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Using the Internet to Research Private Companies

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There is a wealth of information that is available about private companies on the Internet. In this presentation I tell you how you can exploit these sources to gain insights into your privately held competitors.

Published in: Business, Technology

Using the Internet to Research Private Companies

  1. 1. Using the Internet to Research Private Companies August Jackson august (at) augustjackson (dot) net http://www.augustjackson.net @8of12 #sla2011ci
  2. 2. Our Approach #sla2011ci
  3. 3. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. Decision-Focused Intelligence #sla2011ci
  4. 4. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. I also need their CEO’s 4th grade report card, her mother’s maiden name and the book report she wrote on “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” in the 5th grade. I also need their CEO’s 4th grade report card, her mother’s maiden name and the book report she wrote on “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” in the 5th grade. Decision-Focused Intelligence #sla2011ci
  5. 5. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. I need Competitor X’s price list, customer list and tax filings. I also need their CEO’s 4th grade report card, her mother’s maiden name and the book report she wrote on “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” in the 5th grade. I also need their CEO’s 4th grade report card, her mother’s maiden name and the book report she wrote on “The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe” in the 5th grade. Decision-Focused Intelligence #sla2011ci
  6. 6. I have an important decision that I need to make. I have an important decision that I need to make. Decision-Focused Intelligence #sla2011ci
  7. 7. I have an important decision that I need to make. I have an important decision that I need to make. There are some things I need to understand about Competitor X to help me make those decisions. There are some things I need to understand about Competitor X to help me make those decisions. Decision-Focused Intelligence #sla2011ci
  8. 8. Strategic Planning Partnership Mergers & Acquisitions Business Development Research & Development Product Development & Life Cycle Market Entry/Exit Marketing & Advertising Planning Tactical Sales Activity Decisions Commonly Supported #sla2011ci
  9. 9. Define KITs: Choosing Analytical Models Which analytical frameworks will we use? Choose The Right Analytical Frameworks #sla2011ci
  10. 10. Define KITs: Choosing Analytical Models Match Analysis to Your Business Decision Business and Competitive Analysis Babette Bensousan and Craig Fleisher Choose The Right Analytical Frameworks #sla2011ci
  11. 11. Define KITs: Common Information Requirements Product Revenue Pricing Profitability Market Share Strengths Weaknesses Product Revenue Pricing Profitability Market Share Strengths Weaknesses Marketing and Sales Partners Current Markets Market Position Marketing and Sales Partners Current Markets Market Position Supply Chain Capacity Facilities Employees Hiring Supply Chain Capacity Facilities Employees Hiring Likely Strategies Financial Capacity Executive Decision-Making Industry Trends Opportunities Threats Likely Strategies Financial Capacity Executive Decision-Making Industry Trends Opportunities Threats Financials Ownership Legal and Regulatory Kinds of Information Commonly Sought #sla2011ci
  12. 12. Plan Research Strategy DataIntelligence PrimarySecondary A Framework for Research Planning #sla2011ci
  13. 13. Plan Research Strategy DataIntelligence PrimarySecondary Internet research Interviews Verifiable answers direct from a single source Diverse sources, analysis, varying levels of confidence A Framework for Research Planning #sla2011ci
  14. 14. Plan Research Strategy DataIntelligence PrimarySecondary Hiring Locations Channels to Market Current Markets Company Revenue Ownership Legal Regulatory Industry Trends Employees & Skills Market Share & Position Capacity Opportunities & Threats Product Revenue Suppliers Product Profitability Supply Chain Decision Making Capacity to Act Strengths & Weaknesses A Framework for Research Planning #sla2011ci
  15. 15. Best Secondary Sources for Private Company Info #sla2011ci
  16. 16. Our Use Case: Raynor Garage Door Our use case: Raynor Garage Door of Dixon, Illinois Our Use Case #sla2011ci
  17. 17. Premium Sources #sla2011ci
  18. 18. Premium Sources #sla2011ci
  19. 19. Company Web Site Descriptions Offices Locations Identified partners Executives Job postings Press release Sales channels Corporate history Company Web Site #sla2011ci
  20. 20. META Tags and Web Page Source Code #sla2011ci
  21. 21. META Tags and Web Page Source Code #sla2011ci
  22. 22. #sla2011ci
  23. 23. Link Analysis http://www.siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com Use “link:” command in Google Partners Distributors Philanthropic ventures Former employees Fans Critics Bloggers User forums News coverage Free and Easy-to-Use Link Analysis Tools #sla2011ci
