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Resources for Small Business Owners

This guide can be used for Marketing Research for Small Business Owners
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The Research Process

When you are looking for research, you may find that you need to explore multiple resources to find all of the information that you need. You may find so much information that you feel overwhelmed or you may find very little information. To help you navigate the research process, you might consider taking an inquiry-based approach, focusing on asking questions and finding the answers. 

Consider trying these three steps when looking for information:

1. Slow down and ask questions. (Curiosity)

2. Consider what's in your toolbox. (Reflection)

3. Stay persistent and ask for help. (Exploration)

This process may take some time to get used to, but you can do it!

It can be easy to attempt to answer every question all at once. This can lead to information overload. So take a minute to pause and consider what you need to know. Try turning your problem statement into a question. 

Turn your problem statement into a question by starting with basic questions such as:

  • who
  • what
  • when
  • where

Example: I need to know the number of people who live in Lee County. (statement) --> How many people live in Lee County? (question)

When you have this information, you can try asking more complex questions such as:

  • how
  • why

Example: I need to know about trends concerning my business idea. (statement) --> How does my idea match with current market trends? (question)

When deciding what to use from your toolbox, you may find yourself leaning toward familiar tools. Try to keep an open mind and use the following questions to explore which tools might help you to best find the information you need: 

  • What do you already know?
  • What kind of information does your problem require from you?
  • What do you need to know more about?
  • Where can you find the information you need? or How should you search for that information?
  • What kind of information is missing from the information you already have?

Check out the panel to the left for best bets in your toolbox. 

Keep in mind that the first search is not always the best search. Stay persistent as you explore. However, if you begin to feel frustrated, don't worry: the CCCC Librarians are here to help! Feel free to contact us by email, phone, chat, or in person, and we will be happy to help you!

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Putting the Puzzle Together