Friday, April 20, 2007

Business and Market Research at Your Fingertips

Did you know that the library offers patrons free access to ReferenceUSA? This database is a powerful reference tool that allows you to locate specific businesses by location, SIC code, location and much more. Some reasons you may want to use ReferenceUSA include:
  1. Looking to open you own business? Select a location and do a radius search to look up the number of similar businesses in the area;
  2. Looking for a job? Conduct research on specific industries and companies and also find specific executives to contact (name of a human resources director, for example);
  3. Locate a parent and/or subsidiary companies -- find out where the buck really stops;
  4. Looking for a contractor to assist you with a home improvement project? Results for businesses in the database include any public filings, including liens;
Records can be downloaded and sorted to suit your individual needs.

I recently assisted a patron, a photographer new to the area, who wanted to contact local real estate agents and offer them his services, taking digital photographs of properties for real estate Web sites. Since the yellow pages is not always exhaustive (and "Googling" can send you off on a wild goose chase), we were able to use the SIC code search (brokers, agents, etc.) and come up with a concise mailing list of real estate contacts limited to the town of Warrenton.

If you would like to take advantage of the ReferenceUSA database, please ask the reference librarian at your local branch of the Fauquier County Public Library system. Due to licensing restrictions, patrons must use the database inside the library.

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