Paul Simacek – Keen understanding of your target market is a critical success factor both for starting a new business and growing an existing business. Demographics information such as age, income, family composition and consumer spending habits are important pieces of information that can help define and focus your target market and to help you decide where to locate or expand your business. In addition, the distribution and trends of demographics can be used as powerful market research tools that provide insight for your business. Market research, feasibility analysis and marketing plan development are just some of the powerful ways this information can be utilized to help you grow your business.
At ISBDC, we are fortunate to have access to world-class geographically linked demographic reports generated by ESRI. Through this access, we can generate location specific information in over 40 comprehensive report formats such as market profiles, traffic profiles and market potential profiles. For detailed information about the reports and methodology visit ESRI.
To illustrate just how a demographic report can help you plan for your business, here are a few sample reports using historical data from 2006. For our current clients we generate current year data and five year projected data from ESRI to look at the market base in a specified distance from your location, or your potential business location. The map below (Figure 1) shows a 5, 10 and 15 mile drive time for a sample location, and the table below (Figure 2) is a small section of data for same location.
Figure 1 Site Map
Figure 2 Market Profile Report Section
In this example, let’s say you want to open a new pet supply store. You have found from other market research resources such as trade associations that most pet stores get 80% of their clients within a 15 minute drive. The ISBDC can run a report on demographics based on your proposed locations to match your targeted area and understand your potential customer base. The table below (Figure 3) is just a small portion of what we can access about the people around your proposed pet shop location, including the number of cats and dogs per house and income.
Figure 3 Pets and Products Market Potential Report Section
The ISBDC has experienced advisors who can help harness the powerful demographic report resources at our disposal to strengthen your business planning and market research utilizing the latest data from ESRI. Using our expertise, we can analyze the demographics for your business and make specific recommendations based on our analysis.
Paul Simacek is a Business Advisor for the West Central Indiana Small Business Development Center, an organization with the mission of having a positive and measurable impact on the formation, growth, and sustainability of small businesses in Indiana, and to develop a strong entrepreneurial community. Paul can be reached at [email protected].