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There is a tremendous amount of valuable information that is freely available on the Web. You’ll find tons of those business resources in our comprehensive list below. These resources are provided to educate and/or deliver a time or money-saving tool for you. They are arranged in categories to help you faciliate your search.
Directory of Associations | DirectoryOfAssociations.com
Search from over 35,000 local, regional, national, and international associations.
Industry Trade Groups | Hundreds of industry trade groups and associations are listed alphabetically at Wikipedia with live links to each association’s Website.
Biotechnology Industry Organization | bio.org
The mission of BIO is to be the champion of biotechnology and the advocate for its member organizations –both large and small
The leading business association for the restaurant industry
American Marketing Association | marketingpower.c
The world’s largest and most comprehensive professional society of marketers
National Retail Federation | nrf.com
The world’s largest retail trade association.
Benchmarking Your Business;
Biz Stats | bizstats.com
Compare your company performance to others in the same industry
Fintel Scorecard | http://secure.fint
Compare your company to others in the industry based on 9 core ratios
Bureau of Labor Statistics | https://www.bls.gov/
Information on wages; occupational descriptions, unemployment, consumer pricing and cost indexes.
Google Alerts | Manage your online reputation by monitoring when your business or brand is mentioned online. With Google Alerts, you’ll get an email anytime your business is mentioned online. You can set up alerts for any keywords that you’d like. You can even monitor your competitor’s press.
LivePlan | If you’re serious about business, you’ll need a business plan. When it comes to this vital document, a lot of entrepreneurs don’t know where to start. A business plan isn’t just a road map to your success, it’s also required to get bank loans or entice investors. LivePlan can help you create a killer plan that gets your business started on the right track.
Template from Purdue University | https://www.agecon
Business Plans: A Step-by-Step Guide is a “how to” for writing your plan along with the business rationale for doing so. The article provides templates, sample plans, and links to plan-writing software.
How to Write A Business Plan provides necessary information about the proper formatting of your business plan.
Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh | carnegielibrary.o
SBA Business Plan Basics | sba.gov/smallbusiness
step by step instructions for creating a business plan from the SBA
SCORE Business Plan Template | https://www.score.o
Preferred by counselors, SCORE offers a variety of business plan templates and tools.
Here are some great articles with useful information on small business CyberSecurity.
Demographics / Psychographics;
Run guided queries.
QuickFacts | census.gov/quickfacts
QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a population of 5,000 or more.
Census Mapping | map my census data
Free demographic market analysis reports from Alteryx Analytics Gallery
Free address information for businesses and individuals
Entrepreneur Magazine | entrepreneur.com
Small business tools; business plan guide; entrepreneur’s databases for business opportunities and franchise information
Inc Magazine | inc.com
Provides small-business information, Web-based tools, products, and services
Kauffman Foundation | kauffman.org
SBA-Financing | sba.gov/catego
Excellent resource for finding capital resources for all your business funding needs
Franchising opportunities plus tips on buying/running a franchise
Franchise Direct | franchisedirect.com
Listing of franchises for sale
Franchise Registry | franchiseregistry.c
Listing of companies registered with the SBA available for franchising
Government & Proffesional
Code of Federal Regulations | ecfr.gov
Federal government procurement opportunities above $25,000.
Tax information for small businesses
The Defense Logistics Agency’s office of Small Business Programs is committed to providing all categories of small business an opportunity to participate in DLA acquisitions. This site contains information to inform and educate small businesses about DLA requirements and procurement practices. It provides worldwide logistics support
Provides a single access point to government services and information to help the nation’s businesses with their operations.
An independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns
Search for patents and trademarks
Economic Development Administration
EDA assistance is available to rural and urban areas of the Nation experiencing high unemployment, low income, or other severe economic distress.
US Department of Commerce
The Department of Commerce promotes job creation, economic growth, sustainable development and improved living standards for all Americans by working in partnership with business, universities, communities and workers to:…
Minority Business Development Agency
The Minority Business Development Agency is dedicated to becoming an entrepreneurially focused and innovative organization, committed to empowering minority business enterprises for the purpose of wealth creation in minority communities.
