Search Industry Databases before You Start a Business

Article excerpt

Q. I am working full time but I plan to start a business on a part-time basis. I don't know where to start looking for statistics on my industry or information about the number and location of my competitors. Where is the best place to find this?

A. Researching and learning as much as you can about your industry, the market and your competition is critical before starting a business. Many businesses fail because the owner lacked information.

Market research will direct the design and packaging of your products or service as well as your market penetration strategies.

Besides obtaining industry statistics and product trends, you will want to gather information on market overviews, marketing strategies, literature searches, corporate/company reports, biographical data, demographics and financial data. You might also need to do trademark and patent searches.

Start at your local library with computer searches. Make sure the library you've selected offers on-line searching. Libraries usually charge a modest fee of between $10 and $25 for 10 minutes.

The CARL information database contains a periodical index that lists any information written about a company. …


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