Fig.III. NAICS.US Census Bureau. Web. Oct. 2011.
Another way to find information about a business field is to find its industry code. NAICS, or the North American Industry Classification System, is the terminology used by the government to classify and standardize businesses so federal agencies can gather meaningful statistical data related to the US business economy. NAICS was adopted in 1997 to replace the Standard Classification System, another standard you may encounter.
To find the standard industry code for my wedding dress cleaning business, I go to the free online NAICS guide at the US Census Bureau.
It is necessary to start out with general categories of business and then narrow down to specifics.
Tip: Think strategically. For my first step, when I didn't see cleaning or laundering on the list, I looked at Services. Once in the Services list, I found #812 Personal and Laundry Services, which led me to the subcategory #812320, Drycleaning and Laundry Services.
Below is my industry description.You can see that it includes wedding gown cleaning services.
This industry comprises establishments primarily engaged in one or more of the following: (1) providing drycleaning services (except coin-operated); (2) providing laundering services (except linen and uniform supply or coin-operated); (3) providing dropoff and pickup sites for laundries and/or drycleaners; and (4) providing specialty cleaning services for specific types of garments and other textile items (except carpets and upholstery), such as fur, leather, or suede garments; wedding gowns; hats; draperies; and pillows. These establishments may provide all, a combination of, or none of the cleaning services on the premises.
The information about NAICS was drawn from the US Census Bureau: http://www.census.gov/eos/www/naics/index.html
Fig.II. Google. Google. Web. Oct 2011.
You can use Google or another search engine to explore the terms applied to your business venture.
To start, type in your idea. Browse the results list to "mine" for terms, but don't open any of the links.
For example, if I am interested in starting a business that cleans wedding dresses, I might type "cleaning wedding dresses" into the search bar.
Most of my search results are business advertisements. I can research these company names to learn about the industry:
I also see a few new key words:
Company names and these key words are the terms I will start with when I search for industry information.