Recommended Resources and Websites:
James J. Hill Reference Library
SCORE (Service Corps of
— This sophisticated nationwide nonprofit organization is filled with retired executive
volunteers donating their expertise in
more than 600 skill areas to aid
entrepreneurs. SCORE is a resource
partner with the federal Small
Business Administration, and has
many other significant alliances with
information-resource tools available.
SCORE’s website (www.score.org)
The Center for Business Planning
is a great information-gathering site.
It offers many ways to isolate facts relevant to your business plan. Throughout the SCORE website and especially under its “Business Tools, Free Resources”)
there are numerous useful links.
— Offers a collection of resources for planning your business, documenting your plan and evaluating your strategy. The Center for Business Planning is at www.businessplans.org
; click on “Web
Resources” and you’ll find plenty of good links to numerous resources.
— This site continuously updates its 100,000+-report market-research collection, and helps you find reports that target your statistical needs. For a fee, you can buy the reports and subscribe to custom information services.
Bureau of Labor Statistics
— This is an important research stop, for its broad scope of detailed statistical information. Visit
and review its many links to information relevant to your plan.
U.S. Census Bureau
— For quick information on population, households and housing, plus social and economic characteristics, visit http://factfinder2.census.gov/faces/nav/jsf/pages/index.xhtml
where you’ll find an easy source of information by city, township, county, state
or the entire country.
The United States Small Business Administration website has many useful tools for business. The portions of the SBA site relevant to business planning include:
o About the SBA
Secureplan.com — When your business plan or marketing plan is ready for review, you can publish it securely here. Then invite partners, investors, or other contacts to review and discuss it privately online. Post your business plan in a secure environment for those you wish to share it with, including prospects and collaborators.
Industry Trade Associations and Institutes
— Trade associations compile and maintain industry statistics relevant to their members’ business activities. They produce and disseminate this information as a regular part of their service. Contact these associations (via Website first—most have a good online presence) and ask for a list of their publications. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, call and ask where to look; they’re usually willing to help even nonmembers. For nonmembers, these publications are often available for a fee. In many cases you may find the information available for free to members. It’s often worth the price of membership.
More Useful Business-Plan-Related Websites:
Recommended Business Planning Software:
Business Plan Pro - Palo Alto Software, Inc.
Recommended Business Planning Books:
Rich Dad's Advisors®: The ABC's of Writing Winning Business Plans: How to Prepare a Business Plan That Others Will Want to Read -- and Invest In
by Garrett Sutton
Business Plans that Work (Paperback)
by Jeffry A Timmons, Andrew Zacharakis, Stephen Spinelli
Anatomy of a Business Plan: A Step-By-Step Guide to Building a Business and Securing Your Company's Future
by Linda Pinson. Chicago, IL: Dearborn Trade Publishing, 2005.