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Business Careers Awareness Program (BCAP)

Industry and Competition

Industry at-large

Researching the industry as a whole can help you find patterns like challenges and opportunities that might exist throughout the countr regardless of your particular location.

You can find information by using keywords relevant to the industry (e.g., restaurants, sports, clothing, etc.), or use the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code associated with that industry. Learn about NAICS codes and how to use them in your search.


Local industry

These resources could help identify existing and future competition as well as trends at the local level.

Local competition

Industry classification codes

The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) is used to describe and delineate U.S. industries by sector in order to gather, analyze and report industry statistics.

NAICS (pronounced "nakes") is used by federal agencies (Bureau of Census, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Securities and Exchange Commission, etc.) as well as publishers and analysts reporting on industries.

Industry codes are useful to know when researching a specific industry, market, or company and can be used in databases as a replacement for or in addition to keywords.

An industry can have more than one NAICS code. The longer the code, the more specific it is. For example:

72 — Accommodation and food services
722 — Food services and drinking places
7225 — Restaurants and other eating place
722513 — Fast-food restaurants

NAICS categories don't distinguish between small and large business, or between for-profit and non-profit.

While NAICS is recognized by US, Mexico, and Canada, it is not a global classification system. Other national and international systems exist, such as SIC (also US), SIC (UK - distinct from US SIC), NACE (EU), and ISIC (maintained by the UN and is the closest to a global international standard).