Professional Research at an Affordable Price

by Lauren Simonds

LexisNexis AlaCarte offers SMBs pay-as-you-go access to its extensive data library.

If you've ever had to research a business proposal, prepare for a client pitch or examine industry trends, then you know that access to wide range of accurate data is invaluable.

Most small businesses can't afford internal research staff or even a subscription to a national research service. But now, LexisNexis, the largest news and business online information service has announced LexisNexisAlaCarte, a new service designed especially for SMBs.

According to Barbara Barclay, vice-president of new channels, the service came about as the company realized how much and how quickly the SMB market was growing.

"Our research with the Small Business Administration showed that over 579 thousand small businesses started in 2003. Our AlaCarte service was designed to give SMBs a level playing field, as they frequently have to compete with larger companies that can afford in-house research staff."

The main advantage that LexisNexis AlaCarte offers is that SMBs can now buy on a per-article basis — you can search for free and pay only for the articles you retrieve. Barclay said the AlaCarte offering makes it easier for SMBs to find the information that they need.

"We designed this service to be easy for non-professional researchers to use, but we also included an advanced search capability, so that the service still meets the needs of professional researchers, too," she said.

"You have access to LexisNexis' premium content, but the streamlined search interface makes it easier to find the information you need."

A Haystack Of Information
The research material — 20,000 sources versus 32,000 for the subscription-based LexisNexis service — covers a range of topics including business, news, business public records, government information, top newspapers, magazines and transcripts, company and industry reports, deed records, liens, zip demographics, state and federal legislation, and intellectual property.

The AlaCarte service requires no up-front financial commitment. Customers can log on and conduct a simple or advanced search — at no charge. You pay for an article once you retrieve it, and charges typically run between $1.00 and $10 per article.

Barclay said the service is ideal for small business owners, independent professionals and freelance journalists, or anyone who needs to access accurate information. "The LexisNexis AlaCarte service enhances the customer experience so that they can find relevant and reliable information quickly."

Lauren Simonds is the managing editor of SmallBusinessComputing.com

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This article was originally published on Monday Dec 13th 2004
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