Business

Which NAICS code to pick for technology projects?

One of the cornerstones of the business programs at Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business is entrepreneurship. Students have to perform advances industry and market research to write a business plan. I often have to assist them in determining the “main business” they are engaged in, specifically which industry code(s) to pick as the basis of their project.

Firstly, I like to point out that projects spanning multiple industries, markets, trends or technologies will probably have to pick a few codes, at least 2 or 3 of them. That is the only way to capture the complexity of disrupting an industry – by looking at a few angles.

Secondly, entrepreneurs researching a business plan will have to adapt existing reports and data to their unique idea. Dealing with imprecise information is not easy and simply looking for “perfect” information will usually not yield a comprehensive and authoritative project report. So, cast a slightly wider net and pick the best tidbits, rather than being too discriminating.

Thirdly, I have created a comprehensive 9-step research protocol for business plans, supported with 19 YouTube tutorial walk-through. I recommend that any entrepreneur go through this protocol to research their business idea.

Early in this process, entrepreneurs are asked to pick an industry code from the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) to guide their exploration of many tools. These code have 2 to 6 digits, the more digits you have, the more precise the industry (say from “41” for “Wholesale Trade” to “419110” to “Business-to-business electronic markets”). Usually, having a 5 digit code is best.

A common problem entrepreneurs bring to me has to do with picking the right code for emerging technological fields. Here are the most common NAICS codes in the tech industry and how to navigate between them, drawing from a non-exhaustive list based on my experience:

335 Electrical equipment, appliance and component manufacturing
4541 Electronic shopping and mail-order houses
5112 Software publishers
5182 Data processing, hosting, and related services
5415 Computer systems design and related services
61142 Computer training
Business Concordia University

Sources for Consumer Behaviour (MARK 305)

Here are some starting points for succeeding the final project at JMSB’s (Concordia University) MARK 305 Consumer Behavior course.

List of industries for the Fall 2018 semester:

  • Alcoholic Drinks
  • Apparel and Footwear
  • Beauty and Personal Care
  • Consumer Health
  • Fresh Food
  • Hot Drinks
  • Luxury Goods
  • Packaged Food
  • Pet Care
  • Soft Drinks
  • Consumer Foodservice
  • Travel

1. Consumer behavior trend analysis: Where do we find information about emerging trends in CB?

2. Industry/company analysis: size, key players, strategies

  • For this part, your librarian (me!) recommends the following databases listed on the Library’s Business Research Portal
    • Passport from Euromomnitor: this time, use the “industry reports” section to learn more about your industries
    • IBISWORLD reports: this system is in the “industry analysis” section of the Business Research Portal
    • ProQuest Business Databases: find articles by searching for the name of the trade associations, major players, industry name or consumer trend concept. Focus on articles from trade journals and academic/peer-reviewed/scholarly journals
  • Do you really think Google can help you with this one?

3. Consumer analysis: demographics, size of the target market and their consumption process (pre-during-post)

REMEMBER: Cite your sources! Use the citing business databases in APA format

Business Business Concordia University Conference

Researching a business plan – District 3

When launching a new business, information about industries, markets or competitors can be invaluable. In this session, we will cover resources from the Internet as well as licensed market and industry intelligence databases available from Concordia University Library. This is a workshop adapted from the “Entrepreneurship”  course at the John Molson School of Business.

Learning objectiveS

  • Locate industry and market reports from the Internet and the Library
  • Understand how to use datasets from Statistics Canada (Census & Cansim) and other national agencies
  • Develop a healthy information diet

 

Course Outline

1. Know your industry: reports from IBIS Wrold; SME Benchmarking; Mergent Intellect
2. Using Google for business research: trade associations & governments
3. Statistics Canada for entrepreneurs: Census & CANSIM
4. Reading up on your idea & staying up to date with articles

Course content

1. Know your industry – look up industry codes (NAICS)

 

2. Using Google for business research (governments & trade associations)
  • Find trade associations with Google
    • They post a lot of industry/market information on their websites
    • Trade shows, reports, analysis, press releases, lawsuits, white papers, directories, interviews, newsletters… is there a bias?
    • Watch the video for this step
  • Find government information with Google’s advanced search
    • Most government websites follow a standardized format for their addresses
    • Governments study and regulate many topics relevant for new business
    • Example: 2017 Communications Monitoring Report from the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission
Government Level Example of “Site/domain” Tip
Municipal .ville.montreal.qc.ca Look for “Montréal en statistiques” page for information for boroughs
Provincial .gouv.qc.ca The province deals with mainly: health, education, welfare, culture, agriculture/food…
“Federal” .gc.ca

.gov

europa.eu

Always check for reports from Industry Canada at site:.ic.gc.ca
International un.org

or other agency

Agencies affiliated with the United Nations have their own website
3. Statistics Canada for entrepreneurs

 

4. Reading up on your idea & staying up to date with articles

Concordia University Library’s Business Research Portal:

Olivier Charbonneau

Olivier Charbonneau is an associate Librarian at Concordia University, Olivier Charbonneau is primarily interested in copyright issues as well as questions of open access and Web 2.0. He is a doctoral student at the Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal. He has over 15 years of professional involvement in library and cultural communities. He holds two masters degrees from Université de Montréal, one in information sciences and another in law, as well as an undergraduate degree in commerce from McGill University.

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