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How to Find a Small Business?

Small businesses typically start as only a good idea or a hobby. To move beyond an idea, the founder’s heavy lifting begins. The business may begin in her kitchen, dining room, basement, or garage – whichever option the founder has available. The space may get things started, but can be very limiting as to scope of production and any ability to scale and grow the business. A small space may also greatly compromise the owner’s creativity. They also remain pretty anonymous and isolated to themselves and also isolated in being identified by other businesses. What is one to do, go door to door in residential neighborhoods and knock on doors? Obviously, no, but the reality is that this is how many businesses start and limit themselves.

The old approach to finding businesses was to look for companies in existing business lists often sorted by NAICS or SIC codes. These codes were created for large businesses in the 1900’s in order to be identified and for them to identify other large businesses. Most small businesses have never heard of NAICS codes and certainly have no ideas what their own business’ code might be. For many innovative 21st century businesses, there is no 20th century codes that accurately identify what their company actually does. It takes some thinking outside the box. I know of a company at CIWorks that has invented an ability to create renewable energy for vehicle use from the existing drive train of the truck…what NAICS code is that?

CI Works is always looking to identify and find small businesses and provide real estate as a service option that works for their business and is a fit for the size and stage they are currently at. Each business is very unique in so many ways as is their current state of their revenues and profitability and WE can’t find them…they must find us. That is a very dependent way to operate, although it has been very successful for CI Works. But, WE now have a methodology we are pursuing to address finding small businesses that have promising futures.

Small businesses strive to generate some revenue through sales and make some money. A key indicator of confidence from sales growth and the importance of marketing is to make the investment and create a business web site. A web site is a good start, but the web site being found by potential customers is even more important and Next comes the role of Google and Google search. That means a company must have a Google business account to enhance the ability of their web site to be found. We’ve seen this work a number of times at CI Works with tenants. Ci Works has identified a tool to find companies that have crossed that chasm and have created a Google business account. We can now find them.

Stay tuned for more details.

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