Research help

Not sure how to start your research?
You'll find advice and resources here not only for finding out about Monaco, but also for any business research project. We offer you our advice free of charge.

Research advice


Six essentials for industry research

If you're researching an industry and need help getting started, here's our six step guide.

1. Focus on the purpose

As with any research, the first thing we do is ask what's the real problem we're trying to solve. A clear sense of purpose and well defined objectives are essential for a successful research project. By focusing, we prioritise our data collection so we can analyse the industry effectively. Clearly understanding the purpose of the research is the first requirement, next it helps to get a general overview of the industry.

2. Get a general overview

We usually start by browsing the Internet to collect three things:

  • List of major players
  • Industry reports
  • Annual reports
It's rare to draw a blank with a search, but if we do, we call on our colleagues, contacts and business partners for help. We also check with libraries and information services to see what's publicly available.

At this point, we get a feel for the complexity of the industry, and for the availability of published data.

3. Find published data and information

Our usual method of searching out information is to start with the question "who collects the data we need?" We list all the organisations and people we can think of who may be able to help, and work through this list methodically. We're initially trying to find sources of published information, only some of which will be available online. We never rely only on the Internet for our research.

Sources generally fall into the following categories:

  • Government and official organisations
  • Economic or market research organisations
  • Newspapers and business magazines
  • Trade journals
  • Publishers of company or business directories
  • Trade associations
  • Companies who may be competitors, suppliers or consumers

4. Get data out in the field

While we're collecting reports, we're also talking to people. There's no better way to understand the issues surrounding an industry than by asking the people who are a part of it. Published reports might be out of date, their data aggregated in a way we can't use, or only cover a small part of what we're researching. Of course, when we talk to people, we have to be sensitive to their concerns and ensure strict confidentiality.

5. Know when to stop

Since we have a clear objective in mind right from the start, we generally know when we've collected enough data. We scrupulously check all reports for references, data sources, and names of any individual who we might be able to interview. After a while, fewer and fewer new sources crop up, and at this point we can be relatively certain we've covered all the published data. We then concentrate on checking with our contacts in the field that we haven't missed anything crucial.

6. Keep track

With all the information we collect, it's vital to keep track of who it came from, where we found it, and its date. We make sure we keep a note of all the data necessary for a bibliographic reference, even if the source is an email or interview. Although it's an effort, we find it saves a lot of time if we're working in a team. It also makes it easier to write the list of sources for a final report, and it allows us to review information we may have found several weeks, months, or even years before.

Company research

You'll find tips on researching companies in Monaco on our companies page.

Industry research invariably involves a certain amount of company analysis, whether it's competitors, suppliers, distributors or purchasers. Here are some tips based on how we go about finding company information.

Company accounts

If you're searching for company accounts, there are two very important questions to which you should first establish an answer:

  • What country?
  • What's the legal entity?

Your answers to these questions will guide your quest for accounts. For example, if your company is in the UK and is a public or limited legal entity (PLC or Ltd), then you can relax in the knowledge that the data will be easy to access and cheap. However, if your company is in Monaco and is a limited partnership (SCS), your chances of obtaining anything useful are about the same as finding hens' teeth.

So, to get answers to your questions, try the Knowledge Guide to International Company Registration on the website of the UK's Institute of Chartered Accountants.

Company websites

Company websites contain a wealth of information, not only about the company concerned, but also about the general industry and market conditions. However, remember that companies generally develop websites to present themselves as successful and profitable. Because of this, there may be some bias in the way the information is presented.

Need more help?

You need accurate, reliable and timely information whether you're already in business, thinking of starting your own enterprise, or studying for a business qualification. You may be looking for data for your company, carrying out research for an academic report, or gathering information to make an important business decision. If you're struggling to get started, don't hesitate to contact us for more detailed advice.