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Secondary information resources and general strategies for conducting research within the field of entrepreneurship.

Market Research

Typically, research being conducted - formally or informally - within the field of entrepreneurship is termed market research

Market research is "The process of gathering, analyzing and interpreting information about a market, about a product or service to be offered for sale in that market, and about the past, present and potential customers for the product or service; research into the characteristics, spending habits, location and needs of your business's target market, the industry as a whole, and the particular competitors you face" (source).

Entrepreneurs conduct market research to answer questions like: 

  • Who are my customers? 
  • How many customers can I potentially reach (market sizing)? 
  • What motivates my customers to purchase my product or service? 
  • Who are my competitors? 
  • Where should I sell my product or service?
  • How should I advertise my product or service?
  • What are the emerging trends in my industry? 

To make things easy, when it comes to identifying the resources needed to help answer these questions (and others) we can group these questions into three categories: Industry ResearchCustomer Discovery, and Competitive Intelligence

Primary vs Secondary Research

The best market research is a combination of primary and secondary information

Primary information: research you compile yourself or hire someone to gather for you.

Secondary information: This type of research is already compiled and organized for you. Examples of secondary information include reports and studies by government agencies, trade associations or other businesses within your industry.(source)

The resources available to you at the library will primarily help you with secondary research. 


Many thanks to the following librarians and librarians who inspired this guide: 

Business & Entrepreneurship Librarian

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Summer Krstevska
251C Farrell Hall

Business & Social Science Librarian

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Morgan Ritchie-Baum
251F Farrell Hall