Marketing Viewpoint by Ruth Winett
Eleven Creative Tips for Business Researchers
Researching startups and other low-profile private companies is challenging when you have limited resources. However, with creativity you can find the answers you need by consulting the following free online databases, government agencies, libraries, and publications:
LinkedIn.com: For the hiring plans of a target company, set up a trial account, and then click on jobs and then the name of the target company. Job postings often indicate a company’s future plans.
Secretaries of State: Each state records different types of information. Here are two examples:
Assessors: Local assessors maintain databases of business and residential properties, their owners, and the assessed values of the properties. Changes in business ownership usually indicate a change in company plans.
Better Business Bureau
Interested in a company’s reputation? Click on
Boston Public Library’s Kirstein Business Library and Innovation Center: Email inquiries to email@example.com. Massachusetts residents can also apply online for an eCard and search the BPL’s databases. Two BPL resources have information on private companies. (Both require a BPL card number and a 4-digit PIN):
Local Libraries: Call, email, or visit the reference department of your local library. Many local libraries offer free online access to databases, such as Reference USA, which has information on new and established companies.
Local newspapers and reporters: For example, search for "Memphis business news," and retrieve links to several print and online newspapers, as well as blogs. These sources provide breaking news, such as companies that are moving to the city.
Business Journals: bizjournals.com publishes editions for 43 cities, some of which are free. It also publishes a national journal and lists of companies in some cities, sorted by size and industry, e.g., www.bizjournals.com/memphis/datacenter/lists.
As always, you should consult several sources and thoroughly check your facts. Inevitably, some sources will be incomplete, out-of-date, or inaccurate.
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