  24. 24. Legal and Regulatory Filings • Regulatory Filings • Environmental • Employment • Building Permits • Export Permits • Shipping Records • Legal Filings and Decisions • Patents & Trademarks • Securities • Government contracts and proposals Budget time and funds! • Regulatory Filings • Environmental • Employment • Building Permits • Export Permits • Shipping Records • Legal Filings and Decisions • Patents & Trademarks • Securities • Government contracts and proposals Budget time and funds! Jurisdiction-Specific •National •State and provincial •City, county, municipal Not all offices are Internet-ready, some may require an office visit Search +jurisdiction +”public records” +”probate” +”legal records” Directory of resources in the appendix Jurisdiction-Specific •National •State and provincial •City, county, municipal Not all offices are Internet-ready, some may require an office visit Search +jurisdiction +”public records” +”probate” +”legal records” Directory of resources in the appendix Legal & Regulatory Filings #sla2011ci
  25. 25. Legal and Regulatory Filings #sla2011ci
  26. 26. #sla2011ci
  27. 27. #sla2011ci
  28. 28. #sla2011ci
  29. 29. Legal and Regulatory Filings • Location openings • Site growth • Hiring & firing • Near-term activities • Changes in management • Industry position • Execute profiles • Company profiles • Location openings • Site growth • Hiring & firing • Near-term activities • Changes in management • Industry position • Execute profiles • Company profiles Location and industry specific Search +city +”newspaper” Search +industry +”journal” Search +industry +product +technology +”association” +”society” Location and industry specific Search +city +”newspaper” Search +industry +”journal” Search +industry +product +technology +”association” +”society” Local and Industry News Sources #sla2011ci
  30. 30. Example of Local News Discovery #sla2011ci
  31. 31. Example of Local News Discovery #sla2011ci
  32. 32. Example of Local News DiscoveryLocal News Coverage #sla2011ci
  33. 33. Industry Associations and Journals #sla2011ci
  34. 34. Industry Associations and Journals #sla2011ci
  35. 35. Industry Associations and Journals #sla2011ci
  36. 36. Legal and Regulatory Filings • Locations • Centralization • Employees’ skills • Outlines of organization charts • Targets for primary research • History of business initiatives • Perspectives of customers Remember your ethics. Don’t be scary or pushy! • Locations • Centralization • Employees’ skills • Outlines of organization charts • Targets for primary research • History of business initiatives • Perspectives of customers Remember your ethics. Don’t be scary or pushy! LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com Ning http://www.ning.com Industry-specific social networks Search +industry +”social network” Directory in the appendix LinkedIn http://www.linkedin.com Ning http://www.ning.com Industry-specific social networks Search +industry +”social network” Directory in the appendix LinkedIn #sla2011ci
  37. 37. People Search and Social Networks #sla2011ci
  38. 38. People Search and Social Networks #sla2011ci
  39. 39. People Search and Social Networks #sla2011ci
  40. 40. Slideshare #sla2011ci
  41. 41. People Search and Social Networks #sla2011ci
  42. 42. People Search and Social Networks #sla2011ci
  43. 43. #sla2011ci
  44. 44. Legal and Regulatory Filings • New hiring • Skills sought • Location of new hires • Clues to expansion • Clues to new market entry • Clues to priorities • Postings reveal corporate culture • New hiring • Skills sought • Location of new hires • Clues to expansion • Clues to new market entry • Clues to priorities • Postings reveal corporate culture Leading general job sites Monster CareerBuilder Yahoo Jobs Indeed Industry-specific job sites Search +industry +”job” +”career” Pay attention to sponsored search results and ads when doing a jobs keyword search Leading general job sites Monster CareerBuilder Yahoo Jobs Indeed Industry-specific job sites Search +industry +”job” +”career” Pay attention to sponsored search results and ads when doing a jobs keyword search Job Sites #sla2011ci
  45. 45. Use Google Maps for Location Details • Street view or sky view • Square footage • Number of parking spaces suggests workforce size and capacity • Appearance of buildings • Vehicles in the lot • Street access • Utilities evident • Preparation for location visit Google Maps #sla2011ci
  46. 46. Questions? #sla2011ci
  47. 47. Appendix: Directory of Filings Databases • Fuld & Co. on-line resources: – http://www.fuld.com/fuld-bin/f.wk?fuld.i3.home • BRB Publications Free Resource Center – http://www.brbpub.com/freeresources/pubrecsites.aspx?h=1 • State and Local Government on the Net (US) – http://www.statelocalgov.net • Virtual Gumshoe (US) – http://www.virtualgumshoe.com/resources/ • International Organization of Securities Commissions – https://www.iosco.org/lists/display_members.cfm?memID=1&orderBy=none #sla2011ci
  48. 48. Appendix: Directory of Newspapers and Industry Journals and Organizations • Google News – http://news.google.com • NewsVoyager – http://www.newspaperlinks.com • BizJournals (US city-specific business journals) – http://www.bizjournals.com • Scirus Scientific Journal Directory – http://www.scirus.com/ • Google Scholar – http://scholar.google.com #sla2011ci
  49. 49. Appendix: People Search Engines • Pipl: http://www.pipl.com • Spock: http://www.spock.com/ • 123people: http://www.123people.com/ • Yo Name: http://www.yoname.com/ • Masters of Criminal Justice Web Directory of People Search Engines – http://www.mastersincriminaljustice.com/blog/2009/50-best-people- search-engines-to-track-down-anyone/ #sla2011ci

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