First, Take a Deep Breath
Research is time-consuming work. In order to do quality research, you will need to consult many different information sources. We have provided you with a number of resources for each category of business research. You should also consider visiting your local library. Give yourself plenty of time, and divide your work into small, manageable pieces.
We recommend focusing your business research on three topics:
The Industry Analysis page will provide you with a number of database and resources examples that you can use to source information for the industry portion of your business research.
The Competitive Analysis page will provide you with a number of database and resources examples that you can use to source information for your business research.
The Customer Analysis page will provide you with a number of database and resources examples that you can use to discover information about your customers.
Once you have researched these three areas and addressed the major questions in each section, you can begin to formulate your business plan. Learning how to conduct business research will benefit your business plan, your credibility, and your ability to make good business decisions.
For more industry specific information, check out our 100+ Industry Guides.
Worried about writing up all the research you’re about to do? Check out these articles for help.
- How to Write an Industry Analysis by Sabah Karimi (Bizfluent)
- How to Write an Industry Analysis by Avadhut Nigudkar (Finance Walk)
- Know Your Industry Before You Start Your Business by Tim Berry (Bplans)
- Writing the Market Analysis Section by Randy Duermyer (the balance small business)
- How to Write a Competitor Analysis by Gerald Hanks (Bizfluent)