Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Great Free Tools at the Local Library

Things have come a long way at the local library since I was a youngster.  I remember a time when what was in the building was "it"; that (hopefully) some dusty cover enclosed some information one wanted and if that didn't do, just maybe a librarian could call someone.  And there were more exalted libraries still: at the school, at the nearest university, or at the state capitol.

Nowadays, armed with a borrowers card and a laptop, I can surf resources available throughout the county library system.  And market research information through those resources is excellent.  I am still in awe!  While sitting on the deck, barefoot and with a lemonade at the side, I can have incredible amounts of research delivered to me!

Our own system here in Wake County, North Carolina has access to such organizations as ABI/Inform (industry trends), Hoovers (public company profiles), Morningstar (financials), ReferenceUSA (data on 24 million businesses), and Snapshots (industry overviews).  And there are others as well in the database.  A good deal of this is high end research that is typically unaffordable to a small business.

Take a look at your own local library system.  You may be surprised what you can learn about your industry, your market and your competitors, usually for no charge (beyond the taxes you pay).

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