Subject Guide for Business

How to write a business plan

How to Write a Business Plan |
Service or Product Line. What do you sell? How does it benefit your customers? What is the product lifecycle? Get tips on how to tell the story about your product 

Magazine & Journal Articles

Academic Search Premier
Index and full text of magazines, newspapers, and scholarly journals in a variety of disciplines. This is usually a good place to start your research.

Academic OneFile
Academic OneFile provides peer-reviewed, full-text articles from the world’s leading journals and reference sources. Includes full-text coverage of the New York Times back to 1995.

General Business File
Analyze company performance and activity, industry events and trends as well as the latest in management, economics and politics. Access to a combination of broker research reports, trade publications, newspapers, journals and company directory listings with full text and images available.

Small Business Resource Center
Includes insights, tips, strategies and success stories.

Business Economics & Theory
With a strong emphasis on titles covered in the EconLit database, this collection provides academic journals and magazines focusing on topics in economics.

Small Business Collection
Search this database to learn how to start, finance or manage your small business. Resources include sample business plans, how to guides, articles and websites.

Harvard Business Review is available in the library in hard copy.
Index coverage of Harvard Business Review  issues is available Academic OneFile.

Company Information

Finding information about public companies (those that sell stock to shareholders) is easier than finding information about private companies (those that are privately owned by an individual or a group).  Public companies in the United States are required by law to file documents with the Securities and Exchange commission (SEC).  These include the 10K (annual) and 10Q (quarterly) reports.  In addition, public companies issue an annual report to shareholders.

When looking for information about a company, consider both information from the company itself (e.g., the company website, SEC filings, press releases, etc.) as well as information about the company written by others (e.g., newspaper articles, analyst reports, articles by professors, etc.).

Finding information about a company includes the following steps:

  • Get an overview of the company, find out if it is public or private
  • Find the company website and review it carefully, particularly the sections for investors or media/press.
  • If the company is public, find relevant 10K and 10Q reports and annual reports to shareholders
  • Search for news, magazine and other periodical articles for information.  This may be the only way to find information on private companies.
  • If the company is public, search for analyst and brokerage reports. These sometimes contain an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT).
  • Identify competitors.

Website for Barron’s weekly financial magazine, which offers access to the weekly edition, business news, and stock information. Entering a company name into the website search box provides “Companies & Quotes” option, which leads to up-to-date company information as well as historical stock information and sections about the company and other financial information..
Note: Index coverage of Barron’s Magazine issues is available via our Gale Databases.

Website for the bimonthly magazine with core topics including business, technology, stock markets, personal finance, and lifestyle. Forbes periodically compiles lists of people and companies with certain characteristics (e.g. America’s Largest Private Companies). Searching the website for a company name provides basic company information, including its placement on any Forbes lists.
Note: Index coverage of Forbes Magazine issues is available via our Gale Databases.

Fortune Magazine
Bi-weekly magazine specializing in business, investment, career, management and small business information, also home of the Fortune 500 along with other rankings. Searching the website for a company name or stock symbol provides a CNN Money summary page about the company, including recent stock performance, news, growth & valuation, and recent stock performance of selected competitors.
Note: Index coverage of Fortune Magazine issues is available via our Gale Databases.

EDGAR (database of SEC filings)
EDGAR (Electronic Data Gathering Analysis and Retrieval) is the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s database of company information. Search for official company filings including 10-K’s, 10-Q’s and many more using the EDGAR system back to 1994. This is a free Internet service that will enable potential investors to review a company’s annual report in an easy convenient manner.

Business Reference Services of the Library of Congress
(Public web site). This informative page includes information on where to find/purchase historical company reports and filings.

Company Web Sites
Company web sites can provide a wealth of information, particularly for public companies. Look for press releases, investor information including presentations and events and filings such as SEC filings, annual reports or corporate social responsibility or “community” reports. Use information from the company carefully and watch for bias or an overly-optimistic interpretation of factual data.

