Market Research, pt.3:
Where To Go
A comprehensive list of marketing research sources would fill a book. However, there are a few titles and sources that are good starting points for any market research process. And don't overlook college business libraries, whose librarians are experienced in finding business marketing information.
American Buyers: Demographics of Shopping. Ithaca, N.Y.: New Strategist.
Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand. Ithaca, N.Y.: New Strategist.
Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources. Detroit, MI: Gale Research.
Encyclopedia of Associations. Detroit, MI: Gale Research.
Also available as an online database called Associations Unlimited.
Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What. Ithaca, N.Y.: New Strategist.
Local directories, e.g., local telephone directory
Your local library might offer access to one or more of these subscription databases. Ask the librarian to help you use the Alabama Virtual Library.
Associations Unlimited - Look up trade associations and other organizations related to your business.
ReferenceUSA - This is an extensive online directory of businesses of all sizes. Look up your type of business and limit your search to a location to discover your nearby competitors. A similar product is the AtoZ Directory Database.
http://aern.cba.ua.edu/ - Alabama Entrepreneurial Research Network with links to databases for business resources.
http://www.thomasnet.com - ThomasNet (Free web version of former print Thomas Register.) Find companies that manufacture and sell specific kinds of products (suppliers, customers, or competitors).
http://www.fedstats.gov - Comprehensive site for all federal agencies and statistics such as census data.
http://www.sba.gov - Official site of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Contains information about lending and sources of help.
http://census.gov - The Census Bureau’s very comprehensive online data source. Learn to use American Factfinder and become familiar with the American Community Survey (ACS). The ACS is your best source for free statistics at small geographic levels.
http://www.onestopcenter.com - Official site of West Alabama Chamber of Commerce, providing tax forms and information on business start-up pertinent to West Alabama.
Next section: The Business Plan