Business resources

Chambers hosts ReferenceUSA workshop for small businesses

Business people in Blount County have the ability to learn about competitors, find demographic information on perspective clients and create new opportunities all at the click of a mouse.

The Blount County Chamber hosted a “Business Before Breakfast” seminar that spotlighted the ReferenceUSA website as a marketing and resource tool for small businesses. The chamber offered the workshop as a way to help small businesses during this tight economy. The new service, ReferenceUSA, is free to Blount County residents.

The Blount County Chamber of Commerce and the Blount County Public Library hosted the morning event on Nov. 16,, conducted by Rick White, a representative of ReferenceUSA. White demonstrated how to utilize the database easily and efficiently.

Businesses can access ReferenceUSA daily for data to support critical business decisions. The service is used for both business-to-business and business-to- consumer marketing and sales information.

The seminar showed that someone, from their desk or any Internet computer, can quickly access information for their company. Through the ReferenceUSA program, individuals or businesses can:

• Take an insider’s look at other businesses, their sales numbers, business expenditures and other valuable information;

• Survey locations for future expansion by accessing residential and commercial neighborhoods and other influencers;

• Create new business opportunities;

• Find competitor businesses in their area;

• Determine specific neighborhood demographics (median income and home value);

• Research executives and companies worldwide (financial information, number of employees, products, type of business or industry, locations and addresses);

• Create data extracts of prospects and cross-promotional opportunities;

• Find sources and vendors for specialized tools and equipment;

• Profile a neighborhood, city or state; search for jobs, location and industry.

Reference USA, accessed through the Blount County Public Library website, www.blountlibrary.org , is a simple-to-use database of both business and consumer information. At the library’s home page, click on “Electronic Resources” and then scroll down and click on “ReferenceUSA.” The service, through a subscription paid by the library, is free to Blount County residents with a library card.

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