Finding Suppliers, Services, Products, or Competitors

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.

Hoover’s

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

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

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.

ThomasNet

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.

Biznar and CI

Do It Yourself – Biznar Business Search

Biznar simultaneously searches across a collection of selected business sources including trade literature, blogs, newspapers, business magazines, and market research publications.

Search results appear in a list that you can sort by rank, date, title, or author.  You can also limit the results to specific sources using a drop down menu.

Biznar automatically categorizes the results into “buckets” by topic, author, publication, publisher, and date.  Each category is a hot link, so you can click on it to see the hits contained there.

While no single source can meet all information needs, this one provides a good start for a wide range of business research questions.

A search on “Windows 8”, placed in quotation marks to force the phrase search, illustrates the categorized results next to the ranked results.

Did You Know? – Sometimes You Need a Third Party to Help with Competitive Intelligence

We all like to know what’s up with the competition.  Having a handle on their plans, products, advertising claims, corporate strategy, or any number of other business programs can give your company an edge.

Often business managers want to keep a low profile, minimizing the chance that the target company will notice that their competition is paying attention.  A third party researcher can help facilitate this.

Experienced business researchers provide a measure of anonymity while delivering valuable intelligence for informed decisions.

For more information please contact Shamel Information Services.