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Company Research

Resources for researching companies

SWOT Analysis

SWOT stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats.

Business Source Complete.  Select SWOT Analyses from the right side tool bar and search the company name.

 

Create Your Own SWOT Analysis

If there isn't a SWOT analysis in Business Source Complete, you can do your own SWOT analysis by collecting information from multiple sources, such as company profiles, industry & market information, journal articles and news. If you are researching a public company, take a look at its Annual Reports, especially the section "Risk Factors." 

Here are some other tips on doing your own SWOT analysis:

Explore the company website and consider the following:

  • What kind of service/product do they provide?
  • What kind of customer needs are they meeting? Are they meeting these needs better than their competitors, at a better price?
  • What's their customer value proposition?

Interview the company, if possible. State that you are a student researching on the company for academic work, and that you will agree to sign any non-disclosure agreement. Call and ask them nicely. You might be surprised! * Most of the "internal information" (e.g., HR practices) of small private firms is highly unlikely to be available in secondary sources; in this case, talking with the company is the only way.

Read reviews, if available. Although customer reviews can be biased and unreliable, consistently positive or negative reviews should be taken into account. Consumers often find weaknesses that the company may not be aware of. However, be realistic -- you can't be all things to all people. Always keep your target market in mind.

Take a look at the competitors and consider

  • What kind of service/product do the competitors provide?
  • What are your company's competitive advantages (e.g., unique product/service, location, size, customer service, price, etc..)? How does your company differentiate itself from others (i.e., what's its niche)?

 

Competitors

Nexis Uni  replaced Lexis Nexis AcademicThe company record in Company Dossier may include competitors.  You can create a list of competitors in Company Dossier by searching for companies in the same industry, by business description, number of employees, geographic area, and sales/revenue.

Business Source Complete  Search the name of the company and "competitors" for articles.

Market Share

Market Share Reporter  Presents market share data on over four thousand companies, and 2,500 products, facilities, and brands. Several entries are usually available under each industry.

IBISWorld  Provides industry profiles on over 700 NAICS industries and over hundreds of specialized industries in the U.S. and 72 global industries.  Includes market share concentration information for the industry.

 

Rankings

 

Forbes Global 2000 The world's largest public companies.
Fortune Rankings  Rankings by Fortune Magazine. Includes Fortune 500, Most Admired Companies, and more.

 

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