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Free Sources of Business Information
(Marketing Memo, February, 2009)

When you can't find the information you need on Yahoo or Google, here are some other web sites to try.

GENERAL INFORMATION

Clusty: Clusty uses metasearching to query other search engines. Then Clusty compares, ranks, and organizes the results into clusters of similar results. This approach increases the likelihood that the best results will rise to the top.

COMPANY INFORMATION

Answers.com: Answers.com provides company backgrounds, history, and financial information. In addition, you can click on Community Q&A and pose questions, or you can sign in and place a request on WikiAnswers' Watchlist.

BizLink: Your On-line Business Resource: BizLink is a portal to use when you are researching domestic and foreign companies or when you are seeking advice on starting a business, managing a business, or on managing your investments. The Public Library of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, created BizLink. Many other public libraries and university libraries have similar portals.

Gary Price's List of Lists: The List of Lists will help you identify the top players in nearly two dozen sectors, ranging from manufacturing to the arts.

Solusource.com: formerly Thomas Global is a database of over 700,000 industrial suppliers located in over 30 countries and organized by industrial product classifications. You can search by product, service, or company name and location. Sub-categories help you to conduct very granular searches.

FINANCIAL INFORMATION

The Financial Times: This is a good source of information on foreign markets and businesses. You can search for businesses by company name, by region, or by industry. Market news is also available.

Google Finance: Google Finance contains financial news about companies and also has links to news and to blogs for these same companies.

Marketwatch: Up-to-the minute news and stock market information from The Wall Street Journal Digital Network. Marketwatch reports financial news by market sector.

IMAGES

Google Images: What do nanotubes or aerogels look like? Click on AltaVista's image button for a collection of striking images. Search under a competitor's name with or without "manufacturing," and you may find pictures of the competitor's products or manufacturing equipment.

Even with online tools, business research requires time and skill. Not all sources are reliable, and researching smaller, privately-held companies continues to be challenging. Moreover, complex questions are best answered by talking with people. Please call us to talk about your research needs.

Copyright Ruth Winett. All rights reserved.

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