Business Directories / Strategy / Last Modified: February 22, 2017

Remember when you needed a product or service, and you pulled the bulky phone book off the shelf to find it? While that may still be ...

Remember when you needed a product or service, and you pulled the bulky phone book off the shelf to find it? While that may still be your first impulse, there are hundreds of different, and often better, ways to find what you're looking for. Many online business directories offer more than simple addresses and phone numbers. For free or for a subscription fee, many directories also offer detailed company information that's designed to help you grow your business.

Online business directories can do even more for small businesses. Listing your business in online directories can be an ideal way to reach other businesses that need your products or services. Use online business directories to:

  1. Find new customers.
  2. Find suppliers.
  3. Build mailing lists.
  4. Find key contacts within corporations.
  5. Check credit ratings and financial status.
  6. List your company and thus, attract new business.

Specializing in the industrial sector, the directory is where buyers and engineers from major companies, the government and more go to find the products, services or suppliers they need. It's in-depth, industrial-specific content includes over 20 million CAD drawings and access to more than 650,000 distributors, manufacturers and service companies classified in over 67,000 product and service categories.

With more than 400,000 business listings in 65,000 industry, product and service subcategories, is the Web's leading free business directory. Through the Network, its listings are available through the search and directory functions at major business Web sites and publishers, including Forbes, Business Week, Entrepreneur, AllBusiness, Business Owner's Toolkit and many more.'s most popular topics, products and services, or view the entire directory to find what you're looking for. Sign up to get your company included in the directory, or take advantage of Pay-Per-Click featured listings that give your company a marketing edge.

With in-depth editorial coverage as its core strength, lets you look up more than 16 million public, non-public and international companies and view news, press releases, financials, executive biographies and more. The free content section can be used for research or to build a list of companies or executives. Subscription options geared to small and mid-sized businesses offer sophisticated solutions such as wireless delivery, lead sources, financial comparison tools and competitive landscape.

D&B Small Business Solutions

D&B has the world's largest business database with information on more than 100 million businesses worldwide, including 38 million in the U.S. D&B is considered the leading provider of business information for credit, marketing and purchasing decisions. Use the directory to find new customers or to view credit reports to help you determine whether or not to extend credit to a company.

InfoUSA has info on 14 million U.S. businesses and 1.2 million Canadian businesses. Small businesses can use the infoUSA database to find new customers or for credit reference purposes, customer analysis or direct telemarketing efforts.

With access to more than 18 million global companies and 20 million executives in its directory, can help you find the research you need to grow your business. Its Business Browser information includes company profiles, corporate financial data, executive listings, industry overviews, news articles and corporate structures.

The Selectory database features 14 million company records. The foundation of this database is D&B's DUNSRight quality assurance process, which ensures that company profiles are complete and accurate. This directory is designed to help you find new customers and increase sales by creating targeted lists. Use one of more than 30 search criteria, including ZIP code radius, industry and company size to narrow your searches. Import data directly into CRM programs.

If you're a B2B seller, try this directory. With more than 14 million business listings, the directory offers information whether you're looking for home-based businesses or for key executives at Fortune 500 firms. The Business Hotline file lists more than 70,000 new businesses each month.

Search engine and yellow pages business directories

If you're looking for quick links to companies within certain business categories without a lot of additional information, try search engine business directories or online yellow pages directories.
  • Take it for a test drive. Take advantage of the many subscription-based directories that offer free trials to determine if a subscription is really necessary or if you can get by with the offerings from free directories.
  • Search backwards. If you have a phone number and want to get more info about who's number it is or find an address, you can run a reverse search at several directories.
  • There's always the print version. If you're more comfortable having a physical book in hand, you can always head down to the local library or bookstore and find an assortment of directories that are usually printed annually.

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