Impressive business and marketing plans are well researched. You have to understand the industry, its current and future trends, and the factors affecting it. Use this guide to explore industries.
Industry profiles are in-depth documents that give insight into an industry, where it came from, and where it appears to be going. A typical report looks at the industry leaders, forces affecting the industry and financial data for the industry.
If you're preparing a business plan, you'll need to understand what the financial averages ("norms") are for companies in your industry. Use the following tool to find net profits and net losses, detailed financial data on revenues and expenses, industry averages for income statements and balance sheet items as well as financial ratios.
Look for statistics on financial performance, market share, labour costs, capital investment, and more using the following sites:
Sometimes you have to dig for industry information. Using the following databases, search for the name of an industry and terms like economic trends, market research, forecasting, supply & demand, distribution,financial performance, demographics, etc.
The professional association(s) which exist related to the industry can be valuable sources of trend reports and statistics. Checking with the association will help you understand the regulatory environment. Visiting their website or contacting an association directly can yield great results in you industry/market research.
You can also try simply Googling to find a relevant association. The detriment to a Google search is that it will not provide comprehensive results, since associations may be named in a way that doesn't match your keywords.