If you are looking to buy a business, being able to value the business correctly is essential.
(article continues below)
The second step in the valuation process is to gather information. This article will cover some of the resources for learning more about the industry of interest.
Great sources of industry information include:
- Trade Associations
- Trade Publications
- Compilation of industry financial information (serviced by many organizations).
- U.S. Small Business Administration
- Investors' information and reporting services.
- U.S. Bureau of Census
Although not all industries have national trade associations, most do. Most large trade associations collect and maintain a large database of industry information. Although their research is mainly for members, a good portion of it is also open to the public.
If you are appraising a business and you are unsure which trade association covers the business of interest, than simply ask the business owner if they belong to any trade association. If not, nowadays most large trade associations have a web presence so a simple search engine search will suffice.
There are many trade publications out there to help you. These publications will cover a broad spectrum of relevant industry information such as changes in regulations, technology, and trends. There are many publishers as well, including many trade associations. You could find these publications online and at large libraries.
There are many investors' services available. The securities market and the private business market share many similar concerns so might you find these services useful. Some great resources include the Investors Reference Service, the Moody' Manuals, the Standard and Poor's Industry Surveys, and the Value Line Investment Survey.