Businesses compete neck-and-neck with one another in every industry. Here are some useful methods on gathering intelligence on your competition by utilizing public records.
Perform a Due Diligence investigation
- Locate and obtain pertinent records from civil actions associated with the company. May contain client information, business practices, names of competitors, names of vendors, etc.
- Identify key officers, determine their industry experience, field of expertise, previous employers (database research, Internet research)
- Identify unknown businesses or industries your competitor is affiliated with or planning to enter (SEC filings, database research, Internet research)
Look at financials
- Carefully review and assess all Securities & Exchange Commission filings for information on annual sales, mergers, acquisitions, new products
- Obtain and review public financial records of competitor. Determine annual sales, number of employees, Standard Industry Classification (SIC) code to determine if competitor is in involved in business ventures not previously known.