Part 3: How to Find Hidden Clients

As your search for new business progresses, you will find yourself constantly shifting companies from one list to the other and/or eliminating them to a discard list. Keep that discard list on the off chance that you received inaccurate information about the organization or something major changes there, suddenly causing the organization to become a viable target company again.

Once your search has been underway for about a month, you should find that you have about three to five good, valid new business leads at one time. These leads will consist of actual opportunities , actual referrals, actual contacts, or a somewhat validated rumor of a need for your product or services being added in the near future (30 days or less).

Based on your initial research, you will now find that you have about 25 to 35 companies in your "A" list that are very strong fits relative to your company’s product or service. Meanwhile, your broader list of "B" target companies should still be about 50 to 100 additional firms, and you should be constantly adding to it.

8 Tools for Your Target Company Research

Library Field Trip in person or on-line:

Next, let's go over some of the various research sources that are available at most local libraries.

Get to know the best research librarian(s) in your local library. Interview them personally. Tell them about your job search. Then ask them to show you the best research tools they have, both in the library and online through their library website.

You need to understand that in most cases, by physically going to the library, you will have much better and broader access to most of these database-oriented websites than you would by remotely accessing the library's website from home. That's because the majority of companies have created limited remote access to their databases for library patrons.

Some of the resource tools you should find at most libraries, both public and private, are:

Business directories—You will find that some of these are free while others are fee-based. Your library may have a subscription that your library card allows you access to. In some cases, you can log in to your library's website remotely and gain access to some of these tools that way. With some of the fee-based directories, however, you will have to be physically present at the library to access them. There again, your librarian can explain all of these specifics to you.
Financial and Business Directories

 (SEC filings)




Manufacturing and Service Directories

 Billion Dollar Directory

 Corporate 1000

 Directory of Corporate Affiliations

 International Directory of Corporate Affiliations

 Million Dollar Directory (three volumes)

 Moody's Index

 Directory of Manufacturers and Services by state

 Dun's Directory of Service Companies

 Directory of Consultants and Consulting Organizations

Technical Directories

 Directory of American Research and Technology

Research Public and Private Companies

 Corporate Information— (free but requires registration)

 Dun & Bradstreet—

 Securities and Exchange Company and People Search—

 Million Dollar Database—

 123 Jump— (global market news)

 Financial Web—


Thomas Register—


Forbes 500—

Business Week—

Lexis Nexis—

The Red Book—

Venture Capital Directories

 Pratt's Guide to Venture Capital Sources (library suggestion)

 Venture's Guide to International Venture Capital Startup Venture Groups (to uncover which startup industries are getting funding)

 The MoneyTree Report—

 PE Week Wire—

 Just Sell—

Newspapers and magazines—You should look at the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Fortune, Forbes, Crain's Chicago/Cleveland Business, Federal Career Opportunities, Federal Jobs Digest, and Inc. to start with.
Look up their various websites for online access.

Check out:







Next week I will share the rest of this great list of references with you.

If you would need professional help in the area of determining whether or not your team is working together as best as they could. Are they helping your organizational goals, or slowing the progress down? Please call us at 847-304-4500 (CST) to discuss your options on understanding your team more fully in terms of their ability to support and achieve the corporate success you are looking for this year.

Have a great week and productive week, managing the changes and challenges that are currently going on in your company.
I wish you a wonderfully successful and productive week ahead.

Eleanor Anne Sweet


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