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BA 411, MGT 358, and MGT 460 (Information Sources for Entrepreneurs) - King and Ahsan

NAICS Codes (Industry Classification)

The United States Census Bureau created a classification system for business entities called the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS). Several company databases and industry research databases use these to organize their information, and it is useful to know these codes when you are looking for industry reports. These codes start at 2 numbers to identify broad industry group and move to 6 to identify specific industries. 

Example Codes:

315240 - Women's, Girls', and Infants' Cut and Sew Apparel Manufacturing

454110 - Electronic Shopping and Mail-Order Houses

Highlighted Resource: IBISWorld USA

IBISWorld allows you to search for reports using keywords, company names, or by using NAICS codes. You can also browse reports by using NAICS codes, but a keyword search in IBISWorld is the best strategy because they make specialized industry reports that are targeted on specific industry sectors. For example, they have a report specifically on "Yoga and Pilates Studios" which is a subset of the NAICS code 611699 which is "All Other Miscellaneous Schools and Instruction."

To learn more about the contents of the IBISWorld industry reports and how to use them, watch the video below.

Using Google Advanced fo Trade Association Research

Trade associations, or industry associations, are organizations that are created by businesses that operate in a particular industry or industry sector. These groups typically lobby for regulations that benefit the industry, host trade shows and conferences, and perform activities that are designed to help businesses in an industry. Several of these groups maintain production directories, create research reports, and offer additional educational opportunities for business owners. Some of this content usually requires a membership, but they also generally have some content for free on their websites.

Step 1: Using a Google Advanced Search, try to put keywords about your industry and the words "industry" and "association" in the "all these words:" search bar, put .org in the "site or domain:" search bar, and press the blue "advanced search" button on the bottom right hand side of the page.


Step 2: Search through the results to find the right association, and explore their website for more information about your industry.

Pro tip: You can also use the same search strategy above and add PDF to the search using the "file type:" drop down options. If your trade association has created a packaged industry report, this will appear in the results. (See the example below)

Find Additional Industry Information

To find additional sources for industry information, go to the "Find Industry Information" tab of the library's "Business Research Guide" which is linked below.