Market Research

Market research involves describing, quantifying, and locating your target customer(s); analyzing your competitors; and evaluating your industry.

The purpose is to determine how you differ from your competitors, if your market can sustain a viable business, and how trends in the industry will affect your business. Thorough market research can help you reach your customers, find a location for a brick and mortar business, anticipate opportunities or challenges, and set yourself apart from the competition.

The resources on this page are primarily sources of secondary market research; the data has been collected, processed, and packaged already. Primary market research is data that you can decide to collect yourself, through methods like surveys, focus groups, and interviews.

Finding Your NAICS or SIC code

North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code is used to classify businesses by primary industry. Use the NAICS code that best describes your primary business activity when researching. Many market research resources, including federal sources and the DSBC databases, use NAICS in their search functions.

Library Databases

Evaluating Information

Navigate through the Toolkit by clicking the links below. If you have any questions, click the Need Help box or give the Library a call!

Business Ownership

Business Planning

Market Research

Business Registration & Licensing

Business Finance & Funding


HR & Staffing