In today’s challenging economic environment, where small businesses create two out of every three net new jobs in the United States, help for small businesses is more critical than ever before. One way to promote business success 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 has made available SizeUp, an online small business support service that can deliver customized business analysis to an unlimited number of businesses. SizeUp helps businesses compare their performance against other businesses in their industry with data collected from hundreds of private and public sources. SizeUp also helps businesses identify new customers.
More specifically, Sizeup provides data analysis in three key ways:
- Benchmarking an existing business to see how it sizes up by comparing its performance to all other competitors in the same industry.
- A mapping feature to determine where competitors as well as suppliers and customers are located.
- Identifying the best places to advertise by choosing from pre-set reports to discover areas with the highest industry revenue and most underserved markets. Custom demographic reports also can be created.
- When starting or managing your small business, defining your market using data analysis is an essential part of developing your business plan.
For more help, the SBA often connects small businesses to a vast partner network that includes small business development centers like the one operated at the Business Incubator Center in Grand Junction. The centers offer hands-on mentoring and training to help entrepreneurs understand their opportunities and growth potential.
SizeUp empowers small businesses to make smarter choices by providing many of the same types of business analysis large corporations use — for free.
Big businesses can afford to hire expert consultants or have internal staff interpret massive data and help make informed decisions. Since small businesses typically can’t afford to do this, they’re at a competitive disadvantage. SizeUp helps level the competitive playing field by providing this data to small businesses at no cost.
Business data comes from hundreds of government and private-sector data sources, is verified by third-party researchers and constantly updated. This business data is similar to and includes the type of data used by the majority of the Fortune 100 companies, the most-used search engines and even GPS-based auto navigation systems. SizeUp includes information on a wide range industries comprised of at least 1,000 businesses nationwide.
The SizeUp tool is available online from the Web site located at www.sba.gov/sizeup.
GIS Planning, the company that created SizeUp, has licensed the tool to the SBA for one year. SBA acceptance of this product does not constitute an endorsement of the opinions, products or services of GIS Planning.