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Drexel Library

Business Planning

Recommended resources for business planning

Not sure of your U.S. industry code?

Who assigns NAICS codes to businesses and how?

"There is no central government agency with the role of assigning, monitoring, or approving NAICS codes for establishments. Individual establishments are assigned NAICS codes by various agencies for various purposes using a variety of methods. 

The U.S. Census Bureau assigns one NAICS code to each establishment based on its primary activity (generally the activity that generates the most revenue for the establishment) to collect, tabulate, analyze, and disseminate statistical data describing the economy of the United States. Generally, the U.S. Census Bureau's NAICS classification codes are derived from information that the business establishment provided on surveys, census forms, or administrative records.

Various other government agencies, trade associations, and regulation boards adopted the NAICS classification system to assign codes to their own lists of establishments for their own programmatic needs." (source: U.S. Census Bureau)

SIC Codes

"Title 13, U.S. Code, Section 9 (a) prohibits the U.S. Census Bureau from disclosing individual company activities including NAICS and SIC codes." (source: U.S. Census Bureau) However: before its shares can be listed on a national exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange, and traded publicly, a U.S.-based company must file an initial registration form for new securities, SEC Form S-1, with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The company must declare its primary SIC code on SEC Form S-1. Foreign companies issuing certain securities must file SEC Form F-1, which also requires provision of a primary SIC code. 


When NAICS/SIC Codes Don't Fit

For various reasons, a company's product or service may not align with an industry classification such as NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) or SIC (Standard Industrial Classification). This can make sourcing, competitive analysis, and lead generation research difficult. This article by Tim Tully, Business Librarian at San Diego State University, provides strategies for company research in these situations.  

U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)

Library Databases

Use the library subscription databases below to gather data and information for the various sections of your business plan. See the next page for additional resources recommended for market demographics research. 

Basic company information

Company Information within Literature Databases

Industry overviews

The IBISWorld interface was updated in December 2019. These tutorials and information will help you navigate the new interface:

Using IBISWorld for Porter's Five Forces Analysis

Harvard University professor Michael E. Porter developed the widely-used Five Forces framework to determine profitability and intensity of competition within an industry. IBISWorld industry reports are closely aligned with this framework. This IBISWorld article explains how to use IBISWorld reports to perform a Five Forces analysis. 

Mergent Intellect includes access to First Research U.S. Industry Profiles (more than 500 U.S. Industry Profiles covering 1,000 industry segments), First Research Canadian Industry Profiles, Global Industry Profiles, and Industry Prospector, which allows you to select and rank industries based on 34 financial metrics, 2 human resources metrics, 7 industry drivers, forecasted growth, and international trade growth and dollars. 

Mergent Online includes:

-Mergent Industry Reports that provide in-depth analysis of key industries covering North America, Asia/Pacific, Europe and Latin America by country and region (2003 to present). 

-Additional industry reports from various contributors, accessible from the Investext tab in Mergent Online

Mergent Archives also includes First Research Global Industry Profiles (2003 to present).

Industry Statistics Portal

Market research reports

Statista also offers data from their Global Consumer Survey of more than 400,000 consumers in 46 countries, focusing on consumption and media usage. Global Consumer Survey covers more than 50 industries, more than 5,000 brands, and various topics. To learn more, read the Global Consumer Survey Step-by-Step Tutorial and watch this Global Consumer Survey tutorial video:

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