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Business Resources
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.

Associations (Directories);

Directory of Associations | DirectoryOfAssociations.com
Search from over 35,000 local, regional, national, and international associations.

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) Member Trade Associations at the ANSI portal allow you to search by name, ICS codes, and industry sector. This listing includes associations that contribute to US standards and conformity assessments.

Industry Trade Groups
 | Hundreds of industry trade groups and associations are listed alphabetically at Wikipedia with live links to each association’s Website.

Associations (Business);

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

National Restaurant Association | restaurant.org
The leading business association for the restaurant industry

American Marketing Association
 | marketingpower.com
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.fintel.us/scorecard/
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.

Business Plans;

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.purdue.edu/aicc/resources/businessplan.doc   An excellent template that covers all necessary topics for use in creating a business plan.

Entrepreneur Magazine has a wealth of useful information about business plan writing. 
Two helpful articles:

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.org/services/for-businesses/entrepreneurs-and-small-businesses/business-plans-index/  Guide to business plans by type of business

SBA Business Plan Basics
 | sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner
step by step instructions for creating a business plan from the SBA

SCORE Business Plan Template
 | https://www.score.org/resource/business-planning-financial-statements-template-gallery
Preferred by counselors, SCORE offers a variety of business plan templates and tools.

CyberSecurity;

Here are some great articles with useful information on small business CyberSecurity.

OneLogin | Tired of keeping track of which username and password goes with which website? You no longer have to write it all down on a post-it, you can use OneLogin. From this one site you can log in to all of the important sites that you access throughout the day. 
 
 
Cybersecurity for Small Business ~ Self-paced learning modules from the SBAhttps://www.sba.gov/tools/sba-learning-center/training/cybersecurity-small-businesses
 
 
Cyber Security Statistics – Numbers Small Businesses Need to Know |https://smallbiztrends.com/2017/01/cyber-security-statistics-small-business.html
 
 
 
 
 
Seven Essential Questions to Ask when Hiring an IT Security Consultant | https://www.softwareadvice.com/resources/questions-to-ask-when-hiring-security-consultants/
 
The Best Security Programs for your Small Business |https://www.tomsguide.com/us/best-antivirus,review-2588-6.html
 

Demographics / Psychographics;

The US Census Bureau |  census.gov provides detailed, demographic information including population, age and sex, health, education, race, housing, income and the economy.  Map your data using census mapping.
Visit these two Census bureau sites for quick-facts and guided queries:
American Fact Finder | factfinder2.census.gov
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
View, save, and print demographic, socioeconomic, economic and other US statistical data.
 
Free Demographic Reports | https://gallery.alteryx.com/demographics/
Free demographic market analysis reports from Alteryx Analytics Gallery
 
Melissa Data melissadata.com
Free address information for businesses and individuals

E-commerce;

Amazon OnLine Selling | https://www.amazon.com/b?e=UTF8&node=12766669011 
Learn how to start selling with a website by using Amazon

Etsy Seller Handbook | etsy.com/seller-handbook
Advice and inspiration for running an Etsy shop

Entrepreneurship;

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

Focuses its grant making and operations on advancing entrepreneurship and improving the education of children and youth.

Financial Resources;

SBA-Financing | sba.gov/category/navigation-structure/loans-grants
Describes loan availability, eligibility, sources of grants

Capital Opportunities for Small Business | First Choice Business Capital
Excellent resource for finding capital resources for all your business funding needs

Franchising;

Entrepreneur Magazine-Franchise Opportunities entrepreneur.com/franchises
Franchising opportunities plus tips on buying/running a franchise

Franchise Direct
 | franchisedirect.com
Listing of franchises for sale

Franchising.com
 
franchising.com
Resource for On-line Franchise Information

Franchise Registry
 | franchiseregistry.com
Listing of companies registered with the SBA available for franchising

Government & Proffesional 

Small Business Administration | Business professor Ted Clark says if he were stuck on a deserted island and could have only one business source it would be the Small Business Administration website. “It’s just a great resource of facts, information and education,” he says.
 
