Before you can jump into making a strategic plan to launch of grow your business, you need to thoroughly understand where you’re going, who you need to aim for, who your competitors are and devise a plan from there. In Lesson 1 of our 10 Part Strategy Series, we share 5 of the Most Powerful Research Tools and how to use them NOW!
Reference USA Did you know that you probably contain what’s needed to get direct access to one of the TOP and most comprehensive databases in the world? Reference USA is home to MANY different databases which can give you the tools to know who your client is, where they live, how much money they make, what percentage of them are college educated… the types of information you can find is MASSIVE. Most cities allow access to this database through the number on the back of your public library card. Yep, that’s it. If you have a free library card that your taxes have already paid for, you have access to a powerful database, which should be your first stop to setting your business goals, picking your niche, and deep diving into what you’re going to offer this niche.
EBSCO Host Research business journals, databases, libraries, ebooks, business and media information… basically the list is endless. This is a POWER tool that most business either don’t know about or don’t use. But wouldn’t it be GREAT to know more about your client before you spend your life saving launching a business to reach them or before you go further down the wrong path? This site also allows you to research over 2700 business magazines and trade journals. WHY use the can’t afford it excuse? Here is the information you need for the cost of your time to sift through it on the internet.
Census Bureau Study your industry, find out what your competition is up to, and locate your exact demographical trends using this site. Learn your potential clients demographics, spending trends, earnings and income, health trends, labor economics and trends in technology. You pay so much in taxes...get something back and use it to launch your business or grow the one you currently have.
Kauffman Foundation was built simply help people gain economic independence through education and empower entrepreneurs. This site is not only powerful, it’s comprehensive and offers many avenues through affiliate sites to grow your business. This platform features business events, research programs, papers, studies, grant information, and a free annual insights book that you can order yearly, simply by asking for it.
Spyfu is a great site in addition to Google Keyword Planner, to find out how many people are searching for a particular keyword. This is a quick tool to see if your current niche or an industry that you are considering jumping into is popular, where it’s being searched the most, and if there is an opportunity for you in this particular niche. Knowing what words your competitors are buying and what types of products and services they are building for your niche is great information to have as you build a strategic plan for your business.
Good Research Questions ( and the answers to them are in these research tools)
Who is my client?
Where do they live? Where does my best client live? Is it a city or online?
Do they spend on my type of product, service, or niche?
Are they college educated? Does that matter?
Who are my competitors?
What are my competitors doing? What types of products are they offering? What channels are they using to get their products marketed?
What is my competitors market share?
What reports can I find in my industry? What do they tell me? Do they answer the questions above? What’s happened in my industry? What’s happening now? Where is my industry going? What are the trends these reports are telling me? Reading industry reports is an AWESOME way to find out what’s happening, what’s coming, and what the trends are telling you about your industry or niche. Why guess? Read the numbers of people who have already put in the work to find the numbers, to survey your demographics and found out the statistics.
Facebook Insights. Did you know that by clicking the “likes” button on your competitor’s page you can find out 3 key insights into their business:
the age range of their fans
the most popular city of their fans
the location of their fans
their most popular week
Then you can determine what type of posts they were dropping during their most popular week. Was is blog posts? Photos? Quotes? Videos? What were they doing that week that was so successful? How can you implement these types of posts into your own page ( of course in your own voice, using your own info and being authentically you)
Get FREE Reports on how your competitors are using social media to grow their businesses using Simply Measured. Make sure to at least download the free Facebook and Twitter reports.
Liked these research tools? Now I want you to drop me a comment below and let me know exactly how you will use these tools in your business TODAY!
Also, if you feel you’re ready for a focused strategy one on one, let me know here.