I'm thinking I have to go back to school, so to speak, because I need to do some "market research" for the future development of my business. I need to assess the viability of the retail market in my area so that I can make an informed decision about my next move. I'm doing my due diligence.
Since the last time I was in school was in 2000. I may be a little rusty and not sure if I'm quite ready for the comitment I need to make. Sure, I could hire someone who's already obtained most of the data that I need, but with the world of information at our finger tips today, I figure I can at least set myself on the path of knowledge all on my own. And who knows what I will find on my jorney?
Where do I start?
The Internet: of course! Google conquers all.
I was doing some research yesterday and I came across some very useful information along with some email addresses of people who would be willing to help. Email could prove to be a valuable and easy way to exchange information and network.
The library: Yup, the old school, tried and true public library. Whenever I needed to buckle down in school, the library was where I went. I always went to the silent part too. It was the most productive place for me to get my work done back then, so why not now? The librarian may also have some great tips on searching for more information or even getting me to that information.
Local Organizatiuons: The Retailers Association of MA is also be a great place to start. They offer free webinars and links to lots of business resourses.
Networking: Probably the most valuable way to garner information. Speaking to other retailers and comercial real estate agents in the area will undoubtedly shake some fruit from the trees. Like myself, these people have the pulse on whats really going on in the area when it comes to retail. We are the ones in the stores, talking and communicating directly with the consumer. We know their spending habits.
Looks like I got my work cut out for me.
If you've got any suggestions, or know of any magic mirrors that can tell me exactly what I should do, don't hesitate to let me know.
Until then, it looks like I'm rolling Old School.