Primary research is research that goes directly to the source, by getting information directly from the person, people, or business that you're interested in. This type of research is best for questions that can't be answered with already published information (secondary research). Below are a few different types of primary research that might be relevant to entrepreneurs.
One resource that could be helpful in designing all types of primary research is called Sage Research Methods, available through the Library.
Interviews are used to capture important information about users, like their backgrounds, beliefs, and motivations. Typically you would interview one individual at a time.
Surveys are a good tool to consider if you want to collect information from a large group of people: they can be more efficient than interviews or focus groups. While surveys are most commonly used to collect quantitative data, they can collect some qualitative data if designed correctly.