The Business Plan The first step in starting a small business is a business plan. Use Gale Business: Entrepreneurship for full access to the Business Plans Handbook. There you will find general templates as well as examples of plans for hundreds of specific businesses. As you create your business plan, other resources listed below may be helpful. The other sections below will help you build your business plan with library resources.
ABI-INFORM will allow you to research key elements of an industry and find overviews, opportunities and trends to help determine your business strategies. Mergent Intellect and Mergent Online are databases with access to private and public U.S and international business data, facts and figures, and industry profiles. Business Collection is a place to find articles on management, finance and industry information.
Use SimplyAnalytics to find out more about your consumers and your competition and create reports and maps to compare data and hone in on target areas. Linkedin Learning (formerly Lynda.com) can help you with courses on marketing and other business skills. ReferenceUSA is a resource for creating mailing lists and learning about businesses that already exist in a particular area.
Facilities and Location
SimplyAnalytics can help you research locations for your business by showing you maps and reports with demographics of your customers and where your competition is.
Administration and Management
Use Business Source Premier and Business Collection to find articles about starting and managing a small business including management, finance and industry information. To learn skills to better manage your business, try Linkedin Learning and explore learning courses on topics like business, software, technology, and more.
Linkedin Learning has courses to learn about Human Resources (HR) and other aspects of hiring and managing people.
You may also find these local community services helpful:
Business Xpress Start up Toolkit and Starting a Business in Oregon - Basic steps and requirements from the State of Oregon.
Portland Small Business Administration - “provides counseling, capital, and contracting expertise to entrepreneurs and small business developers”.
Portland SCORE (Service Core of Retired Executives) - Get connected with an experienced mentor at no cost. SCORE also has free workshops and other resources.