Identifying an Industry

Most industries are officially classified according to the North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS).  Identifying a NAICS code can significantly help you identify appropriate resources for that industry.

You can do this a few different ways; head to the NAICS web site and sift through industry descriptions until you find what seems like a likely match; or, look up the name of your company in Mergent Online and find the NAICS code in the company overview.

NAICS codes are 6 digit numbers, where each digit indicates a slightly more specific industry.  

For example:

62 = Health Care and Social Assistance
621 = Ambulatory Health Care Services
6214 = Outpatient Care Centers
621410 = Family Planning Centers

These codes help you to identify competitors, and can help you find resources that will tell you more about your company's industry.  Many of the resources that you use for this project will allow you to use NAICS codes.

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.


Industry Research