How to Research a Company Before Doing Business with It

When you want to make a major purchase or a major career move, checking out the company first offers a way to get to know them and make a more informed decision. Anything that involves a financial or personal investment deserves your due diligence, but where to start?

Finding Out How a Business Treats Customers

Florida State University Libraries put together a nifty guide on how to research a company to help its students in their job searches. It starts with links to well-known business databases like Mergent Online and Nexis Uni.

For public companies, FSU suggests using Google to find things like this Joybird reviews team post on an independent review site. Many bloggers begin by posting their own experiences of companies with which they do business, then add more comprehensive reviews.

Of course, a search of Google or Bing also turns up links to the firm’s TrustPilot and Better Business Bureau accounts. These websites catalog complaints about the company and, in the case of the BBB, moderate the discussion to resolve the problem between the customer and the company.

Reading the company’s Google My Business offers another option, but GMB doesn’t vet reviews, so some of what you read comes from individuals who never purchased from the company. Neither do most of the other business review sites. That means you can see a lot of spam instead of valuable, honest insight. The best choices include Amazon and the BBB, both of which require proof that the individual actually did business with the company, so you only see genuine firsthand feedback.

Finding Out How a Business Treats Employees

Learning what kind of place a company provides for employees requires searching a few different sites. The best of these include Indeed, Glassdoor, LinkedIn, and other business sites like them. Indeed authored a guide on researching companies to help its clientele vet potential employers.

The guide suggests checking its company pages and Crunchbase, at a minimum. That helps turn up information on workplace culture and company values, like these Joybird reviews.

Make your job search or major purchase simpler by conducting a comprehensive search about each company you consider before doing business with them or applying for a position. When you learn how they treated others, you learn how they would likely treat you.