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Searching for Competitors
Competition is a part of business, and it is important to understand the competitive landscape of your business. Companies that provide the same goods and services as you are your direct competitors, but businesses also compete with additional companies indirectly. Once you understand what your industry is and the other industries that you are competing with, these are the best places to find information on those companies.
Reports cover history, overview, financials, competitors, divisions, brands, locations, links to trade associations and news, and SEC filings.
Mergent Supply Chain
Mergent Supply Chainhas now been integrated into the Mergent Online database. Supply Chain gives you seamless capabilities for finding, filtering, and organizing information about companies. Comprehensive coverage is provided for all companies that are actively traded on U.S. exchanges – a total of over 6,200 U.S. companies. In addition, Horizon offers over 3,300 Canadian records and over 37,000 Global companies.
PrivCo is a source for business and financial data on major privately-held companies, including family owned, private equity owned, venture backed, and international unlisted companies and covers over 165,000 companies,
Outside researchers can gain access to FSU resources through the visitor research kiosks at the Strozier Library. In order to gain access to the library, a valid state-issued ID must be presented. This computers do not allow access to webpages other than the FSU resources, and it is necessary to bring a flashdrive to download these materials.
Business Source Complete
Global company & industry reports. Company profiles include history,list of all products & services, location & subsidiaries, and often have a SWOT analysis.
NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's)
Right column, under Publication Search, select Stock Report and enter the name of your public company. Short report covers business description and some corporate strategy, as well as 10 years of financials
Access World News
Access World News aggregates articles from several local newspapers which are great sources for information on local companies.
Gale Directory Library
The Gale Directory Library can be used to find trade organization through the Encyclopedia of Associations. These organizations usually have a lot of information about companies in your industry.
Company Web Site
Most companies provide a lot of information about themselves through their websites, and you can find the SEC filings of public companies through their websites.
Several companies have a Facebook and can be an excellent source for customer reviews and comments, pictures, and recent updates. Even if a company does not have a Facebook, you can search the company's name with no spaces and a hashtag (#) in front of it to see if twitter posts about it.
Several companies have a Twitter and can be an excellent source for customer reviews and comments, pictures, and recent updates. Even if a company does not have a twitter, you can search the company's name with no spaces and a hashtag (#) in front of it to see if twitter posts about it.
The free portions of this site can be used to find counts of businesses by industry, geographic area, and other variables.
Yelp provides customer reviews of, web links to, and locations of businesses by geographic area. These listings can by searched by keyword or category in a particular city or zip code.
Economic Development Directory
This website tracks economic development organizations by location, and these groups often have information about local companies.
Chambers of Commerce
This site is a directory of regional chambers of commerce who are valuable sources of information about your competitors.
ThomasNet can be used to find information about suppliers, service providers, and manufacturers including how many there are by geographic location.
Anywho Yellow Pages
Using the yellow pages is a great way find lists and information about local business competitors. You can search for businesses in multiple categories by geographic area.
American City Business Journals
This publication covers local business news and contains a lot of great information on local companies for roughly 40 cities and their surrounding areas.
Guidestar is a great place to find information about non-profits based on location and/or topic.
This directory provides links to the websites of local news outlets, and local news outlets often publish information on local companies.
Other Resources to Look For
This extensive directory can help determine the size of the market in your geographic area. Several public libraries provide access to this resource.
Most public libraries provide access to databases pertaining to business, and sometimes these databases are not held by FSU. Also, most public universities and some private universities provide access to some or all of their resources to the public. Make sure to look out for these resources when visiting your public library or another college or university.