In addition to the plethora of digital resources already available to residents through MeL, Michigan’s eLibrary, state funding just made even more research and reference materials available to businesses and entrepreneurs. (A quick internet search confirmed other states offer similar services.)
How Do These Resources Help You and Your Business?
Research and data are critical at every stage of business development and growth. While it’s widely assumed entrepreneurs are risk takers, the truth is, people who start and grow successful ventures mitigate real and perceived risks through very careful planning and analysis of relevant data at every stage of the process.
In the Idea or Startup Stage, data is used to identify competitors, define your customer demographic, estimate product or service costs, validate market needs, and prepare the financial section of your business plan in order to secure funding.
Established business poised for growth can use these research tools to analyze the competition, identify new markets, learn about exporting regulations and opportunities, and explore new product or service deliveries.
All businesses involved in product development needs data to analyze the competition, validate a market need for the concept, determine the best materials and processes for manufacturing, understand target customers and how to reach them, apply for and secure a patent, and determine the costs and price of your goods.
DemographicsNow: Business & People – Business & demographic data to assess business viability, create sales leads & mailing lists, complete location analysis and business plans, analyze population trends, and find potential sponsors and donors.
Business Insights: Global – A variety of international learning and research tools organized by country, company, and industry.
BusinessDecision – Uses Census data and state of the art mapping technology to present consumer market data, including the Tapestry lifestyle segmentation system, consumer spending data, demographic & housing data, population estimates, and forecasts.
A complete listing of business and job resources available can be found here.