How can I go about researching a local market?

I am currently a college student but I am exploring my options as a small business owner sometime in the future when I have some capital for investment.
How can I research a local market for certain goods or services? Can I email local business’s and expect them to contact me back or would they ignore the questions that I ask?
Or should I try to go in talk to the business owner? For bigger business that might be a little bit more difficult I feel.

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Richard Butler has been marketing online since 1993. As well as having generated "affiliate" income, he also provides "done for you" solutions for small business owners & entrepreneurs: http://goTBMS.com and has his only Web Hosting solution: http://BritHost.net He has also used his online skills in his Real Estate Investing business, where he is well known as the "video marketing" expert. http://VideoDominationSystem.com http://RichardButler.biz

One Response to “How can I go about researching a local market?”

  1. DM April 24, 2013 at 12:03 pm #

    While can be difficult, it is not impossible to speak with a CEO or other person on a Leadership team of a large company.

    I once asked the CEO for Prudential Worldwide for some time- he did. We chatted for more than an hour and he was my mentor for quite a long time. (Hi Ron)

    It’s all in ‘asking for the business’. Have a talktrack and solid reasons for asking for someone’s precious time and energy. For smaller businesses, you may need to consider that you could be their competition sometime soon so make sure you offer something in return- like your time.

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