To understand a company and its competitors, you need to understand the industry of which it is a part, even if you are looking for information about a niche industry.
Finding information about an industry includes the following steps:
When researching industry information, it is helpful to find the NAICS code for that industry. NAICS (rhymes with lakes) is the abbreviation for the North American Industry Classification System. It is an organizational structure used by federal agencies for grouping similar companies into industries for the purposes of collecting, analyzing, and publishing statistical data related to the U.S. business economy. A NAICS code is usually a 5-6 digit number, such as 44411 for Home Improvement Stores in the US.
A NAICS code provides a uniform name for an industry. You can search many of the business databases by a code, and doing so ensures that you're finding consistent industry information, regardless of the term used to describe it.
NAICS codes are assigned to a company based on the company's primary business activity (note that some companies have multiple NAICS codes depending on their products and services). When searching a company in Business Insights: Global, you'll see a list of the primary industries associated with the company, along with the NAICS code for each industry.
Industry research reports contain an analysis of an industry's operating conditions, trends, challenges and opportunities, competitive landscape, and much more. When you're researching a company, it is useful to also research the industry to which it belongs to give you an understanding of the company's position in the marketplace.
There may not be an industry report that matches your business exactly. You may need to look at a broader industry for clues. A smaller niche industry or market may have no industry report at all; you may need to do some internet searching for information.
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