Not so many years ago, most businesses relied on the Yellow Pages as a low-cost marketing tool. After all, they were delivered free to everyone with a phone (the sturdy, heavy kind, with a rotary dial) and hung on chains in telephone booths. Consumers used Yellow Pages for everything from finding a plumber to boosting a toddler at the Thanksgiving table.
In addition to being a basic directory for more than 54 million businesses, 158 million residents, and 1 million doctors and dentists, Reference USA allows you to:
- Search for business customers by geography, keyword, SIC code, business size, number of employees, ownership and square footage. For example, if you're selling janitorial services, you can find all of the private businesses in your territory (using the mapping feature) that have more than 100 employees and 50,000 square feet.
- Scope out your competition. If you're thinking of starting a tile installation business to meet the demand for backsplashes, Reference USA will list all of the tile contractors by state, zip code or metro area. Included is information about each business' estimated sales volume, business expenditures such as advertising and payroll, and a management directory.
- To analyze the buying habits of consumers, use the U.S. Consumer/Lifestyle section for market research. Consumers are rated on purchase preferences across nineteen categories and several dozen sub-categories. Drawn from a variety of sources, search results are a combination of purchase preference information with household and census-type data. Someone who wants to start a mobile pet grooming business, for instance, could target neighborhoods or individuals above a certain income who are most likely to have pets.
- You can create mailing lists, potentially saving thousands of dollars, by simply downloading your list. When you click "Download," you’ll be able to select the file format and level of detail that you need. The results are saved in an Excel spreadsheet for easy sorting. If you want to learn how to turn your mailing list into mailing labels, Lynda Library (available with a permanent DPL card) has mail merge tutorials for both Mac 2016 and Microsoft Word.
Reference USA (see its tutorial below) is one of several databases available through the DPL website to help your business thrive. If you'd like to learn more about these resources, sign up for a free Bizboost appointment with a reference librarian.
Questions? Ask Reference Services or call 720-865-1363 today!