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MBA Program: BUAD 695

Are you a M.B.A. student at Salisbury University? If so, then this guide is for you!


Class: BUAD 695 - Project Consulting (Adams)

Assignment: Preliminary Due Diligence and Analysis

Research Help Guides

General Research Help by Subject Area

Help with Specific Data & Information

Other Tools & Resources

Industry Codes

Simplify your research and keep things consistent by FIRST defining your industry by selecting the industry code that classifies your business or service.

You could search by company within the databases and be on the lookout for the NAICS or SIC code. Or, you can search by a keyword that describes a particular product/service using the links below.

Strategies and Starting Points

Questions and strategies to consider before you jump into your research. Use the other tabs in this box for information on how to access certain resources mentioned below (e.g., company profiles, industry reports, etc.).

Get to know your client company (website, social media, news, library resources)

  • Products/services
    • Do their products/services overlap multiple industries?
  • About Us pages (website and/or social media)
    • Check out their mission, goals, and other information. Do they mention anything that further specifies their target customer/market? Anything else worth noting?
  • Advertisements (social media, news, website...)
    • How do they market themselves? Does this say anything about who they view as their customer?
  • News
    • Current or historic (i.e., when they were first established). Anything noteworthy?
  • Company profile
    • Any information on the company in library databases, such as a company profile?

Get to know the industry (library resources, business news)

  • Consider both the type of product/service (e.g., women's athletic clothing) and the geographic area (e.g., US, North America, global...)
  • Use industry analysis reports, surveys, profiles, or news to gather information such as:
    • Target market & industry size
    • Market share
    • Growth/decline
    • Barriers to entry
    • Suppliers
    • Customers
    • Competition (see below)

Get to know the competition

  • Similar resources and research techniques as for your client company (see tips above).
  • What do they offer? Are they growing, declining? Is their customer different from yours? Keep in mind the following:
  • Self-identified competition
    • Did your client identify companies they view as competitors? Are they public, private? National, local? Do they compete against them in only one area of their market (i.e., a single service or product line), or multiple?
  • Unidentified competition
    • Research the industry - any competitors your client didn't think of?
    • Does client want to expand (products, services, location...)? Any new competitors in these markets?

Get to know the customers (library resources, news, websites)

  • Current
  • Prospective
    • Who do they want as their customers? How different is this from their current customer demographic?
    • Think critically about the customer that fits their needs (e.g., do they really want millennials, or just people who shop online? Are their customers teens, or the parents of teens?)
  • Demographics (age, location, employment, education, household...)
  • Lifestyle
    • Day-to-day living
    • Hobbies, habits...

Library databases are online resources, often restricted to SU students, faculty, and staff. You may be prompted to login with your SU username and password - same as for Gullnet, MyClasses, etc.) once you follow a link. Resources vary depending on the database, and include scholarly articles, news, company profiles, company financial statements, industry reports, legal cases, and more.

For company information... (including competitors, once you've identified them)

For industry information... (including how to identify competitors)

For customer demographics information...

Company information

Try searching the library catalog using the company name as a keyword

  • Filter your results to books/eBooks (using options on left-hand side of screen, when viewing results page)
  • Take note of the availability and location of the book.
    • SU Libraries
    • UM System Libraries (can borrow directly, takes 3-5 days to arrive)
    • Libraries worldwide (can request through InterLibrary Loan, takes 7-10 days; see link below)

Search for books or eBooks...

Use this box to search for articles, books, ebooks, CDs, DVDs, and more!

Search in:

Switch to Advanced Search

Industry information

Print books (in the library)

eBooks (available remotely through online library databases. Use SU login information to access. Contact Robin Vickery for help or questions.)

  • See Databases tab. eResources for industry information are mostly in the form of profiles and reports.

Consumer information

Print books (in the library)

eBooks (available remotely through online library databases. Use SU login information to access. Contact Robin Vickery for help or questions.)

For company information...

  • Company website
  • Social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn...)
  • Trade association websites
    • Use Google to search for trade associations of companies that operate in a similar industry as your client.
    • Try keywords like: recreation association Maryland
    • e.g., 
  • Competitor websites
    • Use Google to search for competitors.
    • Try keywords that relate to the product/service, plus a geographical location if that suits your company's needs. Brainstorm synonyms for the product/service to capture more companies.
    • e.g., (fitness centers OR gyms) AND Maryland eastern shore
  • Local news websites, such as Delmarva Now (see link below)

For industry information...

For customer information...

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Citation Management Help

ProQuest RefWorks is a citation management tool that assists researchers in gathering, organizing, annotating, and citing their sources. Accounts are free to anyone with an SU email address (students, staff, faculty).

RefWorks Login

To set up your account, go here.

Please note that citation tools like RefWorks are only as perfect as the data they are extracting from resources -- you should always double-check your citations to make sure they are correct.

Help Pages: