Course Research Pages

Mgt 101 - Business Plan Assignment

Finding Industry and Company Information

Use the following resources for finding information on your industry, competitors, and competing products. You'll need this kind of information for describing your new business venture, as well as for writing your marketing plan.

Business and Company Resource Center
Use "Industry Search" to find overviews of the industry into which your business fits; use the NAICS code if you know it.
Use "Company Search" to find info about companies that are competitors to your business; some contain SWOT analyses.

Business Source Complete
Search here for industry profiles, marketing research reports, SWOT analyses, and profiles of companies that might be competitors of your planned business.

Mergent Online
Use the "Report Search" tab and then click on "Industry Reports" to go to a list of broad industry categories to find industry reports. OR expand the "Industries" box to find companies that are part of your industry.
Use the "Company Search" box to find info about competitors to your business.

Passport GMID (Global Market Information Database)
Use the horizontal pull-down menu at the top to choose an industry; build your search by category and then geographic location. Search will bring back various statistics, such as market shares, company shares, industry overviews, and reports.

U.S. Census Bureau Economic Census
"Industry Snapshots" provide detailed industry info, along with figures on employee salaries and number of establishments, all based on census data.

Finding Consumer and Market Information

Passport GMID (Global Market Information Database)
Use the "Countries & Consumers" tab in the top horizontal menu. Choose "Consumer Trends and Lifestyles" from the dropdown menu. Under "Consumer Lifestyles" in the pull-down menu on the left side, choose a country. See the Table of Contents and the scrollbar on the left side to see what information in the report may be of use to you.

From the previous screen, the "Country Pulses" and "Consumers in 2020" sections may be useful.

U.S. Census Bureau American FactFinder
Use this resource for finding out demographic information about the location where you expect to start your business. From the left-hand column, choose "2009 American Community Survey." Click on "Fact Sheet" and enter your community. Also see the "People" category on the left side menu and choose characteristics in which you are interested.Use the "Business and Government" category to see existing businesses, by type, in your community.

The following books from Bowman Library also contain consumer and market information:

The Lifestyle Market Analyst (spending habits by population segments and metropolitan areas)

Household Spending: Who Spends How Much on What

Best Customers: Demographics of Consumer Demand

Demographics USA

Who's Buying by Age

Finding Sample Business Plans

The Library has many books with sample business plans that can help you craft yours. You can find them by using the following subject headings:

Information on writing business plans is also available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Bplans is a good source for free sample business plans; financials are included.

Page Last Updated: August 22 2013

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Research Tips

These Research Guides have been prepared by librarians to assist with your research. Read more:

Evaluating Web Resources

Critically Analyzing Information Sources

Searching Electronic Resources Effectively

For more information on citation style, see:

Citing Your Research

Related Guides

Company Research Guide

Industry Research Guide