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University Libraries


Determining Your Industry’s Classification Code

The first step in conducting research for your proposed business is to determine the codes used by the government to categorize your industry.

Sample Business Plans

  • Business Plans Handbook
    available online as part of the Gale Virtual Reference Library
    A collection of representative business plans compiled by entrepreneurs seeking funding for small businesses.
    Most plans here can be purchased from the publisher, but 50 sample plans are freely available on the Web.
  • Business Plans and Profiles Index
    A subject index to sample business plans, including those published in book form and those available from Web sites such as  Compiled by the Pittsburgh Public Library (Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh).
    A small collection of sample marketing plans are available at no charge (approximately 25 of them); users can also purchase additional plans for a fee.

Market Research and Industry Reports


Trade Associations

  • Encyclopedia of Associations (annual)
    available online as part of Business & Company Resource Center
    (Select “Advanced Search,” then choose “Associations” from drop-down box.)
    A searchable directory covering tens of thousands of trade associations and other membership organizations.

Journal Articles and News Stories

  • Entrepreneurial Studies Source
    Full-text resources with current insight, advice, case studies, and research relating to small business and entrepreneurship. Provides articles from 125 business periodicals, over 100 reference books, and 600 videos from respected sources such as the Harvard Business School faculty.
  • Business Source Complete
    This EBSCOhost database provides full text articles from several thousand business journals, magazines, newsletters, and local business newspapers.  Database also includes a variety of market research reports, industry profiles, and SWOT analysis reports.
  • Factiva
    World news service from Dow Jones and Company, covering thousands of business news providers, including wire services, press releases, newspapers, trade journals, and broadcast transcripts.

New York State and WNY Resources

Other Resources

  • U.S. Small Business Administration
    Includes a diversity of resources and toolkits, including tips on creating a business plan, SBA publications, and links to outside resources.
  • Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Research Portal
    Extensive collection of resources relating to small business.  “Data Sets” section has links to statistical reports on economic trends for small business, business bankruptcies, and analyses of IRS income tax returns for small businesses.
  • Kauffman Foundation Entrepreneurship Homepage
    Tips and advice from successful entrepreneurs on a variery of topics, including financing, human resources, and marketing.
  • NFIB Tools and Tips
    Articles and other resources on a wide range of relevant topics from the National Foundation of Independent Business.
  • Entrepreneur Magazine Startup How-To Guides
    Practical tips from the editors of Entrepreneur magazine.  Covers a broad spectrum of topics from choosing a business name to obtaining local permits.   Click on the home page to view additional resources, including a directory of franchise opportunities.
  • Business Know-How
    News, articles, tips, and links to useful resources.