Are you exploring a business idea or trying to expand your existing small business? You will undoubtedly get to a point where you’ll need to conduct market research to help you form a viable plan and make a strong case to investors or lenders.
The Seattle Public Library subscribes to a wide range of tools that provide this information completely free and easily accessible from our Library to Business page! Stop by any Seattle Public Library location, or log into these resources from outside of the Library with your Library card number and PIN.
One of our favorite and most popular business databases, Demographics Now will help you create detailed consumer and demographic reports for specific geographic areas by product, age, income level, and more. If you are trying to decide where to set up shop, size up the market for your products, or create a marketing plan – this is one tool you’ll want to explore.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to get started:
1: Start at our Library to Business page, www.spl.org/business.
2: Locate the Tools for Business section, select the category Market Your Business, then select Demographics Now. At this point, if you are outside of the Library, you’ll be prompted to enter your Library card number and PIN.
3: Click on the Demographics tab at the top of the page.
4: The default report you’ll now see is a demographic snapshot of the entire United States. To generate a different report that matches your individual research needs, use the fields Enter Geography and Report Type at the top of the report.
5: In the Enter Geography field, enter a location and click on the search symbol or hit Enter. If you input a specific address, the report will be for three adjustable ranges in a radius around that address. When you change the geography, you’ll see that the demographic snapshot below has automatically adjusted to represent this new location.
6: In the Report Type field, click on the drop-down menu to view the report options. These ready-to-go reports organize data for you about various categories of consumer spending and demographics. When you select a report type, the data below will automatically update for the geography you’ve already selected.
As an example of what this will look like, here’s a snippet of a report for Seattle that compares the Residential Population to the Daytime Population:
One of the most interesting reports in the menu is the Mosaic [Household or Population] Comparison. Mosaic is a market segmentation model that groups the population by shared traits like values and lifestyle, otherwise known as ‘psychographics.’ If you have an interest in marketing your business in a way that resonates with and reaches the top market segments in Seattle, or want to know what makes a niche segment tick, it’s worth looking at the Mosaic reports. (Fun fact: Seattle’s largest market segment, at 27.1% of households, is what Mosaic has named ‘Urban Edge.’ Click here to view Mosaic’s full 20-page report about the characteristics of the ‘Urban Edge’ group.)
This is just the beginning of what you can do with DemographicsNow! If you want to explore on your own, advanced features like custom mapping are covered in some of DemographicsNow’s handy video tutorials:
Are you interested in learning more about how to use DemographicsNow? Do you have any other business questions? Librarians are standing by to provide personalized business research help! Visit us in person, call us at 206-386-4636, or get in touch by email.
Also be sure to check out more amazing online resources, Quick Start Guides, and our calendar of small business events on our Library to Business page: www.spl.org/business
~posted by Lindy G.