SCORE | A site for free and confidential business advice, SCORE has become a popular resource for entrepreneurs. It’s a non-profit with 11,000 working and retired business professionals who volunteer to support small business owners.

Code of Federal Regulations
 | ecfr.gov
 
FedBizOpps | fbo.gov
Federal government procurement opportunities above $25,000.
 
Internal Revenue Service | irs.gov/businesses/small
Tax information for small businesses
 
Defense Logistics Agency | http://www.dla.mil/HQ/SmallBusiness/
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
 
Laws & regulations by industry | business.usa.gov
Provides a single access point to government services and information to help the nation’s businesses with their operations.
 
US Small Business Administration website | sba.gov
An independent agency of the federal government to aid, counsel, assist and protect the interests of small business concerns
 
US Patent & Trademark Office | uspto.gov
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…

Business.gov
A one-stop electronic link to all the information and services government provides for the business community.

Hoover’s
The leading provider of business insight on companies, industries, and executives.

Dun & Bradstreet
Access D&B products and services to get business credit reports, find new customers, and access risk management solutions.

Human Resources

Indeed.com | https://www.indeed.com/ Indeed provides local and regional salary information compiled from job listings they have posted during previous twelve months.

Bureau of Labor Statistics | https://www.bls.gov/bls/proghome.htm
The BLS compiles information on pricing, unemployment, pay & benefits, workplace injuries and import and export data.
General salary and wage information by area and occupation is available here.
 
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission | eeoc.gov
Commission which enforces laws protecting against discrimination in employment
 
Employee Benefit Research Institute | ebri.org
Contributes to, encourages, ands enhances the development of sound employee benefit programs and sound public policy through objective research and education.
 
Salary.com | salary.com
Benchmark salaries
 
Society for Human Resource Management | shrm.org
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.

Industry Research

Encyclopedia of American Industries | ReferenceForBusiness.com/industries/

Valuation Resources | ValuationResources.com
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.
 
Industry and Competitive Analysis | Presentation describing industry and competitive analysis process.
 
NAICS Classification System | census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html
Classification system for industries. Replaces SIC codes.
 

Legal

FindLaw FindLaw.com
Legal information for lawyers and general public, including case law, statutes, lawyer search

Martindale | martindale.com
Directory of lawyers
 
US Patent and Trademark Office | uspto.gov
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.

Manufacturer Resources

CMTC Manufacturing Bloghttp://www.cmtc.com/blog/free-or-inexpensive-online-tools-and-resources-for-small-manufacturers
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.
 
Industry Week list of Manufacturing Associations |http://www.industryweek.com/associations
 
The NCMI endorses the Certified Production Technician (CPT) program through the Manufacturing Skill
 

Market Research

13 Best Tools for Conducting Market Research | business.com
 
Conducting Market Research? Here are Five Official Sources of Free Data that Can Help
From the SBA Blog on Starting a Business
 
Annual Reports | AnnualReports.com
Online access to annual reports
 
Conducting Market Research | from Entrepreneur Magazine
Provides critical information about conducting research on the market viability of your product or service
 
Online Market Research References and Tools | http://www.smartinsights.com/marketplace-analysis/customer-analysis/10-free-online-marketing-tools-that-every-hands-on-marketer-should-use/  Ten free online tools for every “hands-on” marketer
 
Quirks | quirks.com
Magazine for market researchers
 
Marketresearch.com MarketResearch.com
Reports that can be purchased about your market or industry
 
Securities and Exchange Commission | www.sec.gov
Corporate filings
 
Valuation Resources | ValuationResources.com/IndustryReport.htm
Free industry reports

Marketing

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.

Digital marketing.  What it is and why it matters | Brief description anddiscussion of digital marketing from SAS.

American Marketing Association | MarketingPower.com
Resources for marketers and advertisers.
 
The Four P’s of Marketing | An excellent resource from Purdue University
 
Digital Marketing 101: The core things that every marketer (or business professional) needs to understand | Provides easy to understand definitions of key digital marketing terminology collected by BootCampDigital, an online social media training company.
 
 HARO (Help A Reporter Out) | Looking for a little free publicity? HARO connects business owners with reporters. 
 
