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Business Plans

Resources for SBDC workshop on writing a business plan.

Government Statistics

The U.S. Government agency responsible for collecting and publishing the bulk of industry statistics is the U.S. Census Bureau, a division of the Commerce Department. Reports based on these statistics are organized by NAICS, the North American Industry Classification System. [ eos/www/naics/] You can also use the Free NAICS Look Up from the NAICS Association.

Note: An older classification system still in use is the SIC - Standard Industrial Classification. []

Every five years (years ending in 2 and 7), a comprehensive Economic Census is conducted to gather details about economic activity by sector and by state, and, in most cases, for counties and cities as well.

You can also explore the Business Help Site from the US Census Bureau for access to many different data sets. You will need to know the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System) code for your industry.

DataUSA [] is a visualization site for government data jointly presented by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Media Labs and consulting firm Deloitte.  


Magazine Articles

The Business Source Elite database at JerseyClicks will provide articles published in hundreds of trade journals and business magazines. Click on the database link and enter your local public library card number. You can then select the database and search for articles on industry overviews and trends, as well as marketing products and services. []      

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Industry Overviews

Dozens of Small Business Snapshots for industry sectors are profiled by the SBDC National Information Clearinghouse. []

Selected Industry Statistics and Financial Ratios are available for sole proprietorships and corporations from BizStats. []

A short list of associations in eleven industry sectors are covered by Boogar Associates' Associations: Directory. []

Find a Trade Association

Trade association sites can include industry reports and statistics, advice for people planning businesses and careers, or lists of upcoming trade shows in the industry.  Membership in your industry association might offer additional benefits and information.

Here is a Google search that will often yield interesting trade associations:

Product or Indusrtry  +  (organization or association)

Example:   bakeries (organization or association)


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