RALEIGH — Want to know how COVID-19 is affecting your industry? A research startup is offering its insights at your fingertips — for free.
Vertical IQ, a Raleigh-based industry research firm that says it helps thousands of professionals who advise small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), has launched a new webpage that publishes expert research on how the coronavirus disease is impacting sectors of the economy.
Topics include amusement parks and arcades, convention and trade show management, medical and imaging labs, restaurants and more.
“We wanted to provide value to others that are helping businesses during these tough times,” said Vertical IQ co-founder and president Bobby Martin. “With many businesses shut down, meeting payroll and other working capital requirements will be difficult. Advisors can use this site as an efficient way to see how similar businesses are being impacted.”
It all started back in 2011. Frustrated by generic industry reports, Martin, a former banker, entrepreneur and author of The Hockey Stick Principles, and Nick Miller, a banking consultant, collaborated to design a tool to educate small business advisors on various industry verticals. They enlisted the help of Bill Walker, an industry researcher and Susan Bell, a sales expert and the four developed a new platform prototype.
That same year, Vertical IQ launched with three early adopter customers and approximately 900 users.
Today, its database has grown to include profiles for more than 500 industries and over 350 local economic profiles. Martin said they have nearly 50,000 users from hundreds of top companies, and continue to incorporate major product enhancements yearly — most often from customer recommendations.
This type of focused industry intelligence is valuable, Martin added, for a variety of professionals including accountants, attorneys, bankers, financial advisors, media, and more.
“For example, if you’re a banker, you can use this COVID-19-related industry intelligence to help track how specific loans and concentrations of loans may affect your bank,” Martin said.
This Vertical IQ COVID-19 content is free for public use, and the information may be shared. For the convenience of Vertical IQ’s customers, each coronavirus update also is included in the Vertical IQ platform as a quarterly update within the impacted industries.
“At Vertical IQ, we’re in the readiness business,” Martin said. “Data that can rapidly be turned into action, helping customers win, grow and retain more business.”