Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.
site header image

Entrepreneurship: Consumer & Market

This guide contains resources for entrepreneurs and students in entrepreneurship classes. Please contact me if I can be of further assistance.

What Information Should I Look For?

When considering Consumer & Market information, you want to know things like who is your target market? How big is it? How much disposable income do they have? What need do they have that you can fill? How are you going to reach them? (see also the Advertising tab for this)

Use the databases and websites below to help you identify your consumers. 

Using Census Data

Census data is a fantastic resource for local demographic information. 

Use the Census Quick Search to do a keyword search, such as number of college students in Wisconsin, or similar. You can also get a profile of any particular community, e.g. Whitewater: 

screenshot of the Census profile page for Whitewater, WI

If your business idea is highly dependent on a specific geographic area, check out the Census Business Builder for an interactive, map-based portrayal of much of the same Census data. 

Finally, Census Reporter also provides a nice visualization of Census data for a particular geography. 

Using Simmons OneView

Simmons Insights is a database which provides detailed information on consumer buying habits, brand preferences, shopping preferences, daily activity, demographic information, and much more.  Note, however, that due to the price, our dataset for this is 3 years out of date, which may make it less useful for some areas.  Our subscription also only allows 10 users at a time, so if you can't get in, try back again in a few minutes. 

If you want some print directions for how to search and interpret Simmons data, see the documents available on the Simmons guide

Because Simmons is a rather complex database, here are two separate, interactive tutorials to let you practice using its content: 

Creating your query and

Understanding your results

Using Statista

This video describes how to use the database Statista to find information on consumers, companies, countries, and more. 

Reference Solutions

Use the database Reference Solutions to build a list of potential customers. Where do they live? What is their average household income? Use the US Consumers / Lifestyles module within Reference Solutions to perform your search.

Alternately, use the US Businesses module to create a company list. These can be lists of business customers if your business is B2B, or suppliers or partners for any type of business. 

Use this tutorial for creating a company list: (it's called Reference USA in the tutorial, but it still searches the same)


Surveys and Opinion Polls