Question: Before starting a business, what kind of research should I do?
Answer: Getting from the business idea stage to business reality begins with understanding how your idea fits into the market in which you will function. If you are a local business, then the task is much more simplified than if you are going to go national or even international. Your research should look at the growth, profitability, demographic, economic, cultural and psychographic [life styles] trends, and life cycle analysis.
Where is the market for your product idea in the life-cycle of the industry it serves? Ideally, you want to find an industry that is in the early stages of its life cycle in the rapid growth stage so you can benefit from the industry momentum. Entering a mature industry, unless you have a blockbuster idea will make market penetration very difficult. There is a variety of sources from which you can do your research: (1) find the NAICS (North American Industry Classification System for your business classification. Our NAICS number is 611430 – Professional and Business Management. Search for it online at www.census.gov/eos/wwww/naics. Then identify the trade associations that represent your industry and go online to their websites or trade directories.
Source: Simple Steps for Starting Your Own Business – SCORE/BoA