When doing research for a client and the target is too small to show up in data bases you may be forced to think outside the box. If you grew up with the Internet, then you are conditioned to use resources such as LinkedIn, or pursue the items thrown up by Google .
Unfortunately, you may find that nothing properly addresses your inquiry or you do not have a subscription to Hoovers or LexisNexis . Even if you do, you can’t be sure if your target has made it in there.
Depending on what you are looking for, you may now have to call the company, call some of their customers, or go visit in person.
There are alternatives you should consider before going to that extreme (besides your budget may not allow for that). So what to do?
Limited Examples from one of our experiences.
One of our projects required us to collect in-depth information and analysis of the 50 largest craft whiskey distillers in the United States (excluding the 7 companies that control 99% of the market). Because of their size, this involved quite an intensive effort on our part.
Some of the following approaches turned out to be very useful:
- Google Maps which allows you to measure not only location but the size and type of buildings and to count the number of cars in parking spots.
- The office of the local Secretary of State for company registration and officer information.
- Local Newspapers and TV stations
- Equipment suppliers – which in this case was for copper stills and grain handling equipment
- Local and national Trade Associations
- Direct phone calls
There are many other ways to dig up information on a low profile target or industry, but you will have to be willing to go the extra mile or to spend the extra money to make sure your client is happy.
If you have a situation where you need some specialized research, please contact us for a free consultation.