Market research is the gathering of information about consumers’ preferences in order for a company to examine the potential for their particular goods or services in an area or consumer group. Ultimately this research allows the company to determine if there is a demand for their product or service prior to starting a new endeavor.
Thorough market research will identify a target market, set realistic sales and growth targets for your product or service, identify best locations, analyze competitors, identify threats and opportunities, and reduce business risk. The collected and analyzed data will be included in your business plan.
The Small Business Administration has a free Market Research Course available online through the SBA Learning Center. The 30-minute course gives an overview of how to identify and market to your customers. In this course, as well as other SBA materials, libraries are key places to find resources for conducting your own market research. The Dallas Public Library has access to databases that use census and consumer surveys to evaluate costumer preferences and industry information.
For more information about using DemographicsNow and ReferenceUSA, two databases that can be logged into from home with your Dallas Public Library card, visit a previous blog about how the library can benefit your small business. Or, come to the Business Foundation Series: Market Research workshop on Wednesday, Oct 18 at 6:00 pm on the 5th floor of the J. Erik Jonsson Central Library.