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Business Entrepreneurship Assignment Guide

Recommended resources and strategies for completing the research for your Entrepreneurship Business Concept Project.

What is ReferenceSolutions?

Databases: ReferenceSolutions

  • up-to-date business and consumer data
    • employment by job skills, location, and industry
    • national companies and business executives
    • historical market trends
    • addresses and phone numbers
    • news articles for researchReference Solutions Logo

Answers these questions about business research:

  • What is the organizational structure?
  • Do you know who you are selling to?
    • Which demographic? 
    • What market?
  • What is the industry and growth potential?
  • Who is your competition?

Example: Using Reference Solutions - Local Business

Sample Business: Mainstream Boutique (Onalaska)

A good place to start to research a market is with the company's website. Mainstream Boutique's website provides good clues about their market segment in general or nationally.
This information can be found on their Home Page - Our Story. Take note of the clues you find on business's homepage. Look for "About" or "Mission" or any keyword or phrase that will describe the purpose and goals of the business. For Mainstream Boutique, I see "family" as a target market for both franchisees and customers. 
Keyword "family" used frequently on Mainstream Boutique "Our Story"  web page
This is a good starting point for researching the Onalaska location. Start by linking to their Facebook page and Instagram. Look at posts, videos, and reels. The website and social media provide anecdotal information. 
For data-based information you can use the database ReferenceSolutions. I've attached some screenshots to show what steps to take to search the database to make decisions about your market segment based on the concept of "family" and the price point for Mainstream Boutique's clothing.
From Reference Solutions Home Page - choose Consumer Lifestyle Automobile Database
From Reference Solutions Home Page - choose Consumer Lifestyle Automobile Database
Next, select the Advanced Search tab
Select the Advanced Search tab
Next, choose the filters that will return the results you need to understand the market segment.
I based my choice of filters thinking about "family" and "price point" for Mainstrean Boutique in the Onalaska Metro Area:
Follow these steps -  one at a time - for each filter
  • choose one main filter (red arrow) in the left column
  • choose a subfilter (green arrow) 
  • UPDATE COUNT (orange arrow)

When you have completed the filter process click VIEW RESULTS

diagram of chosen beneath text about filters


On the next screen, click the Matrix Tab then choose from drop down boxes -  Children Present and Income - and check Choose Output Rows/Columns.

Follow these steps -  one at a time - for each filter - choose one main filter, in the left column. choose a subfilter then choose UPDATE COUNT 

Use the data in the chart below to figure out your likely customer segment. Think about is mostly likely to be able to afford purchasing clothing at Mainstream Boutique. 
Screenshot of Data summary chart

Reference Solutions Basics

Database Reference Solutions: search 1 of the 3 different databases within Reference Solutions

  1. U.S. Businesses 
  2. U.S. Consumers 
  3. U.S. Jobs/Internships

ReferenceSolutions - 3 databases

1. U.S. Businesses

Search for individual businesses and/or executives or for groups of businesses, such as "coffee shops." For a more detailed explanation. 

2. U.S. Consumers/Lifestyles

This database allows users to search millions of individuals. In this module you can search by lifestyles and real purchasing behaviors of these individuals. Lifestyles selections are real purchasing behaviors of the individuals over a 2-year period. There are more than 100 unique lifestyles selections broken into several main categories such as Apparel/Fashion/Beauty; Cooking/Wine; Health/Diet/Fitness; Pets/Animals; Politics/Religion/News; Sports; and more.

U.S. Consumer and LifeStyle search box

3. U.S. Jobs/Internships

Job listings are compiled from then cross-referenced with ReferenceSolutions U.S. businesses listings. Do a Quick Search for a job or an Advanced Search to narrow by position, company, location, etc.

Job Search - Search Box


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