Competition Research

Along with an understanding of the target market and the industry trends overall, it’s important to identify your competitors and find out as much as possible about them, in order to position yourself well. For competition research, our databases can be a timesaver and a great source of information.

Reference USA allows you to quickly create lists of companies by type of business, location (state, region, city, zip, or street), size, and many other criteria. Other databases offer the ability to not only build lists of competitors, but then immediately link to articles and financial information about your competitors. Good market research can help you create a strong business plan to start a business, or improve your marketing to help grow your business. We look forward to helping you!

California and Bay Area business directories such as Rich's Everyday Prospecting Guides or the California Manufacturer's Register are kept at the Business, Science & Technology Center Desk. Manufacturing directories for all other states are in the U.S. Industry & Trade Collection.

  • Book of Lists. Available for San Francisco, San Jose & Silicon Valley, Sonoma & Marin counties, Sacramento, and Los Angeles. Lists top ranking local businesses by industry or service.
  • Business Rankings Annual. Brooklyn Public Library. Lists only top companies, but contains rankings for over 3800 products & services.
  • California Retail Survey. Eureka Group. Lists 10 year sales trends for 45 retail categories in over 500 market areas.
  • Dun's Business Rankings. Dun & Bradstreet Information Services. Ranks public and private companies by sales, number of employees, and industry.
  • Million Dollar Directory. Dun & Bradstreet Information Services. Lists businesses by industry & by location.
  • Ward's Business Directory of U.S. Private and Public Companies. Gale Research Inc. Rankings of businesses by industry and by location.

Online Resources

  • D&B's Million Dollar Database Database that provides detailed information on local, national, and international companies. May search by location, industry, number of employees, sales.
  • Reference USA. InfoUSA Lists all businesses in the United States. Can be searched by industry, location and by size. Download results to Excel spreadsheets. Access to ReferenceUSA and other resources provided by SFPL Online

Internet Resources

  • SF Prospector List of business and demographic data for neighborhoods, supervisorial districts, or zip code areas.
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