Read these 10 Business to Business Information Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Business Research tips and hundreds of other topics.
Say you've made the decision that free resources aren't enough and you're ready to pay for access to a commercial business information center. How much does it cost? For the monthly membership sites like Hoover's or OneSource, it's tough to tell since they don't advertise prices. But Hoover's sells a Lite Membership with limited access to content for $69.95 monthly, so its full memberships are probably a lot more. More straightforward in terms of cost is a cost-per-download site like Manta.com or MarketResearch.com, which sells third-party reports and information for anywhere from $1 to more than $100 per download, depending on the amount of data requested.
Manta business solutions contains company information and business information reports for millions of companies worldwide. Business information resources, from competitors to suppliers, can be found online and are available for download.
Information technology has been one of the most volatile -- and potentially profitable -- industries worldwide. Because of these two factors, getting reliable information on the information technology business is extremely critical for business owners, investors or anyone thinking of starting an IT-based business or partnership. And there's no shortage of information sources about information technology and business. There are hundreds of magazines devoted to IT, software and/or hardware. Leading business information sources like Dun and Bradstreet and Standard and Poor's cover IT and tech companies. You can also easily find analyst services like Forrester or Jupiter, which specifically cover the tech industry. And if you're looking for free, regularly updated information on the information technology business, you can build yourself a constantly updated library with the right business blogs with RSS feeds.
Since most commercial business information centers either charge a monthly membership fee or per download, you have to make a choice. Which pricing model is better for you? If you are going to be accessing company information on a regular basis, say more than two or three times monthly, it might be worthwhile to go with a monthly membership site. Otherwise, get your business information from a per-download site and save yourself some cash.
One of the easiest ways to start a new business is to purchase a franchise. But with thousands of franchise possibilities available, you need solid business information to help you figure out which franchise might work best for you. And if you go ahead and purchase a franchise, you'll want to keep up on all the latest news from headquarters and other franchises around the world. You need a solid and reliable business franchise information source. But the key word here is reliable. It's not too hard to find web sites that are filled with franchise information. But virtually all of these sites are geared toward ultimately selling you a franchise and picking up a commission in the process. To find reliable and independent business franchise information takes more effort, but it's out there. The federal SBA web site and the business.gov site are great places to start and are free, too.
If you're looking for a single, overall business information center, there are a few ways to go. Here's the way that costs money and is pretty much guaranteed in terms of regularly obtaining useful information: * Sign up for a membership site like Hoover's or OneSource and pay a monthly fee for ongoing access to some of the leading publishers of business information. And here's the free way that's more of a gamble, but has no cost: * Build your own business information center with an RSS reader and links to RSS feeds from various business blogs and free business information centers. By the way, if you decide to go ahead and spend the money to do the first one, you can still do the RSS feeds, too.
Don't get hung up in looking only to the leading providers of business information when doing critical business research. One of the great things about Internet research is all the nooks and crannies of information you can find. Business bloggers and business forums, for example, are unofficial news sources but they also cover businesses and industries with a level of detail that the leading publishers of business information don't usually offer. Business bloggers and forum participants are also generally on top of big news when it's still in the rumor stage and can give you a jump on that information -- even if you have to check it elsewhere for accuracy first.
Anyone who has started and successfully runs a business will tell you that coming up with a workable idea for making money and concentrating on growing that idea successfully is the easy part. The hard part is everything else that comes along with managing a successful business: HR, taxes, unemployment compensation, bonuses, options, state and federal regulations, business law and more. But there are lots of sources of business management information that can help you in areas where your management knowledge might be lacking. Google "small business management resource" and you'll find free business management information resources like the federal SBA, as well as small business management online magazines -- Inc. online is a good one -- and resource sites like entrepreneur.com, which cover the subjects that come up everyday when trying to manage a small business.
There are hundreds, even thousands, of solid sources of business information that you can access over the Internet. These range from free resources like government web sites or business blogs, to business analyst web sites that offer opinions and predictions in specific industries, to business wire services, to for-profit membership sites that offer access to thousands of profiles, filings and other company information. This is a pretty huge topic, so it's worthwhile for you to spend some time Googling with business-specific keywords until you discover business information sources that meet your needs and your ability to pay.
Need information fast? Download company information from Manta - including company credit reports, company profiles and relevant company filings - for worldwide companies.
How do you make a sales call on a company if you don't know who you are going to call on? Providing that contact information for sales leads is a specialty of many business information providers. Many leading publishers of business information offer company profiles with contact names, titles and direct phone numbers, which can go a long way toward getting you in the door when you might not otherwise have a chance. Of course, even these won't tell you the spouse's name, their kids names and other sales tricks. But getting an up-to-date name, title and phone number is a start.
To be sure you're getting the latest business information, including company profiles and latest news, choose leading publishers of business information for your business research needs. Having best information from leaders in the business research industry, including Manta, will ensure up-to-date and accurate information on your business search.
Why do you need business or company information about other businesses? Here are three big reasons:
* If you are considering bringing on a business partner, affiliate or reseller, you can obtain unfiltered information about your potential partner before making an official agreement.
* If you have solid competition and you want to discover more information about your competition to exploit potential weaknesses.
* If you are looking for potential sales leads for your business.
To find sales leads for your business, simply log on, choose the industry or company you want to target, and search for sales leads online at Manta.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|