A recent visitor to the Reference Department had just opened up a commercial janitorial service and asked if we had any resources to help him find customers.

I suggested we look at ReferenceUSA, one of the library's most popular licensed databases, which allows you to search for business listings by combining search parameters such as geographic location, industry, sales volume or number of PCs. He wanted to focus on small offices in an industrial area near 2nd and Tejon, so I showed him how to formulate a search that combined the zip code for that area with privately owned businesses whose square footage is no larger than 2,499. The resulting list had over 560 companies, each one containing key information such as the name of the owner or office manager, number of employees, sales revenue and credit rating. Since the list was so big, we arranged the results in order by address and downloaded them to an Excel file, which would help him make sales calls in a logical way.

ReferenceUSA has around 18 million businesses, (4 million of them new) and although the level of information varies, many listings offer information such as:

  • Business profiles
  • Job openings
  • Current news
  • Management directory (purchasing agents, human resources, IT managers)
  • Stock data
  • Business expenditures
  • Competitors report
  • Corporate ladder

You can access ReferenceUSA through the library's Business Research page (DPL card required). Below is a brief video tutorial on how to create your list, and if you need further assistance please contact the Reference Department by phone (720-865-1363) or by email.

Written by Lisa on November 14, 2012


rick@referenceusa on November 15, 2012


Hi Lisa ~ Love the story on how you were able to help an entrepreneur! We present an on-line program every week that is geared for anyone considering starting or who are running a business and are looking to grow.

Participants come away with new insights into how to assess locations, do competitive analysis and find potential customers.

Registration to these free events is easy - just follow the link to the class schedule and sign up for
Start! Manage! Grow! your Business with ReferenceUSA


Jennifer Prest… on November 19, 2012


Wow! This is an aboslutely amazing resource! Thank you so much for posting :)

Chad on January 4, 2013


Reference Usa is a terrific tool to use for company lists. Appreciate the tutorial.

chad with Business List

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