Analyst Reports

Consumer Information

American Consumer Satisfaction Index
The American Customer Satisfaction Index (ACSI) is the only national cross-industry benchmark of customer satisfaction in the United States. This strategic economic indicator is based on customer evaluations of the quality of goods and services purchased in the United States and produced by domestic and foreign firms with substantial U.S. market shares. The ACSI measures the quality of economic output as a complement to traditional measures of the quantity of economic output.

Country Information

globalEDGE Global Insights
Provides international business and trade information on over 200 countries, the 50 U.S. states, as well as nearly two dozen industry sectors, and many of the world’s trade blocs.

CIA World Factbook
Provides information on the history, people, government, economy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.

Dictionaries & Encyclopedias in Flint Memorial Library

R 330.03 F911 Friedman, Jack P.  Dictionary of Business Terms
R 650.03 K96d Kurian, George Thomas  The AMA Dictionary of Business and Management
R 650.03 S425a  Scott, David Logan  The American Heritage Dictionary of Business Terms
R 658 B979  Business: The Ultimate Resource
R 658.022 S635  Small Business Sourcebook : The Entrepreneur’s  Resource

Gale Virtual Reference Library
A library database with links to encyclopedias and reference books in a variety of subjects. Includes business plans and business histories and much more.

Investopedia Dictionary

Cambridge Business English Dictionary

Library of Congress Economic & Business Encyclopedias and Dictionaries


Gale Virtual Reference Library

BookBoon eBooks: Business
Free ebooks on business topics such as accounting, communication skills, finance, management, marketing, organization, sales, and software products like Microsoft Office.
Note: ebook download requires you to provide an email address.

Financial & Stock Information

Bloomberg: Markets
Overview of current business news including stock prices, news, and commodity and industry trends.

Google Finance
An aggregator of current business news including stock prices, histories, and trends.

Wall Street Journal MarketWatch
Market information including currency, bond, and commodities news and data, market and sector indexes, and interactive charts. Searching a company’s stock symbol provides a summary of that company’s recent stock performance.

The Public Register
get free annual reports on Publicly traded companies

Handbooks/Guides in Flint Memorial Library

808.06 W749a  AMA handbook of business writing : the ultimate guide to  style, grammar, punctuation, usage, construction, and  formatting
658.408 S421s  Scofield, Rupert.  The social entrepreneur’s handbook : how to start, build,  and run a business that improves the world
658.406 T248v  Wacker, Watts.  The visionary’s handbook : nine paradoxes that will shape  the future of your

Industry Data Business & Industry
Economic and industry data compiled by the U.S. Census Bureau from numerous government surveys and reports.

Economic Indicators
Economic is brought to you by the Economics and Statistics Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. Our mission is to provide timely access to the daily releases of key economic indicators from the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the U.S. Census Bureau.

North American Claissification System – NAICS. – U.S. Census
This site provides a detailed descriptions of the direction relationships between classification systems. e.g. NAICS to SIC’s, NAICS 2007 to 2012, NAICs to ISIC (International Standard Industrial Classification).
U.S. Census – Industry Snapshots by NAICs Codes
U.S. Census – Industry Statistics Sampler
Information by 2-digit NAICs Code
BLS – Bureau of Labor Statistics – Industry Projections
BLS – Bureau of Labor Statistics – Employment Matrix Search by Industry

Use MANTA to find NAICS code

US Department of Commerce, Bureau of Economic Analysis


Bureau of Labor Statistics
The Bureau of Labor Statistics is the principal fact-finding agency for the Federal Government in the broad field of labor economics and statistics.
FedStats provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the federal government.

Statistical Abstract of the United States: Business Enterprise
United States Census Bureau information about business topics, including data on the number, type, and size of businesses; financial data of domestic and multinational U.S. corporations; business investments, expenditures, and profits; and sales and inventories.

SIFMA Statistics
Statistics and data pertaining to financial markets and the economy from SIFMA (Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association).

Career Outlook (Bureau of Labor Statistics)

Current Industrial Reports by the U.S. Census Bureau