1. If you’re looking for the contact information of a specific company, an online business directory is likely to be the quickest and most efficient way of finding it. You simply enter the company name and location and you’ll get all the information you need.2. If you know the type of company you want, but do not have a specific company in mind, an online directory can bring up a comprehensive listing of businesses in your area. If you’re at the beginning of your search and want to create a shortlist, this will be a quick and easy solution.3. When it comes to whittling down your list, one of the biggest advantages is that you can sort your search results by name, location or most relevant to your requirements. The process is quick, but can help you find companies more suited to what you’re looking for.4. One of the best features provided by an online local business directory is the ability to view search results on a map. This can be extremely helpful for knowing how easy that business is to get to, particularly if the website allows you to create directions from your home.5. Directories provide you with all the contact information you need, whether you prefer to get in touch by email, phone or via their website. This convenience can be particularly helpful if you are searching for businesses in a hurry.6. The better directories have teams of people who work hard to make sure the information that is stored on their databases is up to date and accurate. That means you don’t waste time dialling numbers or visiting websites that no longer exist.7. One of the biggest advantages of a business directory is the ability to create an account and save searches for future use. This means you can create a directory of your own featuring the companies you intend to use again in the future.8. As part of that account, you can also share the searches you find with your friends via the social networks you use. Whether it’s Twitter or Facebook, you can share the details of businesses you recommend or have something useful to comment about.9. You can even use the business directory’s features to ask your social network friends what they think about a particular company. For example, if you’re thinking of buying a sofa from a particular retailer, you can tweet the store’s details and ask your friends for feedback.10. Reviews and ratings are yet another great feature of the better business directories and allow you to provide feedback on the businesses you use, so that others can benefit. Likewise, if you’re looking for a plumber or builder and want to know they’re reliable and will do a good job, you can benefit from reading the reviews and ratings left by others.