Exterior view of food-based businesses on Nutwood Avenue in Fullerton, California, on the afternoon of Jan. 23, 2020.

Planning to open a business, such as these fast food establishments in Fullerton? Market research is invaluable, and it’s at your fingertips – for FREE – thanks to the CSUF chapter of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC).

In today’s competitive economy, knowledge about your target market is more essential than ever. Thanks to funding from the nationwide Small Business Administration (SBA), Cal State Fullerton’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers complimentary in-depth market research reports for business startups across all industries in Orange County, the Inland Empire and the Southern California desert regions, through the SBDC Intel program.

Under the direction of senior business startup experts from the SBA and entrepreneurs in the community, highly skilled student intern staff at the university’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics prepare market research reports. These provide a combination of hard demographic and economic trend data, such as consumer spending, income levels, costs and market size; and qualitative psychographic data – inside looks at lifestyle segments such as soccer moms, young professionals or upscale dual income childless couples.

Consulting such in-demand databases as ESRI, IBIS World, Profitcents and the U.S. Census Bureau, the completed reports would be valued between $3,000 and $5,000 if conducted by a private firm.

For all businesses, the SBDC provides a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the sector as a whole, as well as major global industry leaders. And for traditional brick-and-mortar companies, SBDC provides an invaluable competition locator, identifying similar businesses within a given radius.

Preparing the Next Generation – Both Students and Businesses

Mike Daniel ’99 (marketing), director of the CSUF SBDC, agrees that the research program is mutually beneficial to the students, the university and the public.

“The funding allows us to do a whole lot of things we haven’t done before,” says Daniel in a 2019 CSUF News article. “We’re reaching out to new areas of business and offering new programs, including market research conducted by students from Mihaylo College of Business and Economics’ award-winning business program.

“Our student interns create market research reports for business owners who are looking to grow and scale, create a new market or learn more about their competition. To date, the market research teams have created more than 500 reports, all free to the business owner.”

For More Information

Need a report for your business concept? Reach out to the SBDC at research.request@ociesbdc.com or call 657-278-3672 and discuss your needs.

For more on the Small Business Development Center, which offers workshops, training programs and individualized consulting for those seeking to start their own businesses, visit the SBDC website.

Or read more of our articles on small business development.