Business research days at the LaunchPad with Stephanie McReynolds

Stephanie McReynolds

Work with Syracuse University’s business, management, and entrepreneurship librarian, Stephanie McReynolds, to learn how to research your customers, competition, and market.  McReynolds will host weekly Business Research Office Hours on Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. in the Blackstone LaunchPad in Bird Library.  Learn how to identify relevant industry (NAICS) codes and how to use those codes to find industry reports and create lists of companies in business research databases. Discover article search strategies and find information through business article databases, such as ABI/INFORM and Business Source Elite.

McReynolds has put together a handy guide to help guide your secondary research and guide your work with her:

Industry Research

Understand where your business idea fits into the existing industry landscape.

Identify Industry Codes to Find Industry Reports and Industry Financials:

  • Identify relevant industry codes (NAICS and SIC codes)
  • Use the industry codes to discover industry reports in business research databases, such as:
    • Business Insights: Essentials
    • IBISWorld
    • Mergent Intellect (First Research module)
  • Use the industry codes to find industry financials in business research databases, such as:
    • Bizminer
    • Mergent Intellect (Key Business Ratios module)

Explore Industry Data and Reports Provided by the U.S. Government:

  • Browse government websites, such as the following:
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis
      • BEA Industry Facts page
      • Data by Topic page
    • Small Business Administration:
      • Market research and competitive analysis page
      • Office of Advocacy Research and Statistics page
    • United States Census Bureau
      • American FactFinder (main portal to United States Census data)
      • Business & Industry page

Identify and Connect with Industry Associations:

  • Identify relevant industry associations (such as the National Coffee Association) with business research databases, such as
    • Business Insights: Essentials
    • Mergent Intellect (First Research module)
    • Plunkett Research Online
  • Browse industry association websites and connect on social media to find relevant industry statistics, reports, and insights
  • Consider joining a reputable relevant industry association, if the benefits of membership would help you to achieve your business goals

Company Research

Find out more about your potential competitors.

Create Lists of Companies with Industry Codes:

  • Use relevant NAICS or SIC codes to create lists of companies in business databases, such as:
    • Mergent Intellect
    • ReferenceUSA : Business
    • Nexis Uni

Research Specific Companies:

  • Find company financials, executive contact info, annual reports, SWOT analyses, and more in business databases such as:
    • Business Insights: Essentials
    • Mergent Online
    • PrivCo
    • Westlaw Campus Research

Market Research

Learn about the existing research and data on your potential customers and market outlook.

Find Demographics and Reports on Consumer Behavior and Market Outlook:

  • Explore government websites, such as the following:
    • American FactFinder (main portal to United States Census data)
    • Bureau of Economic Analysis (Consumer Spending page)
    • Bureau of Labor Statistics:
      • American Time Use Survey page
      • Consumer Expenditures page
    • Search business research databases such as:
      • Business Insights: Essentials (Market Share Reports module)
      • eMarketer
      • com Academic
      • Mergent Intellect (Demographics module and Consumer Data module )
      • Mintel Reports
      • MRI University Reporter
      • Richard K. Miller & Associates Publications
      • SimplyAnalytics

Articles and News

Learn even more about your industry, market, and competitors through articles in news and trade publications, as well as academic journals and popular magazines.

  • Search business article databases, such as:
    • ABI/INFORM Collection
    • Business Source Elite
  • Expand your search by exploring multidisciplinary databases, such as ProQuest
  • Keep current with what is going on in your industry and related news by setting up a Feed Reader

Books on Business and Entrepreneurship

Read and browse books on business strategy, customers, industry, or just get inspired!

  • Browse the Blackstone Launchpad Entrepreneurship Book Collection

This small subcollection of books is located on shelves just outside the Blackstone LaunchPad. The titles in this collection were selected based on crowdsourced recommendations from faculty and students. The focus of this collection is on books that offer practical advice or inspiration for entrepreneurs. Since about half the collection is checked out at any one time, take a look at the full list of books on the shelf above the collection. Some of these same titles are also available as ebooks via Syracuse University Libraries. Please remember that these are not the only books the Libraries has related to entrepreneurship. See suggestions below for finding more books.

  • Explore business ebook collections, such as:
    • Business Expert Press
    • Skillsoft
    • Springer ebooks
  • Find print and ebooks via the Classic Catalog. Suggested subject headings include:
    • Entrepreneurship
    • New business enterprises
    • Small business
    • Social entrepreneurship
    • Success in business

If you would like to explore resources listed on this Business Research Tips handout, please see the Business Information Guide at On that guide, you will also find the link to schedule an appointment for a research consultation with Syracuse University Libraries Business, Management, and Entrepreneurship Librarian Stephanie JH McReynolds, as well as her contact information.  You may also e-mail to learn more.