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What is my company's Industry?
Industries are typically defined by NAICS codes. NAICS codes are 6 digit numbers, where each digit indicates a slightly more specific industry.
33 = Manufacturing
327 = Nonmetallic Mineral Product Manufacturing
3272 = Flass and Glass Product Manufacturing
327211 = Flat Glass Manufacturing
These codes help you to identify competitors, and they can help you find resources that will tell you more about your company's industry.
These codes are used throughout most of the databases that you will be using for this assignment.
Many companies will be part of multiple industries, and as a result will have several NAICS codes. Look at the main company profile page in Hoover's to get an idea of what your company's primary Industry (and primary NAICS code) is.
Step 1: Browse Business Plans using Gale Business Plan Handbooks
What: Gale Business Plans Handbooks provide actual business plans developed by small businesses throughout North America. New plans are published every year and the cost of production is updated. If you find an older plan, then you can add inflation to the cost figures.
How to use: Connect to Gale Business Plans Handbooks and search using keywords that broadly describe your business (e.g., restaurant, cafe, car wash, gallery, music, movies, etc). You cannot be too specific because if your idea is truly original, you are not going to find an exact business plan for your idea; if you do find an exact match, then your idea is not original.
If you have a plan that combines two businesses, like an organic coffee shop with a car wash),then actively seek competitor pricing for both industries.
Sources for identifying competitors