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Industry Information & Financials

A guide to print, database, and online resources for doing industry research and company financials.

Getting Started

Key elements of industry research:

  • Industry Analysis
    • A good business plan will include an analysis of all aspects of your industry. This also helps you in your planning process. 
    • Even if your business is already established, you need to keep up on what's going on in your industry to stay competitive.
  • Competition Analysis
    • Keep a list of your biggest competitors.
    • Understand how the industry is segmented - are there a few large firms, or thousands of smaller firms that make up the industry?
  • Distribution Patterns
    • How does your product or service reach consumers?
    • What distribution options will work best for your company?

- Some information from "Know Your Industry Before You Start Your Business," BPlans.

Understanding Financial Ratios

  • Financial ratios are indicators of the health of a business. 
  • If you're planning your business, you might use financial ratios to project how your business will perform. 
  • You'll need to have good ratios if you're seeking funding from banks, venture capitalists, or other investors. 
  • Common types of financial ratios:
    • Liquidity Ratios - measure a company's ability to meet short-term financial needs.
    • Asset Turnover Ratios - measure the efficiency of asset utilization.
    • Financial Leverage Ratios - measure a company's ability to meet long-term financial needs.
    • Profitability Ratios - measure a company's success at generating profits. 

- Some information from "How to Write the Financial Section of a Business Plan," Inc. Magazine Online

- Some information from "Financial Ratios," NetMBA.