Looking for a good way to do some market research on the cheap? It is important stay on top of trends in any industry, but what are people looking for in terms of features and solutions? I have found these resources a great place to look for business and technology trends.

Job Boards

Job boards provide a great place to find out what talent and resources businesses are currently seeking. I prefer using eLance, monster.com, and guru.com. Pay special attention to the amount being paid for services and who is requesting them. If it is a subcontract position expect less details on the business need and less pay. The higher paying jobs from the actual business requesting help are the most useful.

Business Journals and Newsletters

These are less useful in terms of immediate needs, but can point out important trends. I like the ones that combine my field “Technology” with practical business applications. For larger business needs I follow CIO. For smaller business needs I follow bMighty. In each look for articles written by people with similar clients as your target market and interviews with industry leaders.


I heard on recent interview the importance of NAICS numbers. If you have an industry you have been successful providing business you can use these numbers to do direct marketing pieces or find out statistics across the industry. A great way to cross check your work to find out if your client need is a fluke or a real need across the industry.

These are a few recent examples and techniques I have picked up. Obviously they do not replace the work of true market research and talking to actual prospects and clients, but it can give you clues on the direction an industry is moving. If you have written a post on this topic feel free to post a traceback to this site or post a comment below.