To understand a company and its competitors, you need to understand the industry of which it is a part, even if you are looking for information about a niche industry.
Finding information about an industry includes the following steps:
- Get an overview of the industry (market research, industry summaries)
- Look for articles on trends and see if you can find forecasts
- Gather statistics from government agencies and trade associations
- Contact trade associations for additional information about an industry
- Each information tool uses its own industry groupings and covers different industries. Data from one source may not match another resource, both in terms of data and definition of an industry.
- Small industries are often reported as part of larger industries in government data and other information sources. Look for targeted market research to address these markets
- Quality, availability and cost of association information varies widely. Some of it is only available to members, and some data can be free.
- Emerging industries can be difficult to research. Data may not be available and trends may not have been established.