Who needs to research an industry:
1) Begin your research by identifying the NAICS or industry code that represents the product or service you are interested in.
You will find much industry information aggregated by NAICS codes . NAICS stands for North American Industry Classification System and was designed by the U.S., Canadian, and Mexican governments to keep track of economic activity. The codes represent the manufacture, wholesale and retail of products as well as services provided. Consequently, every business can be identified by at least one and often several NAICS codes.
Another industry coding system, Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) System, may also be helpful for you in your research. SIC codes  are older than the NAICS coding system, but sometimes they are much more descriptive for a particular industry than NAICS codes. As with NAICS codes, businesses can be assigned multiple SIC codes.
The primary industry code (NAICS or SIC) for publicly traded companies is available on the company’s Form 10-K .
2) You will want to identify the businesses who are already engaged in this industry.
To identify the large companies, use Hoover's Company Profiles  (Library card is required to access this resource from outside the Library.)
You might be more interested in the smaller companies and/or the local companies in your industry. To find these companies use the A to Z  database. (Library card is required to access this resource from outside the Library.)
3) What is impacting your industry now: Technology, new products, the economy, demographic changes, regulations, new competition, change in lifestyles? You can read about your industry by using:
4) Statistical sources can give you another look at your industry.
5) Trade associations can provide a wealth of information to you. Because their members are all active in the industry and share information, they have a very good handle on what is happening in their particular field. There are trade associations for just about any line of work. To find the one(s) that represent your industry use Encyclopedia of Associations .
For additional information, contact an H&R Block Business & Career Center librarian by phone, 816.701.3717, or by e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org .