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Q: How to find how much business is done by a company ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: How to find how much business is done by a company
Category: Business and Money > Advertising and Marketing
Asked by: owatagi-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 03 Jan 2005 10:50 PST
Expires: 02 Feb 2005 10:50 PST
Question ID: 451032
I am in sales. I work with all types of companies who advertise in my
product, the Yellow Pages. Part of my job is finding new advertisers
for my product. Some potential customers doubt that they need to
advertise. If I could show them how much business is done by a given
company who does advertise in my product, it would be very convincing.
Can you tell me how to find how much business is done by a local

Request for Question Clarification by answerguru-ga on 03 Jan 2005 11:05 PST

Are you trying to find out about public companies, or those that are
privately held? I doubt very many private companies make any of their
financial records available (unless they are trying to obtain
additional investors without having an IPO).


Clarification of Question by owatagi-ga on 03 Jan 2005 21:39 PST
I am looking for fiscal revenues of a company. Would there be a report
found somewhere in public records?

Request for Question Clarification by answerguru-ga on 03 Jan 2005 22:07 PST
Is this company public or private?

Public companies are required to file financial reports - what
company/companies are you interested in finding out about?


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 04 Jan 2005 12:34 PST

Your question is very hard to answer without some additional details. 
Asking about "a company" could be a reference to anything from General
Motors to the corner candy store.

As noted already, public companies file reports of their finances. 
Private companies generally do not, but many services -- like Dun and
Bradstreet -- make pretty good estimates of annual sales, at least for
some larger companies.

Please let us know the name and city of the company you're
researching, or if that's not feasible, at least let us have some
additional description of the company to help us to provide you the
answer you are seeking.


Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 04 Jan 2005 12:53 PST
Alternatively, if you're looking for information on many companies,
there are several subscription databases that you could make use of. 
Let us know if learning about these would be a suitable answer to your


Clarification of Question by owatagi-ga on 05 Jan 2005 20:00 PST
I am interested in many companies. What are some of the subscription
services you referred to?
Subject: Re: How to find how much business is done by a company
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 06 Jan 2005 12:49 PST
Hello owatagi-ga,

Thanks for getting back to me with your clarification.  I'm happy to
provide you the information you requested on subscription services for
finding information on companies.

The two best resources, for starters, are Reference USA and Dun and Bradstreet.

Reference USA is probably your best choice IF you are lucky enough to
have access to it.  The service is subscription-based, but it's
subscribers are institutions -- mostly libraries, universities and the

You should begin by checking your local public library, to see if they
can offer access to Reference USA (or to other business-oriented
databases).  Many libraries these days actually offer their clientele
on-line access to databases.  In the best scenario, your local library
will be able to offer access to electronic databases that you can
access from the convenience of your desktop computer.

If you'd like, you can let me know what city and state you are in, and
I can check the local libraries myself, and let you know what's


Reference USA contains information on 12 million businesses across the
US.  You can get a feel for the scope of information availability at
their website:

What is ReferenceUSA? 

ReferenceUSA is an Internet-based reference service from the Library
Division of infoUSA. The site was designed for use as a reference tool
in libraries and is continually enhanced based upon suggestions from
librarians and library patrons.

The ReferenceUSA database contains, in module format, detailed
information on more than 12 million U.S. businesses; 102 million U.S.
residents; 683,000 U.S. health care providers; 1 million Canadian
businesses; and 11 million Canadian residents. Libraries may customize
the product by purchasing one or more of these five distinct modules.

A typical information record in Reference USA includes the following
sorts of information:

WASHINGTON,  DC  20036-1103 
(202) 232-7481 

Lines of Business--BOOK DEALERS-RETAIL  

Estimated Sales:  $500,000 to $1 MILLION  


Again, it will take a bit of luck -- and the right library -- to get
access to this database.  If your local library doesn't offer it, you
might want to ask friends and colleagues to check their libraries --  
if you can swing it, this is a very useful resource.


Another resource is Dun and Bradstreet.  Again, D&B data is often made
available through library subscriptions.  But unlike Reference USA,
D&B data can also be accessed by individuals, even without an
institutional subscription.

For starters, head to:

Use the self-explanatory search form to search for a business of interest to you.  

For instance, using the above company as an example, the search
returns a link to their Kramerbooks reports.  Four reports can be
purchased, including one called the "Credit eValuator Report".  This
is D&B's least expensive report, and includes sales figures, so this
might be your best bet.

You can see an example of these reports at:

As you can see, they provide a specific sales figure when available
($797,000 on the sample report) rather than a range figure, like the
ones used by Reference USA.

The Credit eValuator reports cost $24.99 each if purchased individually. 

However, you can also subscribe to D&B's least expensive subscription
service -- Credit Essentials Subscription -- for $9.99/month, and you
can get access to a few free Credit eValuator reports (only four per
year, I'm afraid!).

Other subscriptions -- starting at $49.99/month -- will provide access
to a larger number of reports without additional charges.

And again, the information may be available at no cost through your local library.


You can also access sales information though another service called, although their web address is

You can see a sample report of the information they offer here:

and you can even try a free trial of their services at:

These folks are affiliated with Reference USA, and provide very
similar information, so if the public library option doesn't work out
for you, is an awfully good alternative.  They offer
unlimited access to their records for a subscription of $75/month, so
they are certainly worth considering.


I trust these services will meet your needs for sales information on
local companies.

However, before rating this answer, please let me know if there's
anything else you need.  Just post a Request for Clarification, and
I'll be happy to assist you further.

All the best in the new year ahead...


Request for Answer Clarification by owatagi-ga on 06 Jan 2005 18:47 PST
Thank you very much for the information. It looks like you've given me
great places to start. In answer to your question of where I live, I'm
in Oklahoma City. We have a great public library here. If you could
check this out I would greatly appreciate it.

Clarification of Answer by pafalafa-ga on 07 Jan 2005 05:36 PST
Looks like you're in luck.

The Oklahoma City Metro Library has a list of their databases at:

ReferenceUSA is right on there, and you can probably begin using it
right away if you know your library card number.  Just click on the
link, sign in, and you're off and running.

The library also offers some of the D&B information for larger
companies in what is called the D&B Million Dollar Database.  It also
provides access to Mergent, which also has a lot of company
information (mostly for publicly-traded companies).  However, both D&B
and Mergent are marked "ILO" or "in library only", an indication that
you can't access them online.

Have fun with the Reference USA, though.  

Let me know if there's anything else I can do for you.

Subject: Re: How to find how much business is done by a company
From: allbiz-ga on 04 Jan 2005 12:23 PST
Use your local public library for free premium quality electronic
databases of companies.  D&B Million Dollar Database.  Reference USA. 
These are two in which you can search by location, zip-code, etc. and
which give annual sales figures, even for private companies.
Many libraries now provide remote access to databases for card holders.  allbiz
Subject: Re: How to find how much business is done by a company
From: siryellow1-ga on 09 Feb 2005 15:07 PST
You can also get industry reports which show how effective the Yellow
Pages is for a particular industry (ie. what percentage of purchase
decisions are influenced by the Yellow Pages, radio, tv, etc.).

You'll notice for many of the industries in which you look for
customers that Yellow Pages Advertising is very effective.

I'm not exactly sure where you can get these reports but a little
searching and you should uncover them.

SirYellow1 -

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