Library Can Help You Find Data For Your Business Plan

Q:  I’m working on my business plan and am in need of some demographics for the area where I’ll be operating my business.  Are there any resources at the library that I can use?

A:  Yes we have several resources available that you can use for researching demographics.  There are many demographics you can include in your business plan, depending on the nature of your endeavor.   Most entrepreneurs include the total population of their geographic area and then show various breakdowns such as age, gender, race, education and income.

At the Capital Area District Library we have access to the following resources in our Business Reference collection:

  • Business Statistics of the United States, Bernan Press
  • County Business Patterns, U.S. Bureau of the Census
  • Market Profile Analysis (for Ingham County), Dun & Bradstreet
  • Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics, CACI, Inc.

The U.S. Census also is available online.  Visit http://factfinder.census.gov to search for data by zip code, city name, or county.  This site now offers access to the decennial census data, as well as the economic census data and other reports published by the Bureau of the Census.

In addition, the Capital Area District Library will be offering access to a new database in 2007 called BusinessDecision.  BusinessDecision provides advanced data, reporting, and mapping capabilities in an accessible and convenient format.  This dynamic tool helps small and medium-sized businesses grow by…

… better understanding their market

… finding new customers

… evaluating competitors

… identifying new store locations

… targeting media and direct mail campaigns

Classes on how to use this database will be scheduled throughout 2007 starting with two sessions this winter at the Main Library.

Thursday, February 15, 2007
Main Library Computer Center
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Main Library Computer Center
6:00 – 7:30 p.m.

Please contact the Computer Center at 517-367-6356 for registration.  If you have questions about the database, please contact the Business Librarian at 517-334-1522.