Before embarking on a new business venture it is a good idea to learn as much as you can about the trends and developments in that industry, the strengths and weaknesses of potential competitors, as well as the market for the goods and services you plan on offering.
The goal is to learn as much as you can about your prospects prior to investing time and money in a potentially unsuccessful venture.
The N.C. Small Business Technology and Development Center has developed several industry specific profiles for restaurants, retail and travel and tourism related businesses. They also offer a guide to conducting a generic industry analysis.Community, University, and Community College Libraries are a great place to start any research project. Librarians are professionals researchers trained to assist community member find the information they are looking for.
Alleghany County Public Library
Online library resources are available to patrons from their home computers and through Alleghany County Public Library public access computers. These include access to the regional library online catalog; and NC Live, a gateway to newspapers, journals, magazines and other electronic information. Public internet access is available.
Appalachian Regional Library
Public internet access.
Appalachian State University Library Business Resources
Numerous references sources for you to use as resources to guide your business.
Appalachian State University- Carol Grotnes Belk Library & Information Commons
Internet access, Digital media services, Business plans, Market research.
Ashe County Public Library
Wireless internet access and informational resources available to the public.
Avery County Library
Public internet access available.
Caldwell Community College Small Business Center
The Small Business Center Offers a wide variety of seminars and workshops to help small business be successful. Also available is a library of professional resources including books, pamphlets,magazines, and trade journals, as well as tapes, videos, DVDs, and CD-Roms.
Caldwell County Public Library
The Mission of the Caldwell County Public Library is to offer free and open access to library materials and services that inform, educate, and entertain; to promote lifelong learning and the joy of reading; and to serve as a center for community activities. We will achieve this mission by providing quality library service in a courteous, welcoming manner.
Library of Congress, Business Reference Services: Science, Technology & Business Division
The Science, Technology & Business Division's primary responsibilities are to provide reference and bibliographic services and to develop the general collections of the Library in all areas of science, technology, business and economics.
NC Department of Commerce Publications Library
Publications available on-line.
Watauga County Public Library
The Appalachian Regional Library is a public library system set in the beautiful mountains and foothills of northwestern North Carolina. They serve Ashe, Wilkes, and Watauga counties.
Area Chambers of Commerce are business associations with the mission of promoting local enterprises. Most chambers sponsor networking events which are great opportunities to learn more about the local business environment.
Alleghany Chamber of Commerce
The Alleghany Chamber of Commerce serves over 300 individual and business members and actively supports the economic and cultural development of the community.
Ashe County Chamber of Commerce
The Ashe County Chamber of Commerce is a dynamic force, ensuring the economic health of our community by nurturing business growth and encouraging economic development.
Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce
Serving local businesses in economic growth.
Boone Area Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Boone Area Chamber of Commerce is to advance economic prosperity and to encourage public/private cooperation that will broaden the economic base and enhance the quality of life in our community.
Caldwell County Chamber of Commerce
Facilitates economic development for Caldwell County.
Mitchell Chamber of Commerce
The Mitchell County Chamber of Commerce is made up of a variety of businesses, industries, organizations and individuals committed to developing economic vitality for Mitchell County.
Wilkes Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Wilkes Chamber of Commerce is to promote economic development and striving to enhance the quality of life of all Wilkes County Citizens.
Yancey County/ Burnsville Chamber of Commerce
The mission of the Yancey County/Burnsville Chamber of Commerce is to represent the business community by promoting a vital, sustainable economy while safeguarding the high quality of life, heritage and uniqueness of our community.
Local Economic Development Commissions (EDCs) are government entities who promote local economic growth. An EDC is an excellent source of information regarding demographic trends and basic business infrastructure.
Other resources that might find useful include trade and professional organizations whose purpose is promote a specific industry. These organizations may provide information such as market statistics, offer a list of members, host conferences and conventions, and publish trade journals.
To locate a trade association in your industry visit the American Society of Association Executives searchable directory.