Good news fellow searchers! There are some pretty decent free sources on the Internet for identifying companies of interest. When you need to find a supplier of services or products or identify competitors in a given industry sector, you do have some free options.
Helpful HInts: Try not to rely on just one source. It’s good practice to search multiple sources and compare notes. Confirm and verify.
Here are a few sites, along with search hints.
Just enter a company name in the search box and Hoover’s provides three competitor company names on the search results page. A search on Qualcomm reveals Texas Instruments Incorporated, Nokia Oyj, and Broadcom Corporation as the Top 3 Competitors.
LinkedIn is probably best know for people search, but the drop down menu next to the seach box also let’s you look for companies. Enter your company name, in this case Qualcomm, and open the company profile. Scroll down to the People Also Viewed list on the right hand side of the page. For Qualcomm we learn that people also viewed Intel, Broadcom, Texas Instruments, Nvidia, Apple, and Google. Very in-ter-esting.
Yahoo! Finance delivers an abundance of financial information on public companies, but that’s not all. Search on the company of interest and scan the menu bar on the left side of the results page. You should see an Industry link and a Competitors link. Both provide insights into companies with similar business. Who does Yahoo! Finance identify as direct competitors to Qualcomm? Nokia, Broadcom, and Texas Instruments. The page also includes a longer list of telecommunications equipment suppliers that names Motorola, Cisco, Ericsson and others.
For locating supplers as well as product and service providers, don’t forget the good ole Thomas Register, online asThomasNet. According to the website, ThomasNet is the “only free platform designed for sourcing components, equipment, MRO [maintenance repair operations] products, raw materials and custom manufacturing services”. Jump on and take it for a spin.