Resources for Building Business Plans

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					Resources for
Building Business
Plans
Christine Drew
Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Gordon Library



wpi.edu/+library
 Help  Self-Help Guides  Business Plan Resources
                      Agenda
• Business plan components & samples
• Resources to help you get to know your:
  –   Industry & Product
  –   Customers
  –   Numbers
  –   Financing options
• Questions
Business Plan Components

About.com - Writing a Business Plan -
http://sbinformation.about.com/od/businessplanresources

Business Plan Preparation - Tools for Writing Business Plans
http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/moyes/bplan

Entrepreneur.com - How to Build a Business Plan
www.entrepreneur.com/howto/bizplan

Inc. Magazine - Writing a Business Plan
www.inc.com/guides/write_biz_plan

United States Small Business Administration – Write A Business Plan
http://www.sba.gov/smallbusinessplanner/plan/writeabusinessplan/
Business Plans: Sources & Samples
Business Plans and Profiles Index
@ Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
 Get to Know Your Industry & Product

• How big is your industry?
• Who are your
  competitors?
• What are your product's
  strengths and
  differentiating factors?
     Your Piece of the Industry Pie
Search for articles:
 wpi.edu/+library > All Databases > Industry




Industry Analysis: Free Size & Data Sources
• Bureau of Labor Statistics | International Labour Organization
• Census Economic Indicators | Global Economic Indicators
• County Business Patterns - businesses by industry to zip code
• Statistical Agencies (International)
• Economic Census 2002 - industry sales, size, establishments
• Federal Reserve of Boston - New England Indicators Database
  Your Turn: Find Industry Data
                   your turn …
                  take a minute



• Find your own industry in one of the industry sources
                    Competitive Analysis




Download useful spreadsheets such as this one @
http://leeds-faculty.colorado.edu/moyes/bplan/Tools/Competitors.xls and
use web & library database searches to fill in the blanks
       Web Search? A Great Start but..
Lots of industry data is not on the free web. Check
the library’s web site for business, company and
industry databases.

Searching for articles
  wpi.edu/+library > All Databases > Company
  - EBSCOhost Business Source
  - LexisNexis Academic
  - Wall Street Journal



                                                   Kirstein Business
Also, local public libraries may have additional   Branch
   sources. MA residents may get a free BPL        20 City Hall Avenue
                                                   Boston, Massachusetts 02108
   ecard at bpl.org.                               617-523-0860
                                                   Monday to Thursday 8-5, Friday &
                                                   Saturday 9-5
          Search Library Databases

• Connect to wpi.edu/+library  All Databases & Electronic
  Resources  Industry
 Enter industry keyword & topics to find articles
your Industry




                                Industry Reports
       Your Turn: Find Articles
                 your turn …
                take a minute



• Try a search in EBSCOhost Business Source
Find related
industry
associations for
additional
data/facts.
  Trade
Magazines
             Identify Trade Associations




•   Web search with keyword association
•   Gateway to Associations
    http://www.asaecenter.org/Directories/AssociationSearch.cfm
•   Reference book: Gale Encyclopedia of Business and Professional
    Associations
       Research Companies/Products

                    • Industry and/or location specific directories
                    • Vertical market web sites or portals
                    • Trade journals buyers’ guides &
                      associations member lists/buyers’ guides
                    • Market research firms that specialize in
                      your area
                    • Patents for competitors and product
                      innovations
                    • Specialty stores or catalogs

where & who would
     BUY it?
The Right Terms & The Right Tool
Typing in the keyword “competitors” and your
  product or industry just won’t work

   • Search Hoovers, other company directories
   • Use SIC/NAICS codes or “build a list” in Hoovers to find
     similar companies
   • Check 10-K (EDGAR or Hoovers) for competitor section of a
     peer company that may be publicly traded (Use Ctrl-F to find
     word competition)
   • Track down specific directories of companies: print or online
       – XXX Industry Directory
   • Track down member directory of industry association:
       – Member list XXX Industry Association
   • Search or visit sites where this type of product would be sold
     with a competitive matrix chart in hand
      Identify Trade Journals @ WPI
• Association sites may list some key trade publications
• Check the Library Journal Holdings



                       wpi.edu/+library > Library Journal
                       search to find any that we subscribe
                       to already

   – Will lead you to news, magazine and journal titles
   – Visit the library reference area for a more detailed directory:
     Ulrich’s Periodical Directory Z6941 U5
   – Find the website of a trade magazine, some post articles for free
 Most academic libraries have this reference book.
        Look up industry to find key resources




Sample entry
  from Encyclopedia of
  Business Information Sources
        Get to Know Your Customers
• Who is your target market?
• How many potential customers
  could you have?
• What are the dynamics of
  adoption of similar products?
                                  Sometimes you will have to
                                  collect your own data but first
                                  try to search the web and
                                  databases. Add to your search:
                                  ("CONSUMERS' preferences"
                                  OR "consumer behavior" OR
                                  "CONSUMERS Attitudes" OR
                                  Surveys OR polls)
           Consumer Behavior & Potential
  • Search Trade Magazines & Journal databases - articles on
    preferences & profiles
       – Consumer Reports
       – Keywords: consumers, customers, target market, preferences, buying
         behavior, consumer behavior

  • Use Library’s Data sources to find numbers, and statistics to
    estimate




   Sample table from
  Statistical Abstract of
     the United States
census.gov/compendia/
                 statab/
             Get to Know the Numbers
Search Trade Magazines & Journal databases to:
    – Understand how much similar products sell for
    – Benchmark industry standards (average manufacturing costs or profit
      margins)
    – Assess costs and pricing options

Use Thomson ONE Banker, LexisNexis Academic, or SEC Edgar for
  10-K filings to:
    – find similar public companies to benchmark their financials:

Use industry ratios to benchmark against industry averages:
        • Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios
          Reference Collection HF5681 R25 T68

        • RMA Annual Statement Studies
          Reference Collection HF5681 B2 R6
Financials: Industry Ratios/Peer Groups
ALMANAC OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRIAL FINANCIAL RATIOS




            RMA ANNUAL STATEMENT STUDIES
            Definition of Ratios(PDF)
            Sample Financial Ratio Benchmarks(PDF)
            Listing of industries in the Annual Statement Studies®
            sorted by NAICS(PDF)
                 Financing Options
• How are start ups
  financed?


 “Data from the National Survey of
 Small Business Finances indicate
 that most small businesses used
 traditional credit such as credit lines,
 loans, or capital leases and that most
 of the increases were in credit lines
 and credit cards.”
 Source: SBA.gov
 The Small Business Economy
Visit Harvard's Venture Capital & Private Equity Club
 and read: Zider, Bob. How Venture Capital Works.
Harvard Business Review Nov/Dec98, 76(6): 131+.
            (look for copy @ your library)
                     Protect Your Ideas
                     Trademarks & Patents
United States Patent &
Trademark Office

• TESS (Trademark
Electronic Search
System) database

• U.S. Patents via
www.USPTO.gov




  Also try Google Patents which allows
  hyperlinked cited patents & images in PDF
  format. For global, try patentlens.net.
• Learn about federal,
  state, local
  government
  requirements and
  regulations

  Mass.Gov - Official
  Site of the
  Commonwealth of
  Massachusetts 
  Business  Getting
  Started
                         Questions?




Christine Drew
508.831.6163 cdrew@wpi.edu
Stop by Gordon Library @ WPI for research help
See wpi.edu/+library/Help for email, chat or to set up a research consultation