You have unlimited ways of accessing information and getting what you need to start and grow your businesses successfully. Here are just a few of our favorites to get you started. If you need assistance, Future Force™ can help you determine the resources you need and help you to find and translate the data you find in order to determine the feasibility of your project, expand your business strategically, or prepare for funding. Just let us know how we can help.
Free Counseling and Low Cost Workshops
- For Start-up Businesses:
Go to SCORE @ www.sba.gov/sbdc . You can access industry experts nationally or find your local chapter for ‘hands-on’ assistance.
- For Existing Businesses:
Find the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) in your area. www.sba.gov/sbdc and click on ‘Your Nearest SBDC’.
- For International Businesses in California:
Contact your nearest CITD (Center for International Trade and Development): www.ita.doc.gov
- For Loans:
Go to www.sba.gov/financing/sbaloan/snapshot.html for information on SBA loans. Also check with your City for any employee, equipment purchase, tax incentives, or low interest microloan programs.
Helpful Web Sites
- Get a library card (usually free in the U.S.). Having one will allow you to remotely access many resources electronically, too.
- In general, go to large libraries in your area, or ones with a business focus if possible.
- Know what you are looking for.
- Introduce yourself to a librarian upon entry and have them get you started. Write down their name so you remember it and bother them again once you have done your best to follow up on their initial suggestions.
Things to Bring
- Bring your library card (you can usually get one the same day - need your ID).
- Bring money for copies and survival food/water as you may be there for some time.
- Bring post-its and remember to copy the cover page of whatever you copy, so you can remember the source (references always needed in your Business Plans).
- Bring a highlighter and your own copy paper (some libraries have limitations).
Library Reference Texts
(cannot check them out - cost prohibitive for consumer)
- Small Business Sourcebook:
Start-up information, associations, references, business organizations, databases and publications for 300 different business categories.
- Encyclopedia of Associations:
Thousands of trade organizations and associations.
- RMA Annual Statement Studies:
Compares comparative historical and composite data on dozens of industries.
- Industry Surveys (Standard & Poor’s):
- Demographics U.S.A.- County Edition:
Provides demographic breakdown and money spent on consumer items by geography.
- Taxable Sales in California:
Reports money spent in retail categories. See equivalent in other states.
- American Wholesalers and Distributors Directory
See who can help you get your product into the marketplace.
Electronic Resources through Library Only
(some require physical presence, some just your library card)
- For industry/company information:
- To locate articles from periodicals:
Use the EBSCO Host.
- To find out about public and private companies worldwide/Industry Reports:
Use the SearchBank/InfoTrac - General Business File.
- For magazine article abstracts from 800 magazines:
See the Magazine Index with Full Text.