There are lots of sites and apps out there, and millions of businesses. Let’s say you want to find a painting company in Toronto, where would you go to find one? You could ask your friends if they know of anyone, or you could turn to the Internet and read reviews to help you an awesome painting company in Toronto like this one. Want to learn how you can scour the web to find the best businesses in your area? We’ll teach you how.
We’re going to tell you about our favorite websites to use to find great local businesses, but before that, we’d like to explain to you some of the positive reasons why you should consider using various websites and apps to discover businesses in your city.
Benefits of using sites and apps to find businesses
More information than you can gain from walking by – If you just walk around a busy area in your city, you may come across a business that provides products or services you’re interested in. However, all you can usually find out from walking by a business is what they offer and their hours of operation. You can find much more information online than you can elsewhere.
Pictures of how the business operates – If you’re not able to drop by a business and check it out for yourself, you can look online to find photos of a business and find out about the quality of their work.
Reviews of the service(s) they provide – What you won’t find in a storefront are reviews from real people like you who have tried out these businesses’ products or services previously. The websites and apps we’ll tell you about below will provide you with more information about local businesses and reviews as well!
Quick access to store hours – Curious when a business opens in the morning or how late they close up shop? You can find out information like this online.
The information comes from consumers – On many websites with information about local businesses, the information available on them has been provided by people who have been to the business and can share their experiences.
10 sites and apps to find local businesses
Thumbtack.com is a site where consumers can go to find a business or professional to help them with their needs. Users can answer Thumbtack’s questions to explain exactly what they’re looking for, and then Thumbtack notifies professionals that fit the description that someone is searching for their type of service. Matching professionals can reach out to the customer and give them a quote for how much the service is estimated to cost. Thumbtack is a great way to connect with professionals in your area who can provide you with the services you’re looking for.
Angi.com (which used to be known as Angie’s List) is a website that provides customer reviews of local businesses. Angi users can comment on a company’s professionalism, prices, and how well they do their job. If you’re trying to find a good plumber, handyman, or other professional in your area, check out the customer reviews on Angi to see which ones have pleased the most customers. The ones with the most positive feedback are more likely to work out for you. Check out our free Angi course if you’d like to learn more about the site and how to use it.
Whitepages.com is a website that makes it easy to find information about people and businesses. If you go on the Whitepages site, click Business, and search for the name of the business you’d like to find out more about, you can find information like their hours of operation, phone number, address, and more – like links to their website, price lists, and menus. You can also see a list of other businesses in the area near the one you’re looking up.
Next up we have TripAdvisor.com. This site is very popular for finding customer reviews, ratings, and photos of restaurants, hotels, resorts, and other businesses. You can see how a business ranks among others of its type in the same city, as well as a rating of how pricey it is, and more information like its address, phone number, hours, menu, and more. TripAdvisor was started back in 2000, and there are over 500 million reviews and ratings available on their site. It’s a great place to find out real people’s opinions on local businesses.
Want to find out more about TripAdvisor? Click this link to view our collection of TripAdvisor articles.
Another great site to discover local businesses is Yelp.com. Their site was created with the intention of connecting its users with businesses in their area. Businesses can sign up for a Yelp account to post information and photos of their business, and respond to customer reviews. Customers can search for the type of business they want to find and the city they’d like to find it in, and Yelp will give them a list of businesses that match their search. Each business listing has information like its address, business hours, and customer reviews. Some even have pictures!
Our tutorials on how to use Yelp can be found here.
6. Yahoo Local
Yahoo.com is a popular search engine website that can help you find almost anything online. What you might not know is that you can search for things in your area, using Yahoo Local search, in partnership with YellowPages. Simply type in what you’re looking for and where in the search bar, and you’ll be provided with a list of results for business listings that match that description. If you see a listing in the results that sparks your interest, click on it to see more information, like the business’ phone number, address, website, and more details about the business and their services. In addition, you can find reviews from previous customers.
7. Google Maps
One website and app that you may have been using already for another purpose, but is also a good way to discover new businesses is Google Maps. Besides being able to give you directions to a specific address, Google Maps can also help you explore your area and find out about new businesses to check out. Instead of putting an address in the search bar, try typing something like “restaurants,” or “hair salons.” Google Maps will give you a list of businesses and show you where they fall on a map. Click on a business to read more about it, like its address, opening hours, phone number, customer reviews, what they serve, and photos. We have a whole course on Google Maps if you’d like to learn more.
Houzz.com is a website for people looking to improve their home. Whether you’re looking for a construction team, a designer, or décor inspiration ideas, Houzz is a great place to look! When you go on the site, simply click Find Professionals, and you’ll be taken to a page where you can search for a professional to do the kind of work you’re looking for on your home. Enter your postal code to help you narrow down your search to only those people who operate in your area.
Your search results will give you a list of professionals and businesses in your city that can provide you with the type of service you’re looking for. Read a description of them, photos of their work, and reviews from people who have used their services in the past.
Next up is HomeAdvisor.com, which is similar to Houzz in that it’s a site to help customers connect with people and businesses that can help them make improvements to their home. Find professionals to help you with carpeting, painting, fencing, and more! You can even find people to help you with your household cleaning and organization. The website has over 30 million users, millions of customer reviews, and is completely free to use.
Our last recommendation is another site to find businesses and professionals to help you out with household projects and renovations, and it’s called Porch.com. Look up providers of the service you’re looking to hire someone to complete for you, chat with businesses about what you’re looking for and see if they’re up to the task. You can also read reviews from customers to see what you’re getting into before hiring someone.
Site Link: www.porch.com
We hope our recommendations help you find new businesses to try out in your city!