Writing a Market Plan | The Ingredients of a Marketing Plan
From Entrepreneur Magazine.
 
M Plans mplans.com
Choose from several free marketing plans or purchase others.
 
Moving Toward a Digital, Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy | A SAS white paper on digital marketing.
 
The Ultimate Marketing Machine |Summarizes the results of the Harvard Business Review Marketing 2020 study identifying the attributes of a high-performance marketing organization.

Research Tools

A list of user-friendly, low- and free resources are available to help you conduct electronic surveys of customers and targeted prospects.
 
Ask Your Target Market | aytm.com
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.
 
Evernote| Evernote is like a digital filing cabinet. You can take and organize notes, save favorite websites, and make to-do lists
 
SurveyMonkey | surveymonkey.com
Free and low-cost options; extremely popular and easy to use.
 
Google Consumer Surveys | google.com/insights/consumersurveys
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.
 
SurveyGizmo | surveygizmo.com
Free and low-cost options.
 
Mail Chimp | mailchimp.com
Free and low-cost options.

Books & Publications

BusinessWeek | BusinessWeek.com
Weekly magazine containing information useful to entrepreneurs
 
CEO Express | CEOexpress.com
Gateway to online business magazines
 
Harvard Business Review hbr.org
Online version of HBR which provides summaries of articles in print edition
 
USA Today – Money | usatoday.com/money/smallbusiness
Online magazine with articles of interest to small business owners
 
The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
 Not every startup will make it. This book explains why most small businesses fail and offers insights on how to keep it from happening to yours.
 
Lean In by Sheryl Sandberg
 This book is a great personal story from Facebook’s COO Sheryl Sandberg, who talks about the struggles women face in business and ways to overcome them.
 
The War of Art by Steven Pressfield
 Several entrepreneurs suggested this tough-love book, which pushes you to reach your business goals.
 
We tend to forget the importance of networking in today’s digital world, This book serves as a good reminder of how to keep and maintain connections.
 
The self-help book teaches people how to be productive through personal change.

Search Engine Marketing

The Ultimate Guide to Market Research and SEO (Search Engine Optimization)MarketResearch.com
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.
 
GoogleAnalytics | google.com/analytics/#/small-business
Harness the power of your Website with this free resource for SEO.

Social Media

HootSuite | A social media presence is a must, but it can be time consuming to log into each site and post a message on a daily basis. HootSuite makes this process easy by combining all of your social sites into one dashboard. You can read your feeds, schedule posts and track your success all from one site.
 
Facebook for Business facebook.com/business
 
 
Moving Toward a Digital, Customer-Centric Marketing Strategy | A SAS white paper on digital marketing.
 
Pinterest for Business | business.pinterest.com
 
Twitter 101 for Business business.twitter.com
Has standards information and links to standards sites.
 
The Ultimate Marketing Machine |Summarizes the results of the Harvard Business Review Marketing 2020 study identifying the attributes of a high-performance marketing organization.

Starting a Business

American Factfinder | factfinder.census.gov
Find popular facts (population, income, etc.) and frequently requested date about your community. Run guided queries using pre-built functions and formulas.

American Factfinder Quick Facts | census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/00
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.
 
Bureau of Labor Statistics | bls.gov
Free resource from US Government provides a wide array of statistics in the broad fields of labor, economics, and statistics.
 
County Business Patterns | http://www.census.gov/programs-surveys/cbp/data/tables.html
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.
 
FEDStats | https://fedstats.sites.usa.gov/
Gateway to federally collected stats
 
Statistical Abstract of the United States |https://www.census.gov/library/publications/2011/compendia/statab/131ed.html
The 2012  Summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States can be downloaded here.
 
U.S. Census | census.gov
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.

National Women’s Business Council

The National Women’s Business Council (NWBC) is a federal advisory council created to serve as an independent source of advice and counsel to the President, Congress and the U.S. Small Business Administration on economic issues of importance to women business owners. The council’s mission is to promote bold initiatives, policies and programs designed to support women’s business enterprises at all stages of development in the public and private sector–from start-up to success to significance.
 

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.

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