1. Understand structure of the industry with reports from IBISWorld (best) or Mergent Online.
2. Understand trends, competitive environment, market forces, and hot-button issues with IBISWorld Mergent Online, and Mintel (for end-consumer demand).
3. Identify professional associations and mine their web sites for news, regulatory issues, legal matters, and (sometimes) marketing data. Potentially one of the richest sources of insider background.
4. Skim, scan, absorb issues using articles from scholarly journals, trade journals, and news articles in Business Source Premier, ABI/Inform, or Library's "search everything" box
5. Research government regulatory agencies and statistics using NAICS codes. Use IBISWorld's tab on Operating Conditions.
6. Research "major players" in the industry: 1) Consult the guide on company sources; 2) Read SWOT analyses in Business Source Premier to find strengths and weaknesses about a model company in your industry.
Meriam Library | CSU, Chico