period spanning August 17th - 24th... and have setup a simple website for that purpose at digitalCOO.com. But I haven't been able to get past 20 business owners I know through my own network that aren't already immediately biased into (1) knowing too much about the product I'm trying to build, and (2) thinking it's a genius idea. I'm looking for more removed and unbiased small business owners (ideally with between 5-25 employees... industry isn't terribly relevant) to interview.
Any thoughts on how to find 50-80 more small business owners with between 5-24 employees that would be willing to schedule an appointment to be interviewed about how they manage the "business end" of their company for 30 minutes between August 17th - 24th? We will not be asking about any sensitive company information or anything like that, and our objective is merely to learn from these small business owners - not to sell or pitch them anything.