References in the Library to Augment your Plan
(Note: this is not an all-inclusive reference list.  It is here to point you to the library where you can find
information to substantiate your plan.)

Marketing Plan References

Business Plans Handbook – My personal favorite.  This multi-volume set has samples of business plans from Bed and Breakfasts to setting up a Dentist office.  Each year, a new volume is issued.  Your local library should have copies available in the reference department.  Plans span the spectrum – from excellent to poor.  You be the judge.

Dun and Bradstreet Industry Surveys – This publication assesses trends, ratios and statistics in major industries.  It also provides comparative financial statistics.

Government Agencies for specific industries – The Federal Trade Commission, Interstate Commerce Commission, Department of Commerce, Department of Agriculture and the Securities and Exchange Commission provide industry specific financial data. 

InfoTrack General Business File ASAP – Allows you to search articles from business journals and newspapers.

Lifestyle Market Analysis  - Data compiled from “market information postcards” inside of consumer products is provided in this database.  Among other things,  you can ascertain how many people in a given zip code like to drink white wine, what books they read, how much they make, how old they are, activities they participate in and what music they listen to.  It provides relatively detailed information and helps with targeted advertising campaigns.

Nexis/Lexis – Allows you to search thousands of journals, periodicals, newspapers.  This is a subscription based service, however some libraries offer the Academic Version for free. 

Predicast Prompt. – A good market research tool containing market research reports, government publications and investment and brokerage firm reports. 

Reference USA – Contains a directory of over 12 million businesses including contact information, estimated sales and size.  This is a good reference to use for a competitive analysis. 

Small Business Sourcebook – Contains information for over 300 types of small businesses.  Provides competitive pricing and marketing information.

Sourcebook of Country Demographics and Sourcebook of Zip Code Demographics  -

Statistics of Income – Published by the IRS.  Includes income statements complied from tax returns.

Statistical Reference Index Statistics gathered by thousands of private organizations, companies and state government agencies. 

Vest Pocket Guide to Financial Ratios – Published by Prentice Hall and provides ratios and financial data for many industries.

Financial Plan

Almanac of Business and Industrial Financial Ratios - This reference is based on IRS analyses of corporate tax records.  With it, you can determine average business expenses.

Business Source Premier – This database provides full text articles from over 2700 journals including Harvard Business Review.

CCH Internet Tax research Network – This resource provides information on US tax laws and regulations. 

Dun and Bradstreet's Cost of Doing Business Reports – Bank’s use this as well as RMA (see below) to compare your business with others in similar industries.  A good idea is to include a column on your financial assessment which compares your business to either D&B or RMA.

Economic Census and Country Business Patterns – US Government statistics on various industries.

Expanded Academic ASAP – Articles from 1,620 scholarly journals on all subjects.

Financial Studies of Small Business – A database for comparing key ratios to small businesses in a variety of industries.  Includes data from over 30,000 financial statements.

General BusinessFile ASAP – Articles from over 800 journals.

LegalTrac – Law related articles.  This is a good resource to use (as well as Nexis-Lexis) to research your “Impending Legislation” section of the business plan.

Mergent Online – This reference offers financial statements and business ratios for 15,000 US public traded companies and for 20,000 non-US companies.  It includes country profiles, fact sheets and peer report building software.

RIA Checkpoint – Tax research materials.

Robert Morris Associates Annual Statement Studies – This tool shows ratios and other financial information for 650 different industrial, wholesale, retail and service categories.  Banks use this to compare your financial statements to those in similar industries.  If your estimates are dramatically different from those in RMA, provide an explanation in your business plan.

Standard and Poor’s Net Advantage – This resource offers financial information and investment rating on 52 industries.  It provides information on stocks, bonds, earnings, mutual funds and the equity markets.

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