Manta may be the most important SMB site that you’ve never heard of. Manta sees itself providing business intelligence about and for small businesses. You can think of Manta as a cross between LinkedIn, Hoovers and AllBusiness.com, with a little Merchant Circle thrown in for seasoning.
The site offers Hoovers-like profiles of SMBs, but for free. The company has data on 64 million companies globally with 22 million of those located in the US. It also invites small business owners to claim and enhance their listings. And Manta encourages SMBs to connect with one another and provides “how to” and Q&A info as well.
Here’s the official list of features/benefits:
- Update their company profile or add their company to Manta. (Get details.)
- Connect to other Manta members to build business relationships.
- Find sales prospects and partners.
- Create and store lists and pipeline reports. (Get details.)
- Get great tips and advice in our series of email newsletters.
- Find thousands of market research reports.
There’s also an SEO angle here for SMBs who claim and enhance their listings. Although there are no formal SEM/SEO marketing programs being run that’s clearly something the site could offer its members. It’s something I suggested and discussed with CEO Pamela Springer.
Manta gets its data on SMBs from various third parties and then seeks to enhance that by getting the SMBs to provide additional information as mentioned. Manta says that it has 13 million monthly uniques. It also says it has one million registered users.
Manta could be a way to reach and market to SMBs (or prospect), as well as another way for SMBs to disseminate their information and market themselves across the Internet. Both of those models are as yet not fully developed however.