Generally, the terms industry and sector are used interchangeably to describe a group of companies that operate in the same segment of the economy and are similar in some way. BuySellBusinesses.com treats these terms differently. The term “Sector” defines the broad area of the economy the business operates in. The term “Industry” is used to define more specific grouping of companies. BuySellBusinesses.com uses the following sectors and industries to classify businesses:
Retail implies the sale of goods (products) to the consumer or end-user rather than to a business or wholesaler. A manufacturer or wholesaler sells large quantities of products to retailers and retailers sell much smaller quantities to consumers. A retail transaction is at the end of the supply-chain where the end user buys the product and consumes it. The retail sector is one of the largest sectors of any economy.
Retailers can be classified as store retailers or non-store retailers. As evident from the name store-retailers have a physical location and display products and services. Non store retailers sell products and services to end users, but may not have a physical location. E-commerce sites like Amazon.com is an example. Catalogue Sales, Infomercials are other examples of retail sector.
Service sector is the portion of the economy that produces intangible goods. The service sector primarily consists of information services, securities, financial services, transportation systems, professional services, scientific and technical services, waste management, health care, social assistance, tax preparation and so on.
The internet sector includes businesses that provide products or services online or on mobile. Some examples of services provided online include travel sites, search engines, retail shops and many more. This sector is highly competitive and subject to frequent changes in the technology. However, the Internet sector benefits from trends such as increasing worldwide internet usage, overseas expansion and online advertising. Revenues from the Internet business sector is expected to reach $950 billion by 2015.
The manufacturing sector includes businesses that transform materials into products. For a company to be classified in the manufacturing sector it must produce a tangible product that is either finished or semi-finished. The end product may be used by other businesses or by end-users. Manufacturing includes related activities such as assembly of component parts, blending of materials, and finishing manufactured products by dyeing, plating and other manufacturing processes. The manufacturing work is completed in factories, plants or mills.
Wholesale Sector (Wholesalers)
The construction sector mainly comprises of businesses engaged in repairing and renovating buildings and developing land. Companies involved in construction may operate on their own or under contract to others and may execute complete projects or just small parts of a project. Construction activities include new work and renovations and repair to existing structures.
Broadly speaking Natural Resources Sector constitutes Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing and Hunting businesses and Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction businesses. Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas businesses are engaged in extracting naturally occurring minerals like coal (solids), crude petroleum (liquid) and natural gas. On the site, the sector is broken down into Agriculture, Forestry, Mining and other Natural Resources.
The real estate sector refers to land, physical property or improvements to land or physical property. Improvements may include houses, buildings, landscaping and so on. The real estate industry includes hotels, motels, apartments, houses, farms, ranches, commercial space, buildings and so on. Activities within the real – estate sector extend to buying, selling, leasing and managing property.
The personal services sector is related to directly providing personalized service to a consumer. Personal service businesses encompass a wide range of activities including law, medicine, engineering, design, finance, accounting, therapy, massages and many others. Personal service businesses have lower capital requirement and tend to be small businesses.
Transportation sector is related to moving goods (cargo) to the businesses or consumers. The transportation sector includes a trucks, airlines, railroads, barges and all vehicles involved in transporting people or goods from one location to another. Warehousing and storage for goods are included as a part of the transportation sector.
The communication industry covers publishing, advertising, telecommunications, home videos, public relations, computer databases, radio broadcasting, telegraphs, and motion pictures to list a few. The following industries are included under Communications on the site: Newspapers, Television and Radio, Recorded Music, Book Publishing, and Online Communications. Newspapers are one of the oldest industries in the communications sector where the market share is declining. The music and book publishing businesses depend primarily upon subscription or sales rather than advertising revenue.
Business Sectors - Wholesale (Wholesalers)
The U.S. Bureau of the Census defines Wholesaling as follows: "Wholesaling is concerned with the activities of those persons or establishments which sell to retailers and other merchants, and/or to industrial, institutional, and commercial users, but who do not sell in large amounts to final consumers."
Wholesale businesses play a critical role in the supply chain and distribution systems. There are different types of wholesale businesses that may be classified as Merchant wholesalers, General merchandise wholesalers, single-line wholesalers, Specialty wholesalers, Cash-and-carry wholesalers, Drop-shippers, Truck wholesalers, Mail-order wholesaler and so on.
Merchant wholesalers own or manufacture the products they sell. General merchandise wholesalers carry a large variety of items that are generally non-perishable items like electrical supplies, plumbing supplies, automobile equipment and so on. Single-line wholesalers carry a narrow line of merchandise as compared to general merchandise wholesalers. Specialty wholesalers carry and even narrower line of products, but offer information and specialized services along with the product. Specialty wholesalers are generally domain experts in the products they carry.
Cash–and-Carry wholesalers are like any other type of wholesaler, but the customer must pay cash when they pick up the goods. Drop-shippers are wholesalers who do not handle, deliver or stock the product they sell. Drop-shippers are mainly involved in selling. They get orders from retailers and businesses and pass the order to the producer or the manufacturer. The producer of manufacturer then directly ships the order to the customer. As one would expect, drop-shippers have significantly lower operating costs.
Mail-order wholesalers sell directly to retailers through the internet or by using catalogs. These wholesalers typically sell industrial products to industrial customers. Truck wholesalers specialize in handling and delivering products that can be stocked in trucks. Truck wholesalers typically handle high –value perishable goods like grocery and tobacco. Truck wholesalers can differentiate from other wholesalers by carrying perishable products that others don’t carry.