That means marketing as well as identifying your customer base, said Marilyn Laverty, director of the Small Business Development Center.
Solid information that is easy to pull together for a marketing strategy is often hard to come by, but a database called ReferenceUSA can help. The database is available to patrons of Montrose County and Delta County libraries. The best part about it, according to Laverty, is that the information is free.
The online research program can be an enormous help to small businesses because of the accurate, in-depth information provided. Montrose reference librarian Tania Hajjar said she uses ReferenceUSA all the time, and business owners can contact her to learn how to find useful information for their business.
“ReferenceUSA provides data you can’t Google on the Internet and you can’t find in a regular directory,” she said.
That information goes into great detail, especially for publicly owned companies, Hajjar said, such as updated information on corporate employees, the actual names of the president and CEO, and locations of headquarters, subsidiaries and parent companies.
ReferenceUSA searches can be tailored to find primary competitors under a particular brand or product name, number of employees and sales volume, said Hajjar.
Mondschein, head of technical services for the Delta County public libraries, said she’s excited to publicize ReferenceUSA and will be giving seminars on using the tool through the Delta Chamber of Commerce. Training will be available for any group in Delta County and through the library’s free computer classes.
“The uses of this database are only limited by your imagination,” Mondschein said.
ReferenceUSA can also help small business owners identify their customer base with in-depth information on 210 million U.S. residents, 12 million Canadian households as well as 15.5 million U.S. and Canadian businesses.
Residential information in ReferenceUSA is gathered primarily from telephone white pages. Business information is gathered from reliable sources such as yellow and white pages, annual reports, government data, business magazines, top newspapers, the U.S. Postal Service, Internet research, and the U.S. Census Bureau. Then, 24 million phone calls are made by ReferenceUSA researchers to verify the accuracy of the data.
The Wall Street Journal has proclaimed ReferenceUSA to be a “powerful market-research tool” crucial to small businesses.
The business module of ReferenceUSA is “perfect for people conducting job searches, locating out-of-town companies, tracking down addresses and phone numbers, conducting patent and market research, and much more,” according to the newspaper.
For more information on ReferenceUSA, contact the Montrose library at 249-9656 or www.montroselibrary.org, or the Delta library at 874-9630 or www.deltalibraries.org.