For Your Toolbox: Census Business Builder

I’ve previously written about the importance of conducting secondary research first, that is, to seek out data that has already been compiled by someone else when it is available. One of the most useful sources of data for current or prospective business owners comes from Census databases. When most people think about the Census, their minds go to the gathering of population counts, demographics, incomes, and the like. While this is certainly a large part of the gathered data, and a potentially very useful part for business owners, the scope of useful information that is compiled goes far beyond.

The more commonly known demographic information that we can access through the Census helps the business-owner understand who their local audience is, and therefore how to market to them in a targeted way. It can also provide insights such as average income in your area, thus helping with pricing strategy. This type of information is mostly known to be available, but there is a more concrete way to access the information that is relevant to your specific business needs.

The Census Business Builder is specifically designed to be an intuitive tool for business owners. It allows access to both interactive maps and customized charts that will help you understand your potential or current market.

This snapshot shows the content you can expect to receive from one type of report on CBB. Once you have selected your type of business as well as the region you intend on operating in, you can then see specific information about your potential customers, businesses like yours, and consumer spending patterns in your selected region.

Whether you want to know your market’s socioeconomic makeup, your competitors’ average number of employees, or the breakdown of consumers’ average expenditures, CBB compiles these valuable insights and more in an intuitive way. To easily learn how to navigate this invaluable tool, check out the instructional flyers that they make available on their site.

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