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BA 3141 - Small Business Management (Wieczorek)

Industry Research


Assignment 4:  Find Your Industry Code

This is your preliminary industry research.  You will use this to build upon and create a narrative for your final mini plan. If you are having issues with the resources provided in the guide or finding information any of the librarians can assist you. 

Name:  __________________________________

BA 3141 Section: ___

What is Your Business?


Scale (mass market or niche?)


Scope (local or global?)


Industry Code (NAICS and SIC)


Number of businesses in your target area(s)


Critical Issues


Industry forecast (growing/shrinking/stagnant)?


Industry trends/opportunities


Who are your main competitors?


Average sales volume


Number of employees per establishment


Average pay of employees


Mergent First Research

Mergent Intellect can provide you lots of detailed information about industries. Try going into First Research and doing some keyword searches about your business idea; for example, "coffee shops." Then you can click on the Industry Profiles to read more and see if that matches what you intend to do for your business. Within those reports, you can get a wealth of valuable information, such as the NAICS code, the SIC codes, the industry forecast, critical issues, business challenges, industry opportunities and financial information.


In RefUSA, you can do a myriad of searches for U.S. Businesses, private and public, including establisments. Try an advanced search to get the preliminary numbers you need for the number of businesses that match your NAICS / SIC. Use filters on the left like Keyword/SIC/NAICS, then City / State & Radius. 

It might be better to use SIC codes to narrow down the businesses you're looking at on RefUSA. For instance, with my example of "coffee shops," the NAICS code 722515 for Specialty Eateries will lump in places like the Philly Pretzel Factory and Baskin Robbins. The SIC code 581228 for Coffee Shops will limit to those we'd all consider an actual coffee shop, like Starbucks, Dunkin', etc.  

In the results, you can use Summary to see the Location Sales Ranges, Employee Sizes, and how many business records for each. You can also use Charts to visualize this data. Clicking individual companies on the results list will provide you with whatever details are available on these potential competitors. 

Market Research

Assignment: Brainstorming Your Market

In this assignment, you will describe your potential customers and research them. Who are they? How do you identify them (demographic, psychographic, etc. factors)? How can you measure them in a meaningful way for your business plan? What sources and methods are appropriate for this research?

See assignment attached. 

Small Business Example

Here is an example from How Big is your Potential Market, Really? from 

A small business example

Let’s use a hair salon in a small city (population: 120,000 people).

First, a few things to know about this hair salon:

  • It’s providing high-end salon services
  • Average haircut and style is $65
  • Majority of clients are women between the ages of 25 and 55
Target Market Graph

Image from LivePlan “Pitch” section for a beauty salon.

Let’s do the math:

(35,000 x $450) = $15,750,000

This means that this hair salon in this city has a total addressable market size of $15.75M and 35K potential prospects.

This salon also needs to keep in mind that there are three other salons in their community that are seeking to serve this same market, because that means that their TAM will be shared with their competitors.


Demographics are facts about certain groups. This data is useful to develop a basic profile of your consumer.

  • age
  • ethnicity
  • education level
  • gender
  • income
  • location
  • marital/family status
  • occupation


Psychographics are things more commonly referred to as "culture." Popular psychographic groups would include Baby Boomers or Millenials. Psychographics data is helpful to develop a clearer profile of your consumer.

  • attitude
  • behavior
  • interests/hobbies
  • lifestyle
  • personality
  • values

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