We have come across an interesting article by Rieva Lesonsky, (a small-business expert and a senior vice president and editorial director at Entrepreneur Media Inc) that brings together many useful links and resources. The article was compiled as a resource hub for entrepreneurs, but doubles-up perfectly as a great source of desk research links. Most of the resources are geared more towards the US market, but a great deal are still relevant on a global scale. At the bottom of the article we have added a few other links that we find extremely useful for desk research.
The Small Business Sourcebook contains thousands of sources, including books, magazine articles, stats and industry data. Articles, trade shows and conventions are sorted by industry.
The Encyclopedia of Associations lists thousands of trade associations, offering contact information and vital stats. This is crucial to all entrepreneurs seeking information about a particular industry.
The D&B Million Dollar Database offers access to online information on more than 1.6 million private and public U.S. and Canadian companies, their sales, their number of employees and other important information. This is helpful when checking out potential partners, seeking clients or customers, or “spying” on your competition. Visit the site for subscription information.
Hoovers offers a similar service with some free sample information.
Demographic information (crucial to learning about your target market) can be found in Editor and Publisher Market Guide and The Sourcebook ZIP Code Demographics.
If you’re looking for information on government contracting opportunities, visit FedBizOpps (formerly Commerce Business Daily).
The Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources has thousands of citations on more than 1,000 topics, listing directories, encyclopedias, yearbooks and trade groups.
Other important reference books include Bacon’s Newspaper/Magazine Directory, Bacon’s Radio/TV/Cable Directory, Bacon’s Internet Media Directory and the Business Periodicals Index.
One of the most useful resources is the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers. It lists thousands of manufacturers of virtually every product produced in the United States.
The SBA is also an amazing resource and provides and huge amount of information for entrepreneurs.
With most of the above links being geared towards the US market, we have included some of the UK and European equivalents below, as well as some useful desk research tools that we use quite frequently:
The UK Small Business Service
For information on UK Government tenders visit Supplying Government
To find contact details for companies try Kompass
Some great stats sites: