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Research on Main Street : Using the Web to Find Local Business and Market Information

by Unknown


Trade Paper
Pub. Date:
Information Today, Inc.

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In today's global economy, businesses need targeted, localized information about customers, companies, and industries, but adding the element of geography to any search topic--especially for counties, cities, census blocks, or any other substate areas--makes any project more challenging. Aimed at tackling these issues head-on, this guide offers free and low-cost options for using the web to find business and market information about various places, usually on the substate geographic level. Revealing how to use local sources for more in-depth research into people, companies, and national issues, this resource offers a manageable structure for how to approach this type of research, key resources, and practical solutions to specific questions. Each chapter includes valuable "Tips from the Pros," short sections spotlighting expert researchers' advice for finding information about local demographics, economies, companies, people, and issues. A companion website can be found at

Author Biography

Marcy Phelps is the president of Phelps Research. She lives in Lakewood, Colorado. Mary Ellen Bates is the author of Building and Running a Successful Research Business. She lives in Longmont, Colorado.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgmentsp. xi
About the Websitep. xiii
Forewordp. xv
Introductionp. xix
Planning the Trip: How to Approach Local Business Researchp. 1
Take a Geography Lessonp. 2
Small Locations Don't Live in Isolationp. 2
Take Time for a Reality Checkp. 3
Be Flexibp. 5
Throw In a Little Creativityp. 6
Use the Web to Find Sources Rather Than Just Answerp. 7
Verify What You Findp. 10
Know When It's Time to Payp. 11
Packing the Essentials: Key Resources for Local Business Researchp. 13
So Many Choicesp. 14
People Resourcesp. 15
Government Resourcesp. 16
Local Organizationsp. 26
Specialized Resourcesp. 28
News Resourcep. 30
Social Media Resourcesp. 34
Avoiding Shady Characters: Evaluating Information on the Webp. 41
What's the Problem?p. 41
Tips for Finding Quality Local Informationp. 46
Local Demographicp. 57
About Local Demographicsp. 57
Before You Get Startedp. 59
Decision Pointsp. 63
Best Places to Lookp. 64
Putting It Into Actionp. 73
Local Economicp. 77
About Local Economicsp. 77
Before You Get Startedp. 78
Decision Pointsp. 81
Best Places to Lookp. 84
Putting It Into Actionp. 99
Local Companiesp. 105
About Local Companiesp. 105
Before You Get Startedp. 106
Decision Pointsp. 108
Best Places to Lookp. 111
Putting It Into Actionp. 125
Looking for Localsp. 129
About Looking for Localsp. 129
Before You Get Startedp. 131
Decision Pointsp. 133
Best Places to Lookp. 135
Putting It Into Actionp. 144
Local Issuesp. 149
About Local Issuesp. 149
Before You Get Startedp. 151
Decision Pointsp. 153
Best Places to Lookp. 157
Putting It Into Actionp. 164
Paying at the Pump: Fee-Based Sources for Local Business Informationp. 171
Fee-Based vs. Free Resourcesp. 172
Types of Fee-Based Sourcesp. 175
Pricingp. 176
What's the Value of Your Time?p. 178
Fee-Based Sources for Local Informationp. 179
Resource Roadmap: Key Sources for Local Researchp. 189
How Do I…?: Short Guides to Local Business Researchp. 231
About the Authorp. 241
Indexp. 243
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