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Small Business Hub: A Research Guide for Entrepreneurs

Market Research

Research the industry trends, competition, and potential consumers to find where your business idea fits in the market.


Starting points:

  1. Identify the industry or industries your business will be in, then find an industry report for the closest related industry. What are the current trends?
  2. Find a competitor. What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  3. Using market research, identify a target market. What need does your product or service meet?

Suggested strategies:

  • If you can't pinpoint an industry, try looking up a company that is similar and see what industries it is in. 
  • Looking for a niche industry? Look at broader industries in addition to searching trade publications for articles. 
  • When looking for data, consider who might collect that information: Government agencies? Industry associations? Research centers?

Select Resources

The subscription resources below marked with a padlock  are available to researchers on-site at the Library of Congress. If you are unable to visit the Library, you may be able to access these resources through your local public or academic library.

The following materials link to fuller bibliographic information in the Library of Congress Online Catalog. Links to additional online content are provided when available.

These are freely available online sources provided by government agencies, trade publications, and organizations.

The following guides were created by the Library of Congress to give an in-depth list of resources on a specific topic.