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Today's marketing environment is influenced by the global marketplace and the explosion of the information age to a degree unprecedented in history. To be fully prepared, a company must recognize and understand:
- cultural influences
- governmental and political influences
- demographic and lifestyle trends
- local, national, and world economic trends
- the strengths of multi-national competitors
- the influence of technology on physical distribution
Local, state, and federal trade organizations are often the best source of information on the trends that are likely to influence your business.
Also, contact your local city, state, and federal organizations and agencies for more information:
- Chamber of Commerce, Rotary Club, local banks, etc.
- city planning commissions, regional county business redevelopment offices
- minority-aid offices, state business development offices, state banking associations
- federal regulatory and information agencies such as the Small Business Association, Dept. of Commerce, and any agency that governs or buys from your type of business
The Government Printing Office (GPO) publishes many useful books to help you with research. If they're not in your local library, they can be obtained inexpensively from the GPO at your nearest Federal Building. Look in your white pages under the U.S. Government listings.
County Business Patterns put out annually by the Dept. of Commerce, each state bound separately, these provide figures on employment, payrolls, number of businesses and number of employees in each business class.
County and City Data Book a book by the Census Bureau gives you information on housing, population, income, health, retail and wholesale trade.