Researching A New Business

Business Plans and Steps to Think About

Dynamic Small Business Association Search
A database from the United States Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA does not make any representation as to the accuracy of any of the data included, other than certifications relating to 8(a) Business Development, HUBZone or Small Disadvantaged Business status.  Search by name, zip code, women and minority owned, etc.

U. S. Small Business Administration ( : Starting & Managing a Business
Discusses business plans, laws, leadership and management, etc.

How to Write a Business Plan from the SBA (Small Business Association)

Business Plans Handbook
REF HD62.7 .B865
Sample plans taken from businesses in the manufacturing, retail, and service industries.  V. 1 (1995)- v. 4 (1997) available in print in Reference.  V. 29 (2014) available online in Gale Virtual Reference Library.

SCORE-Business Plans
You'll find business planning tools best-suited for those that are already in business. Browse our free business plan templates, business plans samples and examples, and links to business plan software.

Industry Statistics and Overview

Industry Statistics Portal from the US Census Bureau
This application provides access to the Census Bureau programs that provide economic data for a user-selected industry. Search by either typing in the 2012 North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code or keyword into the NAICS SEARCH box above, or choose the industry from the SELECT AN INDUSTRY menu to the left.

How to Research an Industry (Guide)

How to Find Competitors & Map Their Locations

Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis) -Go to Business, Company Dossier, Create a Company List.
  1. SIC code -5921 -Liquor Stores.
  2. Address: United States, State, County: New York, Tompkins
  3. Create List
  4. Click "Next: Customize List" to customize your results.
  5. Change default from Alphabetical to "Sort by Sales"
  6. Play around with options in the Contact Information; add in Primary NAICS codes, etc.
  7. For Mapping: Include on contact information such as name, address.
  8. Update Company List
  9. Download Selected Items: CSV Formatted File type-- Can be used in Google's "My Maps" to show locations of the businesses listed in the .CSV files.


Your Customers-How to Find Information about

Census Business Builder (2.0 beta edition)
Allows small business owners a way to easily navigate to and use key demographic and economic data to help guide their research into opening a new or expanding their existing business.  These key data includes the most recent and/or relevant data that Census provides that are useful to small business owners. You can narrow your search by city or county.

American FactFinder -find the population and other characteristics of the market you plan to have as your customers.
State Data Centers
Partnership with the U.S. Census. The SDCs are official sources of demographic, economic, and social statistics.

Simmons OneView
Simmons OneView(formerly Simmons Choices3) provides access to U.S. adult (18+) consumer data on product and brand usage, spending behavior, media usage/habits, and more. It can be used to create custom reports which analyze demographic and/or psychographic characteristics of product users and their media behavior.  It allows cross tabulation of hundreds of consumer product categories and usage data for over 8,000 brands, inclusive consumer media habits, diverse demographic categories and psychographic (attitudinal and lifestyle) profiles.  It consists of three parts: National Consumer Study (NCS), National Hispanic Consumer Study (NHCS) and New Media. Most recent data available is at least two years old. Our license allows for five simultaneous users.


How to Find Existing Businesses (Competitors)

Secretaries of State-from Coordinated
Links to all 50 states Secretaries of State. Search for corporations, business & professional licensing.

Hoover's Company Records - In-depth Records
The Hoover's Company Records - In-Depth Records Database contains information for more than 40,000 major public and private companies worldwide.  In-Depth Records include overviews and histories, up to 10 years of key financial and employment data, lists of products and key competitors, names of key officers, addresses, and phone and fax numbers.

Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis) -Go to Get Company Info, Create a Company List, You can then limit to a specific county and Primary NAICS or Primary SIC code. See the video, Find Comparable Companies Using LexisNexis Academic.

Rules, Regulations and Legal Stuff

Make sure you know all the rules and regulations pertaining to any business you might want to open. This includes both Federal and State rules and regulations. Also if you have a new idea for an invention, you might want to see if you can get a patent for it.

U. S. Small Business Administration ( : Starting & Managing a Business -they should be able to help you navigate the various rules, regulations and legal things you should know about while planning your business.

The database contains all patents published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) since number 4,000,000. New patents are published by the USPTO every Tuesday, and are automatically added to the database. Images may be viewed from the patent text pages in either the AlternaTIFF or PDF formats. Covers 1976 (December 28) to the present.

eCFR-Electronic Code of Federal Regulations
The Electronic Code of Federal Regulations (e-CFR) is a currently updated version of the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR). It is not an official legal edition of the CFR. The e-CFR is an editorial compilation of CFR material and Federal Register amendments produced by the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register (OFR) and the Government Printing Office. The OFR updates the material in the e-CFR on a daily basis. The current update status appears at the top of all e-CFR web pages

U.S. Code from the House of Representatives
Searchable version of the U.S. code either by keyword, boolean or by title and section. In BETA.  See also:  GPO Access or LexisNexis Academic.
Contains United States legistative information.  It plans to replace  There is currently a chart comparing of coverage dates between the two sources.

New York State (online)
Links to departments and agencies and all three branches of New York State government.

Useful Databases to Find Articles

Business Source Premier (Original Interface)
Business topics: management, economics, finance, accounting, international business, etc. SWOT analysis on selected companies.

Business Insights: Essentials
Company profiles, brand information, rankings, investment reports, market research reports, SWOT reports, market share information, company histories, chronologies, journal articles, and interactive charts.  Search this database to find detailed company and industry news and information.

ABI/INFORM Collection
Search all three ABI/Inform databases together here or search one at a time below. ABI/INFORM Complete provides current and historic abstracts and many full-text articles from over 2,800 business and management journals, including hundreds of titles from outside the U.S. The database covers finance, management, marketing, operations, accounting, business conditions, sports and business, entertainment, and case studies.

Nexis Uni (replaces LexisNexis)