XooxleAnswers’ Top Ten Business Research Tools

The best business tools available online, and absolutely free

Better Business Bureau


The last entry on our 2008 list was a tough call, but we finally went with the Central Contractor Registration system of the US federal government. CCR lists untold number of businesses that actually contract with the federal government, or who hope to become federal contractors. Either way, this is a rich list.

It’s also infuriatingly dense. Using it effectively means becoming familiar with NAICS codes, government and military procurement lingo, federal acquisition notices, etc. But hey, that’s the government for you. Fortunately, the CCR search page provides some helpful links. It may also pay to get a bit familiar with the information and resources on the CCR homepage as well.

Using CCR, it took me about 20 seconds to crank out a list of brick and concrete masonary contractors in Nebraska, and for each one, it’s possible to pull up a lot of information on their business.

It took even less time to drum up a few contacts and phone numbers for the (now infamous) Blackwater Security Consulting, LLC.

A variation on CCR is maintained by the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and provides even more details on listed companies, but is even more difficult to use! Give the Dynamic Small Business Search a look, and see if it’s the right tool for you.

The Federal government is such a huge player the contractor marketplace that, their cumbersome search systems notwithstanding, they get the number ten spot on the XooxleAnswers’ list of Top Ten Business Research Tools for 2012


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