British Library-Lloyds TSB Business Line is an enquiry service that is partially funded through sponsorship from Lloyds TSB. The information provided may be used to gain new clients, find new suppliers, or contribute to either the business plan or marketing strategy. The service provides the following information:
• company information - contact details, names of key personnel and shareholders, turnover figure
• market information - market size, names of major players
• product information - suppliers of particular products or services, name of the company that manufactures a product with a specific trade name.
Professional organisations and libraries
Other library and library-type sources include:
• City Business Library, Brewers Hall Gardens, London EC2 City Business Library has an extensive range of business information, trade directories, journals and market survey reports. It also has a collection of company annual reports, company financial summary reports, UK economic reports and CD-ROMs.
• Datamonitor, http://www.datamonitor.com/ This includes reports on international business and consumer markets. There are also databases, built up with over ten years of historical data from many countries. Data are collected through industry panel research and through consumer research.
• Department of Trade and Industry, Export Market Intelligence Centre (EMIC), Ashdown House, 123 Victoria Street, London Information available includes UK and foreign statistics on trade, production, prices, employment, population, etc. Foreign trade and telephone directories, overseas market surveys, development plans and overseas mail order catalogues are also available.
• Euromonitor, http://www.euromonitor.com/ Euromonitor concentrates on global consumer goods and services sectors. This site enables viewing of the contents listings for market reports. There is coverage of more than 300 markets (consumer, industrial and service sectors) and countries worldwide. The source concentrates on global market intelligence, tracking international trends in both consumer and industrial markets.
• Libraries attached to London, Manchester and Warwick Business Schools For example, the London Business School Library, at 25 Taunton Place, London NW1, has many market research reports along with electronic databases, thousands of books, serial titles and international/historic company annual reports.
• National Statistics Library (NSILS), 1 Drummond Gate, Pimlico, London SW1 2QQ This is the Office for National Statistics and provides access and assistance to anyone who requires official statistics for research. The library maintains a collection of international statistical data published by major organisations such as the UN, Eurostat and individual national statistical institutions.
• Science Reference Library, Chancery Lane, London WC2
• Statistics and Market Intelligence Library, 1 Victoria Street, London SW1
• Trade Partners UK Information Centre, Export Market Information Centre (EMIC)/ Trade Partners UK, Kingsgate House, 66-74 Victoria Street, London SW1E 6SW Here there is an extensive electronic collection of statistical, marketing and contact information. This includes:
- electronic resources: a large range of statistical, contact, marketing and aid-funded project information available on CD-ROMs and via Internet terminals
- CD-ROM databases: information on CDs falls into three main categories: statistical, contact and marketing information.
Academic researchers also publish research findings on various aspects of the marketing process, often within specific industry sectors, at an even lower cost.
Government departments collect, analyse and publish a vast array of facts, figures, surveys and reports. Newspapers, trade journals and trade associations regularly publish surveys and market reports for as little as the cover price. The burden of scanning the press, wandering through libraries and searching among mountains of journals can be reduced with database search facilities. Both CD-ROM databases and online databases can search newspapers, magazines and journals for keywords. Some databases cover books, research reports and dissertations. Other online services, such as the Internet, are a great source of marketing intelligence. However, much of the information required by marketing researchers is only available from commercial providers that charge for access, for example, Infoplus13 and Dialog.14
Secondary sources are cheaper and faster, whether the researcher needs a complete market report or just a key fact, figure or name. However, the accuracy and reliability of the secondary source must also be considered.
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Your online business plan needs to make sure it addresses the management and administration structure in other words your organization’s breakdown. Online businesses often have a simpler organization structure than a traditional business, but that’s not always the case, and it must be clearly defined.