Business directories can help you in 4 ways when researching your business market. They can provide suppliers of inputs for your product or service, profile your competition, profile complimentary businesses, and customers if you sell B2B.
These directories come in two types: unlicensed and licensed. Unlicensed directories are free to use on the internet or at your local library. Licensed directories such as Selectory, on the other hand, provide much more information and are sold to universities, large companies, and resource centres like Small Business BC. Unlicensed directories come from companies like Bell, Superpages, Canada Business Directory, and 411.ca. They have limited information such as business type, and location of business which provide weak search results compared to licensed directories.
Licensed business directories, however, provide much more information and are more powerful in their search capabilities. You can use “Age of business”, “business size”, “lines of business”, and location selections such as metro area, city, or postal code to find the businesses you need.