Are you looking for new low cost market research or how to determine if businesses for sale in your city are really profitable? Well the Census Bureau’s new Census Business Builder tool may be the part of the solution. This tool makes it easier for small business entrepreneurs and managers to make use of Census data in their business decisions and market research.
One of the most interesting features of the Census Business Builder tool is its ability to search for the average revenues of companies in a specific sub-industry. You read that right. This tool lets you drill all the way down to the lowest level NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code and return the mean revenues for those companies by city or by county. This is very cool and extremely helpful for doing market research!
Some features are not fully implemented yet, but you can play around with the software and get a pretty good idea of what it can and eventually will be able to do. While the user interface is pretty attractive, I find the site a bit difficult to navigate, and frankly, a bit slow to return results. But hey, compared to downloading and processing raw Census data on your own, it is a heck of an improvement.
Some things the tool can’t do: 1) It can’t estimate actual profitability. Maybe it will eventually connect with the IRS to get the earnings of the businesses they cover. In the meantime, revenues are pretty good, when combined with other ratios. 2) It also doesn’t identify any of the companies in its database. This is understandable, for if it did, then companies would start refusing to participate in the Census.
Another issue is that while the data is pretty accurate, some of it is pretty old. After all, the Census doesn’t run every year, and some information is only collected every three or five years. A lot can change in that time frame, and brings up the possibility of decision making based on old data.
Nonetheless, if you want a quick report telling you about the demographics, sociometrics, and housing characteristics of your customer base, or if you want to check out some aggregate statistics about your competitors, then you should check it out. The Census Business Builder tool will also help you learn more about consumer spending trends in your sub-industry, which is always valuable and helpful to entrepreneurs.
Here at LaunchScore, we differentiate ourselves by predicting the Potential Yearly Earnings of the next small business in a particular city. We cover 800 business types in over 750 cities in the United States. Use us to find top small business opportunities, and then use the Census Business Builder to dig in for more details. LaunchScore complements the Census data, and gives an entrepreneur a low cost market research alternative when making business decisions.