University Library at St. Cloud State University

Business - Entrepreneurship/Small Business Management

Researching Small Businesses
Small businesses are rarely publicly held (i.e., they do not issue shares and sell them to members of the public, nor are shares traded on stock exchanges). Consequently, they have no fiduciary duty to the general public, and are not required to file financial disclosure forms with the Securities and Exchange Commission or other federal or state agencies. This makes it very difficult to find information about specific small businesses in any place other than local newspapers. Basic information (contact information, locations, etc.) can be found in or local telephone directories. Information on larger private businesses can be found through Mergent Intellect. Unrestricted Resource is a directory of small businesses in the United States, both public and private, and searchable by industry, by state and/or by other factors. Register with the service (it's free) for access to more in-depth information.

Regional Business News Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit database
A supplemental database for customers of Business Source Premier. With daily updates, Regional Business News provides comprehensive full text for regional business publications (including titles from Crain Communications). Regional Business News has full text for more than 60 sources.

Directory of US Newspapers by Region from Yahoo!
Surf to links to business newspapers and journals around the country.


Minnesota and Midwestern business journals and newspapers

Minnesota Business Magazine

Twin Cities Business 

Minneapolis/St Paul Business Journal

Prairie Business Magazine
Researching New Products
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers Unrestricted Resource
Locate manufacturers by product, company, or brand name.

Part of researching the viability of a proposed product includes investigating the companies that produce similar products that will compete with yours. Two databases offer full-text company profiles from reputable sources: Business Source Complete and Mergent Intellect.

Business Source Complete Restricted Resource Some full text availablefindit elm database
Premium full-text content and peer-reviewed business journals covering all disciplines of business, including marketing, management, accounting, banking, finance and more.
Using Business Source Complete to find company profiles and news: 
At the top of the BSC web page, you'll see a blue bar with links to various items; one of these is "More." Place your cursor over "More" to bring up a pulldown menu. One of the menu options is "Company Profiles." Here, you'll find downloadable company profiles from MarketLine, a well-known and reputable purveyor of company and business data.  Key information presented in MarketLine reports includes sales, employees, SWOT analyses, and primary competitors. Profiles of medical supply companies comes from MedTrack, another business intelligence company.

To find news about the company in major publications, enter the name of the company in the search interface. Specify in the drop-down menu in the search interface that you're searching by "CO Company Entity." 
Using BSC to find information on new products 
The correct subject heading for new products in BSC is "new products" (not surprisingly). Try a unified search for "new products" as a subject heading and the subject heading for your industry (use the Thesaurus linked at the top of the BSP search page to find this, or search by NAICS number).

Researching the Industry
It's very difficult to find information on a microindustry level from large databases. While the following databases offer industry surveys and reviews of major national and international industries in which the larger companies operate (for example, airlines, auto manufacturing, etc.), finding industry surveys of minor industries in which small businesses can predominate can be very difficult. The best thing to do is to look for trade associations that aggregate information from small business members. For example, small craft beer brewers can find statistics and information on their industry from the Brewers' Association. Someone wishing to sell yarn, fabric and other needlecraft items might consult the National Needlearts Association. To find these associations, Google the name of your product and "trade association": "yarn trade association," "craft beer trade association." 

Below are databases offering industry information on larger industries:

Mergent Intellect includes a sub-database called First Research, which includes industry profiles for over 500 industries and 1000 sub-industries. To search First Research, scroll down Mergent Intellect's webpage to find the link for First Research. The database will require a secondary login with your SCSU e-mail address. Do not use a gmail or other external e-mail address, as this will effectively block you from the database.

NetAdvantage (Standard & Poor's) Restricted Resource database
A comprehensive source of business and investment information including industry surveys, stock reports, company descriptions and financials, and mutual fund research.

Value Line Investment Survey
REF HG4501 .V26 Restricted Resource database Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
Value Line covers more than 1,700 companies listed on the major U.S. stock exchanges. The "Weekly summary and index" gives ratios, rankings, and price data in an alphabetical list. Detailed listings for each company are arranged in "Ratings and reports" sections, grouped by industry sectors, each introduced with an industry overview. Each also includes Value Line ratings, projections, and betas. The "Weekly selection and opinion" contains predictions about economic conditions and outlook, with profiles on recommended investments.

Manufacturing and Distribution USA: Industry Analyses, Statistics and Leading Companies
REF HD 9721 .M364 [year] Restricted Resource database
Provides statistical information on the U.S. manufacturing sector, including data on major companies within each industry. Data includes financial ratios, employee compensation, sales, and materials consumed within each industry. Arranged by NAICS code.
Note: 2000 - present

Subject Specialist
Picture: Michael Gorman

Michael Gorman
Associate Professor, Research Librarian
MC 140F
(320) 308-2028

Additional resources and information for clients of the Central Minnesota Small Business Development Center can be found here.
Doing Business in Minnesota
Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota  
A compendium of laws and legislation governing the starting of a small business in Minnesota, along with instructions for agreements, filing taxes, incorporating, and so forth. The online version is over 300 pages long; however, a free copy can be requested from the Small Business Office of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (check the online version for contact information).

Positively Minnesota Business Services   
From the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. Resources for the Minnesotan trying to start and/or grow a small business.

Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State: Business, Nonprofit, and UCC
Legal and regulatory information for Minnesota businesspersons, including licensing requirements and forms, a searchable database of business names, and other resources. 
Professional and Trade Associations
United States Small Business Administration Unrestricted Resource
Provides guides for creating business plans and marketing strategies, as well as information about taxes, laws and regulations, and patents and trademarks as they apply to small businesses in the United States. Also links and information for business grants, loans, and venture capital investors.

National Business Incubation Association (NBIA)
Information, education, advocacy and networking for startups and/or small businesses.

SBDCNet - Small Business Development Center, National Information Clearinghouse
Additional Resources

Entrepreneur's Desk Reference: authorative information, ideas and solutions for your small business
REF HB 615 .A72 2003 Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
A glossary of business terminology, definitions and descriptions of use to the new entrepreneur, with each term illustrated with real-life stories and situations.

Harvard Business Schools: Entrepreneurs
A series of online videos featuring interviews with successful entrepreneurs, all of whom are associated with Harvard Business School. Each discuesses "their development as entrepreneurs, strategies for identifying opportunities, and leadership."
A project of the Ewing Marion Kauffmann Foundation, in partnership with the US Department of Commerce's International Trade Administration. offers articles, studies and guidance for entrepreneurs in the United States and overseas. Its mission is "to assist all nations in developing the environment to allow entrepreneurs to organize and operate a business venture, create wealth, and employ people.

Market Research

Market Share Reporter
REF HF5415.M37x Check MnPALS Catalog for Location and Availability
A compilation of market share statistics on companies, products and services, drawn from periodical sources providing a unique source of data for competitive analysis and marketing research. Indexed by SIC code, brand name, product category or company name. Most recent five years are in Reference; older editions are located in the Main Collection.

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