Market research is gathering information about consumer needs and preferences in order to understand if a client-base can support your business to achieve your goals. It is important for an entrepreneur to gather reliable information on the competitors as well as on potential customers. Small businesses have numerous potential ways to conduct market research so that they avoid wasting their limited resources in unproductive ways.
Public libraries are an underutilized resource for small businesses. Libraries provide startups with tools about local demographic information that can cost large companies hundreds of dollars to access. The Dallas Public Library has a wide collection of online databases available to library card holders including databases dedicated to business and investment research. The following are our most popular databases for entrepreneurs:
Contributes to a better understanding of: Customer demographics, research on competitors, and location evaluation by providing access to maps, demographics, census information and reports that can be focused on specific regions and neighborhoods.
Includes verified information on businesses throughout the U.S. and tools for mapping and defining interest areas on potential customers, competition and locations to consider for supporting a business.
These databases can be used from your home computer when you login to the Dallas Public Library website. Some databases, like the Hoover’s Business Information, a database that provides you with current business trends and in-depth company and industry reports, can only be accessed from one of the Library Branches. If you want more information on how to better use these or other library databases, contact us or stop by the Central Library 5th Floor Business and Technology.