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Market Research

Sources of information about the potential consumers, competitors and/or industry information.

Questions To Ask

Questions to ask before you begin your research:

  1. Is the company public or private?
  2. Is the company a subsidiary?
  3. Is the company American or international?

Private companies do not have to disclose any information to the public.  They are difficult if not impossible to research.

Public companies are easiest to research.  They are regulated by the government (in the U.S., it's the SEC), sell shares to the general public, and must publicly report company and financial information.

Subsidiary companies will not have their own annual reports, and you may not find information on them in the resources listed on this page.  You'll need to determine who the parent company is and research the parent company.  Journal articles will be a major source for information on subsidiaries.

International companies also won't be included in some of the databases, such as NetAdvantage.  Check Mergent or Business Source Elite for international company information.

Find Company Information

 

"An annual report is a comprehensive report on a company's activities throughout the preceding year. Annual reports are intended to give shareholders and other interested people information about the company's activities and financial performance. They may be considered as grey literature." Wikipedia.

Links below will give you access to annual reports.

 

Journal, magazine, and newspapers articles offer information on companies from an outsider's viewpoint.  

 

Company profiles provide succinct overviews of a company:  an overview, history, key facts,  top executives, major products and services, competitors, and locations/subsidiaries.  Company profiles are an excellent starting point.

 

Company comparisons show how your company stacks up against its main competitors.

Find here data on your company's competitors.

 

Databases below provide  financial information--balance sheets, cash flow, and ratios.  

 

A 10-K provides information such as company history, organizational structure, executive compensation, equity, subsidiaries, and audited financial statements.