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Using existing sources to find up to ten traders to highlight in your resource.
You need relevant information when you look for traders to highlight in your resource. There are many different sources you can consult including the business pages of a telephone directory and websites which tell residents and visitors about the local area.

Check at the local library, health and community centre, and any other public service information point.

Look in local newspapers and magazines, including those delivered free to residents.

Ask friends and family.

Use search engines on the internet.

Ask a trader you know to recommend another.

Check with your teachers and other students working on similar projects to see which traders have been or are likely to be contacted. Traders may not be pleased to be pestered with lots of requests for the same information.

Go to a visitor centre to see who made the goods being retailed by the centre, and look at the brochures designed for visitors.

Ask local business organisations and relevant professional, trade and industry bodies whether they have directories of their members who earn their way by selling goods and/or services in the private sector.

Try searching the internet using a place name, such as Edinburgh or Glasgow, and the word 'online'. This can be especially useful if you are looking at an industry which currently depends mainly on imports through only a few wholesalers. In this case, highlight the wholesalers and broaden your resource to include, for instance, hauliers who deliver their goods to your area.

Checking if a trader is relevant to include

Once you have identified a trader who offers the required goods and services, ask yourself if they cover the area focussed upon by your resource. Remember the area you chose in step 1 (the whole of Scotland, unless you set a specific place or locality in Scotland, and, if your resource focuses on Scottish exporters, you set the area as an export destination country).

It may be difficult to identify if the offer of goods and services does cover your area of interest, simply because many traders leave their options open until a need arises to extend the geographical coverage of their trading activities.

Check if the trader seems to be part of the Scottish business community. Two rough tests for this are either for the trader to give a postal address in Scotland on a website or in promotional literature, or to be known locally.

Compromising on a trader’s relevance

You have found a relevant trader to highlight if the trader obviously offers services in the area focussed on by your resource and has also passed either of the two rough tests above. Otherwise discard the trader, but only if your search finds others who match your needs.

Do not worry if you find only a few traders to highlight. Part of the research process is to learn when to use further sources or to compromise, deciding to illustrate traders whom you could have discarded. Remember that no more than ten traders should be in your resource.

Continue to search for traders until you have found enough or have decided to compromise - which you will need to do, especially if your project starts to run out of time.

Selecting those to highlight

How will you select those to highlight if you have a choice of relevant traders? By a trader having a well-designed website or trading from a cool place to be based? By the trader describing interesting past contracts or commissions, or doing work that you didn’t know was done in Scotland or offering to deliver services in places abroad that attract you? It could be any of these reasons – and others: it’s for you to decide.

Highlighting the most interesting relevant traders found in your search

Once you have found interesting relevant traders to highlight, revisit their websites, brochures or advertisements. Choose some sentences which seem to highlight to you what is distinctive about what they offer. Make the highlight short, about 30 words or less, and use words exactly extracted from the trader’s website or other promotional material. (These extracts may also illustrate different traders’ approaches to communicating with customers – and it’s good practice for you in communicating with potential future employers and being clear about what information you are seeking.) When the highlights have all been written you are ready to start
step 3.

Producing a resource

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