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Choose Your Target

There are a number of ways to find potential buyers. Industry trade shows, inventor exhibits and inventor organizations can be of great help. The most underutilized resource, however, is the public library.

Most libraries have databases, reference materials, articles and listings of companies in your state as well as nationwide. Many libraries also keep on file the annual reports of publicly held companies. An annual report gives you all kinds of insight into the company. For example, many times it will list product lines, state a growth strategy including new products and markets, and identify markets to be abandoned.

The following publications can be found in most major libraries and offer all kinds of statistics on companies that could be potential buyers of your idea:


  • Thomas Register of American Manufacturers


  • Dun & Bradstreet: Million Dollar Directory


  • Standard & Poor's Register of Corporations, Directors and Executives


  • Moody's Industrial Manual


  • Hendrick's Commercial Register of the United States


  • Bacon's Magazine Directory


  • Bacon's Newspaper Directory


  • Business Periodicals Index


  • Applied Science & Technology Index


  • Standard Directory of Advertisers

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This article was originally published in the June 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Now Presenting....

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