Small Business

By Category


Small Business Associations

Government Agencies
Starting a Small Business

Small Business Associations


Chester County Chambers of Commerce


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Local Small Business Associations


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National Small Business Associations


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State Small Business Associations


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Government Agencies


Federal


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State


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Starting a Small Business


Business Plans


  • SBA Business Planning: A nice overview of a business plan. It includes a template of a business plan.
  • SBA and Palo Alto Software Sample Business Plans: A partnership between the SBA and Palo Alto Software. It includes plans for product businesses, service businesses, start-up businesses, established businesses, and home-based businesses.
  • SBA Business Plan Tool: Creating a business plan is one of the most important steps you will take because the plan serves as your road map for the early years of your business. SBA's Business Plan Tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to help you get started.
  • Bplans.com: Bplans.com is operated by Palo Alto Software (see above for a link to the SBA/Palo Alto partnership). Palo Alto publishes a software packages called Business Plan Pro, Marketing Plan Pro, and Web Strategy Pro. Some of the plans from these packages are available for free online and are marked "Free Online."
  • SCORE Business Planning and Financial Statements Template Gallery: Find business planning, finance, sales, marketing and management templates and guides published by SCORE, a nonprofit association dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship. The Chester & Delaware County Chapter of SCORE is the Chester County Library’s primary partner in providing workshops for small business owners and entrepreneurs.
  • How to Write a Business Plan by Discover Business: This resource is an overview of the process of writing a business plan, including information about how to conduct your research, introductions to the different sections you may want to include in your plan, and links to additional resources.
  • The Chester County Library also owns the Business Plans Handbook: (R 658.4012 B), a multi-volume set of successful business plans. Ask for it at the Chester County Library's Reference Desk or access it online through the Gale Virtual Reference Library database using a valid Chester County Library System library card. 
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Demographics


Business, Consumer and Tools
 

Business Demographics


  • Economic Census: Conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau every five years, the Economic Census provides statistical information on business from the national to the local level. Search by NAICS Code to find data on industries.
  • County Business Patterns: is an annual series published by the U.S. Census Bureau that provides subnational economic data by industry. It may be helpful to access their Data User Guide when using this resource. 
  • NAICS code
  • Bureau of Labor Statistics: The BLS collects a variety of data useful for market research. Find statistics on headings such as: Inflation and Consumer Spending; Wages, Earnings, and Benefits; Productivity; Safety and Health; International; Occupations; Demographics of the Labor Force; Employment and Unemployment; Industries; and Business Costs.
  • Business Expenses Survey: The purpose of this survey is "to provide periodic estimates on operating expenses for retail, merchant wholesale, and selected service firms."
  • Statistics of U.S. Businesses
  • BizStats.com: BizStats compiles data from trade associations and government agencies into useful statistics for small businesses. There are national business statistics and specific statistics on small business industries.
  • Tax Statistics from the IRS

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Consumer Demographics


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Demographics Tools


  • NAICS/SIC Code Lookup: Use this page to determine the SIC code or NAICS code for a business type or to convert an SIC code to a NAICS code or vice versa. To Find a Code: Type a keyword in the Enter a Search Keyword Box and click NAICS Search. An Index entry page will be returned with a NAICS code. Clicking on the NAICS code will bring up a definition that will include the corresponding SIC code.
  • SIC Code Lookup
  • Melissa Data Lookup Directory: A wide variety of tools. Some are free; some require payment. Especially useful ones are ZIPs in a Radius and ZIP Codes by County. Some of the tools require free registration to access entire list of results.
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Financing



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Franchising


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General Information


  • Starting and Managing Your Business: from the U.S. Small Business Administration
  • Entrepreneur's Resource Center: from the Edward Lowe Foundation. An excellent site for information on small business. Browse through topics such as defining and serving a market, building an organization, acquiring and managing finances, human resource management, and legal issues. There is a keyword search that leads to articles as well.
  • Kauffman eVenturing
  • KnowThis.com:  is an excellent resource for all things related to marketing developed by a professor at West Chester University. There is an excellent section on market research. The site also includes tutorials on the principles of marketing, market research and writing a marketing plan.
  • AllBusiness.com: is one of the world's largest online resource for small businesses, providing essential tools and resources to start, grow, and manage your business.
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Pennsylvania Resources


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