ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Know Your Customer: Data Needed in Setting up A Business

Updated on December 9, 2012


Know Your Customer: Data Needed in Setting up A Business

When you think of putting up a business the first question to ask after you have the initial capital outlay is who will use the products I am going to sell? In short you want to know who will be your prospective customers and their socio-economic status so that you will know at the onset if you are going to be successful in your initial venture into the world of business. You cant afford to lose any investment money because times are hard and money is money. You don’t like to waste your money in a blind investment that’s why it is very crucial to get basic population data so that you have a good grasp of the population composition in the area plus the basic socio-economic characteristics within a group in the area where you want to put your business venture.

Part of the subject matter I used to teach is Demography -- a branch of Sociology which is the study of population composition, population projection and basically the age-sex distribution in an area. These data are very important when you are putting up a business. Mixed this data with cultural data and you have a good gauge of the kind of people in a certain area or locality. These data are crucial in setting up a business.

Pertinent Data We Need to Have For a good start in Starting a Business:

  • Are there how many people who will utilize the product? How many people are residing in the area by age and by sex? How young is the population, or how old?
  • What is the socio economic status of the area and can they afford the product you are going to sell? What are their occupations, average household income and mean average household size are important data as well.

Knowing the Prospective client/customer:

Say for example you are going to set up a store within the area: first thing to do is to collect the necessary population data which can be accessed and found in the portals of Census data in every nation. You can also access population data in your local area as this is also provided in the Census government portals. Other sources of data are the local city office and different offices within the area like the Unemployment Office and the public libraries within the area.

Importance of Census Data and Where to Secure Them

On April 1, 2010 here in the United States, the people will start to fill out mailed questionnaire pertaining to basic population data like age-sex composition of the population, race, average household size and other pertinent data needed for fiscal planning and budgeting. They however posted the latest census data and pertinent household economics in the government portal here. You can access data by state, for example I am here at Texas now I can go to US census website then choose specific state so that you can see the basic socio demographic data you need like race composition, here.

Here in the United States the portal for the Census Bureau can be click here. The current data as of the latest census is also available on this website.

Needed Data

  • Age Composition is simply the age distribution of the population, how many infants, adult, middle ages in a certain population. That is why the census data is very important because it usually collects data on the age sex composition of the population. How many are youth ages 13-19 years old or young adult 15-24, or 50 and above, or how many infants are there in the area. This is important because age is very important in targeting of customers
  • Sex composition: what percentage of the population are Males/Females. You can also get aggregated data by age and gender
  • Median income of the population: this is usually secured at the city hall in your locality, check how much is the average income or the median income of the population so that you will know the buying capacity, and check what kind of labor force distribution within the area so that you will know if they can afford the product you are going to introduce. median income is more important data than the average income because it is a clear description of the capacity to buy within the area. Average income is affected by a very high response like for example there is a millionaire in the area.
  • Know what type of occupations people have within the area so that you will know what will be their usual activities. Say for example people who are residents in an area are mostly blue collar job people then you know what products will click to them. Usually these are available in your local city administrators office, or search if they have certain surveys like "Labor Force Survey" which is usually conducted nationally and check if you can get specific local data. Usually these are available in the Internet just know the site you are checking, usually they are government portals.
  • The race composition in the area is also important for example, what kind of people or what are the races of the people in the area, should you introduced pizzeria or vegetarian restaurant, burger fast foods or a taco restaurant.
  • Get the data on population density the number of people residing in a square kilometer, are they homogeneous etc. This simply means how are they spread out in the locality.
  • Get also the data on other businesses that are existing in the area to see if there are competitors.

Success of business:

The future of business depends also on population projection and age sex composition meaning predicting the success of your business lies in what type of people will reside in the area in the future.

Things to do:

Visit your local city office and get data from administrators office or the local city hall library. Basic population data needed are: age-sex composition, median income, occupation, race/ethnicity and population density, list of existing businesses in the area etc.

  • Check on websites in government portals about the census population data nationally and locally
  • Participate in population data census always, return ,mailed in questionnaire on time. Be friendly and answer questions when interviewers visit your area.
  • Check and visit the local government office to secure data such as labor force composition of the area, median income, how the people are distributed, population density etc.

There you go, now you can start to analyze and put together the data so you can have at least the basic information you need when putting up a business.


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Cheeky Girl profile image

      Cassandra Mantis 8 years ago from UK and Nerujenia

      Great info here, Maita. Sadly I do not live in USA. But there's nothing like a census and lots of ensuing information to help businesses find out how much people have to push business their way. It's like milk for the cat! Heh! Great Hub! And timely too! Lots of business people should read this!

    • LavellaVision profile image

      LavellaVision 8 years ago from Delaware

      I like it! I can really use this information. These are things one does not always consider when starting a business. Keep'em coming.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Oh thats a nice business Andromida, how far have you started your business already? Good luck to you, Maita

    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 8 years ago

      Hi prettyhorse, I am trying to market digital video recorder solution-that's why I am reading lots of business and marketing hubs,:).thank you.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi mystique, glad you read this oen and for your very nice compliment, Thank you, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi andromida, what business are you setting up now? I am glad this article helps you in a way, Maita

    • Mystique1957 profile image

      Mystique1957 8 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela


      Very helpful information. Quite thorough and precise!

      Well, if they fail at their business, they sure didn`t read this hub! They`d better read it!

      Thumbs up!

      Warm regards and blessings,


    • andromida profile image

      syras mamun 8 years ago

      you revealed a great source of information.Currently,I am learning about business;I found that the demographic information of customer base is very very crucial for business success.Hope to learn some marketing tips from you as well.thanks Maita.

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      I like your suggestions Quill, hmm, let me think about it, Thanks, Bless, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi blonde, thanks dear, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi ehern, i can work for you< you can just tell me what I will do and I will do it for free, BTW I can research for you in the internet and email you for free, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi hello, thanks Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hey Dohn, oh maybe because they want to know how many people are passing by? Thats neat and it is important as well. Thanks and good morning to you, BTW your latest hub rocks again, Maita

    • prettydarkhorse profile image

      prettydarkhorse 8 years ago from US

      Hi tori, thanks dear, Mata

    • profile image

      "Quill" 8 years ago

      Maita... again you amaze me with the diversity of your writing. I do hope you apply all you have shared into something you can get started. You would be a natural one on one business owner, a small boutique specializing in something you love...


    • blondepoet profile image

      blondepoet 8 years ago from australia

      Your hubs keep getting better and better. Well done Maita woo hooo.

    • ehern33 profile image

      ehern33 8 years ago

      Wow, I think I should hire you.. LOL Nah, you probably are to expensive, you would require the big bucks.. ;o)

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      Good work with lots of information. Thank you.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Wow. What a great hub detailing so many ways in which to determine the success of one's future enterprise (business). You did some really great research here filled with several helpful links. Did you know that McDonalds, before opening up another restaurant estimates the amount of traffic that drives by their prospective lot/property per hour? Awesome job, Maita. Thank you very much for sharing this.


    • torimari profile image

      torimari 8 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Very informative and educated hub. :) Great tips and thanks for the putting the places to attain such data.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: ""

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)