In today's challenging economic environment, in which small businesses create two out of every three net new jobs in the U.S., help for these businesses is more critical than ever before. A key foundation for success in business is to leverage data analysis to discover insights and make smarter decisions. Delivering these types of services online provides the greatest opportunity to reach the most businesses. That's why the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) offers SizeUp, an online small business support service. It provides highly specific data on virtually every industry and geographic region in the country including information on revenues, salaries, health insurance costs, supplier locations, and more.
With a few mouse clicks, SizeUp can show you data averaged for the competitors in your town, in your state, or across the country. It can show how much money consumers are spending on the goods or services you sell in those geographic regions. It can pinpoint the location of, and provide contact information for, businesses that buy from companies like yours — and for distributors, wholesalers, and others who sell the supplies and basic materials your company uses.
This wealth of data can be incredibly helpful in deciding where to locate your business if you’re just starting out or expanding. It can be crucial if you’re putting together a business plan to win financial support from banks or private investors. It can also provide clues that you’re paying your employees too much, or too little, relative to your competition. And it can serve as an overall wakeup call if it shows, for example, that your competitors are generating significantly higher sales or comparable sales with fewer employees.
SizeUp provides data analysis by:
• Benchmarking an existing business to see how it sizes up by comparing performance to other competitors in the same industry
• Mapping competition to see where competitors, customers, and suppliers are located
• Finding the best places to advertise by choosing from pre-set reports to discover areas with the highest industry revenue and the most underserved markets
By using SizeUp, your small business can make more informed choices based on the same type of business analysis large corporations use. SizeUp helps level the competitive playing field by providing this data to you at no cost.
For a taste of what SizeUp offers, visit SBA SizeUp and enter an industry and city. To get access to the full database and receive periodically updated “competitiveness reports” on your own business, you’ll need to create a free account.