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"Where can I get information about my competition?" Smith asks. The librarian shows her the Million Dollar Directory (Duns Marketing Service), which lists public and private companies, including type of company, address, sales, number of employees and names of directors and officers. Smith finds several small potential competitors. Checking another directory, Hoover's Handbook of American Companies (The Reference Press Inc.), Smith gathers similar information about one of her biggest future competitors, Hallmark Cards Inc.

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This article was originally published in the June 1998 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Check It Out.

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