Grow Your Own Biz - Market Research
Resource Links & Information
Market research is the practice of using information to determine the sufficiency of customers and demand for a business. Most market research is performed by for-profit companies (see bottom), but here are sites which can give you information to perform your own.
US Economic Census
Every 5 years, the US Census Bureau performs an Economic Census of businesses throughout the United States. Data available include number of establishments by industry, employment, wages and drive times.
US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS)
The BLS researches the latest inflation rates, and also offers 8-to-10 year projections of employment by industry. These projections can be valuable indicators of whether or not federal researchers believe your type of business will grow or decrease.
Log Into North Carolina (LINC)
LINC is a website from the NC State Data Center (NCOSMB). It allows access to all Census demographic, employment and income data as well as population projections for counties and municipalities (which the Census does not offer).
Google Trends is a public web facility of Google which allows users to learn the popularity of a given search term over a specified time in a given geographic area. This has many uses for market research and evaluation of product demand in a given area.
Traffic Count Maps (NCDOT & WPCOG Data Services)
Traffic counts can be helpful in determining whether to locate a business. Higher traffic means more access to customers and higher visibility. Below are maps of 2001 and 2007 traffic counts for each Hickory Metro county.
The NC Department of Transportation conducts Traffic Counts to determine how many vehicles pass various points throughout the state. Each point is given an “Average Daily Traffic” number, or ADT.
The ADT can be helpful in determining where to locate a business. Higher traffic means more access to customers and higher visibility. The link below leads to the NCDOT Traffic Volume Maps, where you can access the individual county sheets in PDF format.
Paid Market Sites
The following companies are the ten largest for-profit marketing research firms in the United States (2014)
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