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How to Research to Find New Customers
February 16, 2021 @ 5:00 pm - 6:00 pm PST
In this webinar, Lynn Wilson, IDRS’ Microenterprise Development Specialist and marketing research guru will teach you to use a free library resource to find more customers for your business. Reference Solutions, a subscription database offered for free by many libraries, is used to conduct market research by providing instant access to comprehensive business and consumer listings.
The workshop will take place on Tuesday, February 16th at 5:00 pm Pacific / 6:00 pm Mountain / 7:00 pm Central. The workshop is free and open all entrepreneurs. This workshop will be delivered online utilizing the Zoom platform. The workshop can be taken on computers and smartphones.
This workshop is part of a monthly series produced by IDRS unlocking marketing research tools, tips, and tricks that potential entrepreneurs and small business owners can utilize in their planning to start and grow a business. This is a repeat of our Reference USA workshop from January.
What is Reference Solutions?
Reference Solutions is a subscription database offered by most libraries in the U.S. which is used by many small businesses to conduct market research by providing instant access to comprehensive business and consumer listings.
How can I use it for my business?
With Reference Solutions, you can generate lists of potential customers to market your products or services to, based on demographic information such as gender and income. The database also allows you to segregate the list based on consumer lifestyles and purchasing habits, such as people who like to RV travel or people who purchase pet-related products. The database is ideal for identifying a target market for a product or service, studying the demographics of a community, researching consumer demand for new businesses, researching a community before opening a business, determining how many competitors are in your market and estimating the number of potential customers based on hobbies, interests, and other demographics.
Here is just one example of how the data base can be used.
Four Seasons Landscape and Lawn Care:
Cherokee business owner Clint Wilson has a lawn care and landscaping service in northeastern Oklahoma. Business has been good but he would like to expand and take on new customers. He has determined his best target market to be single women with plenty of disposable income living in nice homes. With the Reference Solutions database, Clint generated a list of single women living within a 40 miles radius of his community, own a home with a value of over $200,000 and household income over $100,000/year.
With the list he generated he can mail a brochure to prospective customers or stop by the person’s house to provide a business card. Using other tools in the database, he can determine if there are specific areas where potential customers are located so he can set out signs or even purchase billboard advertising in that area. He can also look up the addresses on Google earth so he can actually see the person’s yard. This will enable him to be prepared to give the owner some suggestions for landscape improvement and be better prepared to give a price quote when he talks to the customer.
About our presenter:
Lynn Wilson serves as the Microenterprise Development Specialist for the IDRS Acorn Project. She has championed small businesses and entrepreneurs for 16 years working with tribal communities across Indian Country including her own tribe where she continues to provide small business support services for the Tribes’ CDFI & Commerce division.
Lynn’s work has focused on entrepreneurial training, business counseling, economic and demographic and social research related to economic development. Since 2009 she has taught part-time for the School of Business and Technology at Rogers State University and the Institute of American Indian Arts. Prior to coming to IDRS, She served as the lead certification trainer for the Indianpreneurship Journey curriculum while on staff at ONABEN. Lynn received her M.B.A and Professional Certification in Entrepreneurship from Cameron University and is a certified market research specialist through the National Center for Economic Gardening. She lives in Claremore, OK with her husband Clint (also a Cherokee Citizen) and their two sons, Chandler and Quinton.
This workshop is being funded in part by the USDA Rural Development, the Small Business Administration, and the California Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development.