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Celebrating Rural Georgia. Reading the Crystal Ball: How Communities and Businesses Can Conduct Home Grown Market Research. Presented by: Sharon P. Kane Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development & Food Science and Technology August 22, 2006. Celebrating Rural Georgia.

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celebrating rural georgia

Celebrating Rural Georgia

Reading the Crystal Ball: How Communities and Businesses Can Conduct Home Grown Market Research

Presented by:

Sharon P. Kane

Center for Agribusiness and Economic Development &

Food Science and Technology

August 22, 2006



Celebrating Rural Georgia

A Deep Discussion...


enhance the depth of your knowledge
Enhance the DEPTH of Your Knowledge
  • Discover why the right information is important for success in business development
  • Explore what questions should be asked
  • Prepare a plan to address the questions
  • Track where good data sources may be found – many are FREE
  • Have a better understanding of your business environment!


why is research important
Why is research important?
  • Critical component in strategic planning for community business development initiatives
  • Essential for business planning purposes – start-up and ongoing
  • Helps individual business owners in determining key information about their market or industry
  • Provides information to banks or investors - any funding source - for needed capital
  • Data to assist in important business decisions – expansion, new product lines, new business recruitment, economic profile
  • Provides an understanding of the local economy as well as regional and national economic trends


what questions should be asked
What questions should be asked?
  • Understand community objectives!
  • What makes your community special?
  • What do area citizens think about the local business environment?
  • Where are critical information gaps?
  • What limitations are there in seeking this information? (i.e. cost, time, community objections)
  • How complex are these tasks? Should we seek technical assistance in pursuing these objectives?
  • What is the expected outcome of receiving this information?


tips for planning
Tips for Planning
  • Incorporate answers to business/community questions into a plan
  • Consider the expected time frame for results
  • Make decisions about methods and output; involve technical assistance providers
  • Anticipate how findings will be used
  • Stick to the objectives!


resources for research
Resources for Research
  • Feasibility Study
  • Economic Impact Study
  • Market Study
  • Consumer Opinion Survey
  • Data Analysis
  • Focus Groups
  • In-depth Interviews


resources for research8
Resources for Research


  • Basic, yet helpful research tools are publicly available or through technical assistance providers
  • Often free or very low cost, so can provide at least a good starting point
  • Requires the use of some caution to prevent use of invalid data


points to remember
Points to Remember
  • Filter – not all data is essential information
  • Not every source is valid

-”I found it on the Internet”

  • Free is not necessarily best, VALUE is the key


resources for research10
Resources for Research

Demographic Information

The U.S. Census Bureau (www.census.gov) provides a broad range of data for business uses, including:

  • County Business Patterns
  • Decennial Census
  • American Fact Finder
  • Economic Census
  • Survey of Business Owners
  • Statistics of U.S. Businesses



Resources for Research

  • Farm Gate Value Report
  • Georgia County Guide
  • Community Demographic Profiles
  • Georgia Statistics System
  • Industry Economic Impact Series



Resources for Research



Resources for Research

Median Household Effective Buying Income, 2003



resources for research14
Resources for Research

Georgia by County TM-H027. Median Value of Specified Owner-Occupied Housing Units: 2000Universe: Specified owner-occupied housing unitsData Set: Census 2000 Summary File 3 (SF 3) - Sample Data




Resources for Research

Free Purchasing Power Profiles and Workforce Density Data for All Census Tracts and Residential ZIP Codes in U.S.

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Employment and Training Institute provides comparison data on purchasing power, business activity, and workforce density for all census tracts, residential ZIP codes, and the 100 largest metro areas in the U.S. The profiles are designed to help cities, companies, developers, small business owners, and community organizations assess the advantages of urban density for underserved city neighborhoods.



fedfit federal reserve fiscal impact tool
FedFITFederal Reserve Fiscal Impact Tool
  • FIT is easy-to-use software designed to help community and economic developers estimate the likely effects of a specific economic development project.
  • FIT is intended for community and economic development professionals, primarily in small and mid-size communities.
  • FIT does not purport to give a single “right” answer but seeks only to present a rough picture of the likely impact.


resources for research18
Resources for Research

Your technical assistance provider has data with exclusive access


value of national trends
Value of National Trends



resources for research20
Resources for Research
  • Private companies sell information that they collect
      • Specific industries
      • Customized compilations
      • Business information
      • GIS Technology
  • Examples include
      • Claritas
      • ESRI
      • Dun & Bradstreet


woods poole economics state profile data
Woods & Poole Economics/State Profile Data
  • Contains annual data from 1969 through 2030 for the U.S. and Georgia counties, and metropolitan and micropolitan areas as defined by the Office of Management and Budget.
  • It includes variable such as population, employment, earnings, per capita income, retail sales per-household, number of households by income categories and total retail sales for selected categories.


resources for research23
Resources for Research


  • Dollars and Cents of Shopping Centers (2004)

Includes comprehensive income and expense data for shopping centers and tenants organized by center type and region


reference usa



Available databases:

The business database contains detailed information on 13 million businesses in the U.S.

The residential database contains information on 120 million households in the U.S.--mostly addresses and telephone numbers.


trade dimensions www tradedimensions com
TRADE DIMENSIONSwww.tradedimensions.com


Retail Tenant Directory (book, CD-Rom, Online formats) www.retailtenants.com; www.PlainVanillaShell.com

This publication contains in-depth profiles of over 5,400 retail chains across the U.S.

Purchase prices:

Book: $399

CD-ROM: $1345

Online: $995 (one user)



Contact Info:

Sharon P. Kane, Food Business Development Specialist

The University of Georgia

240-B Food Science Building

Athens, Georgia 30602

Office: 706-542-2574

E-mail: spkane@uga.edu