International Trade Administration
The ITA website…
A one-stop electronic link to all the information and services government provides for the business community.
The leading provider of business insight on companies, industries, and executives.
The BLS compiles information on pricing, unemployment, pay & benefits, workplace injuries and import and export data.
Commission which enforces laws protecting against discrimination in employment
Contributes to, encourages, ands enhances the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education.
World’s largest professional association devoted to human resource management whose mission is to serve the needs of HR professionals by providing current and comprehensive resources, and to advance the profession by promoting HR’s role.
Encyclopedia of American Industries | ReferenceForBusin
A directory of resources which address subjects such as industry overview, issues, trends, and outlook, industry financial information and financial ratios, and compensation and salary surveys for a wide variety of industries.
Classification system for industries. Replaces SIC codes.
FindLaw | FindLaw.com
Legal information for lawyers and general public, including case law, statutes, lawyer search
Directory of lawyers
Search US patents dating back to 1790; apply for patents and trademarks; learn about patents, trademarks, and copyrights, how they differ and how to get started.
While the organization was formed to support and advise California manufacturers, this link will take you to a wide variety of free and low-cost resources available to small and mid-size manufacturers nationwide.
From the SBA Blog on Starting a Business
Online access to annual reports
Provides critical information about conducting research on the market viability of your product or service
Magazine for market researchers
Free industry reports
GoToMeeting | Need to collaborate with several people who are scattered all over the U.S.? GoToMeeting is a web conferencing and online meeting tool that can help you do just that.
Resources for marketers and advertisers.
From Entrepreneur Magazine.
Choose from several free marketing plans or purchase others.
Ask Your Target Market (AYTM) is more sophisticated software than some of the low-cost options. For a fee, AYTM provides live support, helps identify survey pools, and provides guidance in survey development.
Free and low-cost options; extremely popular and easy to use.
Pricing is per completed response, but they also offer project-based options (down to helping select color choices and format options) as well as Website questionnaires.
Free and low-cost options.
Free and low-cost options.
Books & Publications
Gateway to online business magazines
Online version of HBR which provides summaries of articles in print edition
Online magazine with articles of interest to small business owners
Search Engine Marketing
This white paper provides an overview of SEO and insights on how your Website and e-commerce marketing efforts can be managed and monitored. An introduction to some basic marketing principles as they relate in a digital environment and definitions of new vocabularies and technologies.
Harness the power of your Website with this free resource for SEO.
Has standards information and links to standards sites.
Starting a Business
American Factfinder | factfinder.census
Find popular facts (population, income, etc.) and frequently requested date about your community. Run guided queries using pre-built functions and formulas.
QuickFacts provides statistics for all states and counties, and for cities and towns with a populations of 5,000 or more. Show side-to-side comparisons for up to five different locations; download charts.
Free resource from US Government provides a wide array of statistics in the broad fields of labor, economics, and statistics.
An annual series that provides subnational economic data by industry. Businesses use the data for analyzing market potential, measuring the effectiveness of sales and advertising programs, setting sales quotas, and developing budgets. Additional information can be found utilizing American Factfinder Quick Facts Comparisons.
Gateway to federally collected stats
The 2012 Summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States can be downloaded here.
Main census website
Women’s Business Resources
SBA and the Office of Women’s Business Ownership collaborate with many organizations to make the best possible resources available to women entrepreneurs. Whether you are a woman interested in starting a business, applying for a business loan, finding government contracting opportunities, or improving an existing business, this page is a good point of reference for you.
Make Mine a Million
Gives access to creative women who are dedicated to helping other women succeed in business.
Women Impacting Public Policy
Provides information on Women Impacting Public Policy, a national nonpartisan public policy organization that advocates for and on the behalf of women and minorities in business in the legislative process to help create economic opportunities and build alliances to other small business organizations.
Association of Women’s Business Centers
Provides women business owners and entrepreneurs with a variety of support and services, including help in securing rounds of venture capital.