This Subject Guide is designed for those doing research on small businesses and their related industries. To research large or publicly owned companies use the Company & Industry Flowcharts.
Small Business Research requires a slightly different approach to the search process than large public companies because there are fewer newspaper and magazine stories about specific small companies, even if they are publicly traded. The 3 main areas of research needed most often are Company, Industry, and Markets. More detailed explanations are given on the pages of this LibGuide.
The first thing about researching a company is determing the information you do have and what you need to verify. When doing research on companies, it is important to remember to search more than the just the company name. This is particularly important for searching through indexes and web sites for news and articles:
==> Company name (omit the words: Co, Corp, Inc, Ltd, etc)
Company Subsidiaries and Divisions names,
Company Parent names
Ultimate Parent Company names, &
ticker symbols, if available
==> Competitors (#1 company in the industry & other close competitors) names & ticker symbols
==> Look for interviews with the top officers in the company & parent company. The smaller the company, the more likely that the owner and family members hold all of these positions, if such positions exist. The owner is often both the CEO and the President of the company.
CEO (Chief Executive Officer),
COO (Chief Operations Officer),
CFO (Chief Financial Officer),
Chairman of the Board
==> Any mention by brand name, especially look for advertisements and coupons, sponsorship of charity events/programs or sporting events.
Brand and product names show up the least, but are often very valuable in finding information.