Entrepreneurship and Small Business

Library Guide


Entrepreneurship and Small Business

This guide will introduce you to some of the information tools that you can use in researching products, markets, and competitors, as well as resources that can help you in small business start-up and planning.


Find Books


Consult some of these materials for more information about how to write business plans, how to segment markets, etc.


Marymount Library Catalog

Search by "business planning", "marketing", "market research", "strategic planning" etc., and then click the "subject" button to browse book titles.



          Watch a how-to video to learn the basics of searching the library catalog.




Find Demographic and Statistical Information


Online Resources


Gateway to statistics from over 100 federal agencies. Provides access to the full range of official statistical information produced by the Federal Government without having to know in advance which Federal agency produces which particular statistic.


American FactFinder

Provides population, housing, economic, and geographic data compiled from various censuses and surveys. Get a Fact Sheet for a specific community, or get data on the American community as a whole (use left-hand menu options, for example, "people").


Statistical Abstract of the United States

Standard summary of statistics on the social, political, and economic organization of the United States. The 2010 statistical summary is available now. Also availble in print from the Library: 


California Statistical Abstract

Compiled data on social, economic, and physical aspects of the State, published by the California Dept of Finance.


RAND California

Statistical tables and reports from RAND, one of the nation's premier think tanks. Use "California Statistics" to find data for a specific county, city, or zip code.


Consumer Expenditure Survey

Consists of two surveys collected for the Bureau of Labor Statistics by the Census Bureau that provide information on the buying habits of American consumers, including data on their expenditures, income, and consumer-unit (families and single consumers) characteristics.



Suggested Print Resources


Book Statistical abstract of the United States, 2010                    


Book American men and women : demographics of the sexes   


Book American generations : who they are and how they live.       


Book California, cities, towns & counties.                                      


REF HA 202 A1 S797 2010


REF HC 110 .C6 A43 2000


REF HC 110 .C6 M545 2005


REF HA 261 .C295 2008



Find Information on an Industry


Collecting information about and reporting on the U.S. economy is a big task. Organizing this task by creating a hierarchical classification for the incoming data is an essential part of tackling the job. NAICS is the industry classification system being used to do this job in the U.S. Experienced business analysts, journalists, and economists are all familiar with and use this system.  The U.S. federal government agencies collect and publish industry data regularly.


One of the most efficient ways to search for data on a particular industry is to search by the NAICS industry code. Google does not offer this capability, but specialized search engines, like those below, do.


ProQuest Research Library

Search for industry specific articles by going to "Advanced Search" and then selecting the NAICS search option.



Business & Company Resource

Provides company and industry profiles, financial information, full-text articles and investment reports.  Users can search by various criteria, including company, industry or personal name, ticker symbol, geographic region, subject, and NAICS code.


Business Source Elite

Search over 1,000 scholarly business, management, and economics journals. More than 10,000 substantial company profiles from Datamonitor are also included.



Find Information on a Specific Company


To identify competitors and learn more about their business, refer to the Company Information Research Guide.

For small business research, you may also find it useful to use Google Maps or the Los Angeles Times Business Directory to identify competitors. 



Other Research Needs



Search for manufacturers and for suppliers of parts, components, materials, and equipment.


U.S. Business Advisor

Helps small businesses understand their legal requirements, and locate government services supporting the nation's small business community. Official site of the U.S. Government. Includes guidance on how to write a business plan.


U.S. Small Business Administration

Provides advice and resources for starting up and managing your small business.