:: Guide to business research

Guide to answering business questions.

Researching a Company

  1. General (phone, address, executives)
  2. Company History
  3. Financials
  4. Still in business?
  5. Public or Private?
  6. Subsidiary/division?
  7. Products
  8. Market Share
  9. News
  10. Case Studies
  11. Credit Report
  12. Companies — General

  1. General information (Phone, address, names of executives, etc)
  2. Contact information for both public and private companies

    Executives, including biographies

    For public companies, biographical information is available in the company's proxy statement and Annual Report/Form 10-K.
    Here are a few websites which will provide executive biographical information:

    For private companies, here are a few good sources:

  3. Company history
  4. The company's website can provide a wealth of information about the company, including corporate history.
    An excellent print source is the International Directory of Company Histories.

  5. Financials
  6. Sales, Revenues

    Here are a two websites, which will supply financial information about public & private companies:

    Annual Reports, proxy, and 10K

    Here are a few websites which will provide financial statements (Annual Reports, 10-Ks, etc) on public companies:

    • SEC Info (limited free information; recently became subscription website)

  7. Is the company still in business?
  8. An excellent place to start looking (regardless if the company is still in business or not) would be to check the Secretary of State website for the state in which the business is located.

    If the company is no longer in business:

    Directory of Obsolete Securities (previously called the Marvyn Scudder Manual of Extinct or Obsolete Companies and the Fisher Manual of Valuable and Worthless Securities. This is an excellent print source series for finding information about companies no longer in existence. It provides the date and a brief reason why the company is no longer in business (forfeited bankruptcy, etc).

  9. Is the company public or private?
  10. Information on private companies is not readily available. A few sources that would provide information on private companies would be:

  11. Do you know if this company is a subsidiary or division or another company?
  12. LexisNexis Corporate Affiliations is the best source for hierarchy information.
    The company's website will usually provide a wealth of information as well.

  13. Market share/rankings
  14. Would you be interested in company rankings (top 10 list), competitors, ratings, or market share information?

    Here are some excellent websites, which provide company rankings.

  15. Company News
  16. Would you be interested in articles about this company?
    Here are a few excellent websites which will provide articles are individual companies:

  17. Credit Reports
  18. Companies — General
  19. Visit the library's Company Research page for recommendations.

Researching an Industry

  1. Trends & forecasts
  2. Market Share
  3. General Industry information: trade associations
  4. Industry Surveys and statistics
  5. Industry news
  6. Industries — General

  1. Trends & forecasts
  2. Business articles on the subject can be found at:

  3. Market Share (Major companies/players)
  4. Yahoo Finance News By Industry

    Market Share Reporter. A print reference source available at the library.

  5. General Industry information: trade associations
  6. Associations are a great starting point to find all types of information on a given industry.

  7. Industry Surveys and statistics
    • Standard & Poor's Industry Surveys (available in print format at the library) is the best source for industry surveys. It provides detailed information about a given industry.
    • ClickZ Stats provides industry statistics including revenues and historical/current data.

  8. Industry news (Newswires, newspapers, industry journals)
  9. Here are some websites providing industry news:

  10. Industries — General
  11. A list of additional industry websites will be available soon.

Questions About Investing

  1. Stock Quotes
  2. General Investing Sites
  3. Stock Quotes
  4. Specific date?

    Are you looking for a price/quote on a specific date(s)? (Monthly, daily, quarterly, yearly average, etc.) Here are some websites that provide this information:

    Real time or historic quotes?

    Ticker Symbol Lookup

    Do you know the ticker symbol or CUSIP number?

    Stock charts or tables?

    Have you looked in the Wall Street Journal for this information? Do you want me to see if your library has a subscription to WSJ?

