To research an industry or market, use the IBISWorld and/or the Business Market Research Collection databases from the library. IBISworld will provide detailed information on a given industry at a national level and can also be used to focus on state- and county-level industry data. The Business Market Research Collection provides similar, but complementary, industry information at a national level. In addition to providing a general overview of market conditions, these resources will help you situate your company within the larger industry.
The best place to find the regulations and legal requirements for a sole proprietorship will be state, county, or municipal websites. Links to the regulations and licensing requirements can also sometimes be found on the state or local chamber of commerce website. A tip for searching using Google: type your type of company and geographic location, for example food truck detroit, in the Google search bar, but add the following site:.gov and then run the search. This will limit your results to government websites. Your search string should look like: food truck detroit site:.gov
The Statista database and the U.S. Census website will be good sources for data on your target demographic.
The Business Market Research Collection and Statista databases will be useful for learning more about options for expansion for your company.
(See the Video Tutorials box on this page for help with using the databases and Census.gov.)