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Small Business Management

Tips & Hints: Researching a Product, Service or Industry

Assignment Tips

 Remember, to create a comprehensive business proposal, it is important to look at the BIG PICTURE as well as the details specific to your particular business, product/service or industry. 

STEP 1: Locate your product or service within the larger industry.

Do a NAICS keyword search (ex: coffee shop) to find the North American Industry Classification (NAICS) of your product/industry. **You may have to try several different searches to locate the most relevant NAICS code.

STEP 2:  Use the NAICS code and designation to find out information about your industry.

Industry Canada has information on both Services-Producing Industries and Goods-Producing Industries.

For coffee shops, we would check for details on Food Services and Drinking Places (NAICS 722) to find definitions, establishments, SME benchmarking, capital investment, company directories, etc. 

Step 3: Use IBISWorldBusiness Source CompletePassport GMID and/or Statista to find:

- Company Profiles 
- Industry Profiles
- SWOT analyses
- Market Reports
- Product Reports

**Remember, you will often have to look at the larger industry to find information you can use for your Business Plan.

Industry Profile Example:
"Mobile Phones Industry Profile: Canada." Industry Report (2016). Business Source Complete. EBSCO. Web. 4 April 2017.

STEP 4: Use Vividata (link below) to find sample data on Canadian market and consumer behaviour

(ex. how many people are drinking RED BULL).


STEP 5: Use StatsCanada and related resources to find data on the location or area you are targeting


STEP 6: Use Scott’s Ontario Directories to search company information in Ontario, by product type, industry classification, company name, geographic and demographic characteristics.