  1. General investing sites
  2. Here are some links to websites, which will answer your question(s) about investing:

    • Big Charts/Big Charts Historical. Investment charting and research site, major market indexes. Type in ticker symbol and date for historical data.
    • Daily Stocks.com. DailyStocks.com is the web's first and biggest stock research site.
    • MSN Money. Can customize charts of real time and historic quotes, etc.
    • PC Quote. Stock quotes for all U. S. & Canadian listings, U. S. exchange-listed corporate bonds NASDAQ-listed money market and mutual funds, U. S. options, and more.
    • Yahoo Stock Quotes. Obtain stock quotes by typing in the ticker symbol or, if you don't know the ticker, do a lookup search on the company name by clicking on search at the top.

Questions about Starting a Small Business

What specifically do you want to know about Starting a Business?

  1. Where to start
  2. Advice, tips, guidelines
  3. Advice - supporting organizations/ counseling
  4. Finding a Name/Applying for name/Domain name
  5. Legal/Financial issues
  6. Government Forms/Loans
  7. Business Plans-Setting up
  8. Specific Types of Businesses

  1. Where to start
  2. The best place to start would be to review the Small Business Administration website.

  3. Advice, tips, guidelines
  4. For expert advice and practical hands-on information about starting a business:

    Tips and guidelines on starting and maintaining a successful small business:

    Additional valuable websites, for the small business owner:

    • Work.com-Small Business. Provides an extensive links to small business categories such as business plans, managing growth, franchising, minority owned business, family owned business, etc.
    • Search Systems. Largest free public records database collection.
    • Biz Stats. Leading online source for small business statistics, including financial ratios, benchmarks, and information as specific as the safest and riskiest type of business.

  5. Advice - supporting organizations/ counseling
  6. Finding a Name/Applying for name/Domain name
  7. Legal/Financial issues
  8. Government Forms/Loans
  9. For access to government forms or information on how to apply for government backed loans/federal assistance, see:

  10. Business Plans
  11. Here are two websites on how to write business plans:

  12. Specific Types of businesses
  13. Home business:

    Family owned businesses

    Women & Minority Owned Businesses:

    For franchise opportunities throughout the United States, Canada, and abroad, we suggest looking at the following two websites:

    There are additional links to selected small business websites, on the Riverside Public Library’s Small Business Resources page.

Questions about Economics

  1. Prime rate, on a specific date
  2. Foreign Exchange Rate
  3. Consumer Price Index
  4. General economic data

  1. Prime rate, on a specific date
  2. Foreign Exchange Rate
    • Do you want the foreign exchange rate in U.S. Dollars or in the Foreign Currency? The best website for foreign exchange is Oanda.com.

  3. Consumer Price Index
    • Do you want the CPI (Consumer Price Index) for the U.S. or by SMSA (Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area)?
      The CPI is also known as the inflation rate. Consumer Price Index information is available on the Bureau of Labor Statistics website (see inflation & consumer spending) .

  4. General economic data
  5. What type of economic data are you interested in (Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Producer Price Index, etc.)? Here are some excellent websites, which will provide economic data:

Company Rankings

Forbes Magazine
Includes Lists for People (100 Top Celebrities, Forbes 400, World's Billionaires), Companies (Forbes 500, 200 Best Small Companies, 500 Largest Private Companies, The World's Leading Companies - Forbes 2000) and Places (Best Business Restaurants, World's 10 Best Ski Resorts, Forbes/Milken Best Places).

Inc. Magazine
Includes the Inc. 500 lists for 1982-2005. Full contents of the 14 annual issues of Inc. and four annual issues of Inc. Technology are posted at this website when the magazines go on newsstands. All stories back to 1988 are available for free in the (searchable) online archives.

Special Issues - Gary Price's List of Lists
Special issues are any regularly published special editorial content usually having an industry or company focus. Price's List of Lists (LOL) was started around 1998 and maintained by Gary Price for many years. The List of Lists is a database of ranked listings of companies, people and resources freely available on the Internet. Content comes from a number of sources including: Specialissues.com, Gary Price's "Resource Shelf" and individual users of the LOL. Coverage includes business and industry management utilities, retail trade, manufacturing, finance and insurance, real estate, health care, public administration, and much more. Subscription Service.