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MA 101- Introduction to Business


Where do I look up information on a business plan? How do I know the resources are credible?

Library Catalog
Try a keyword search, business plans for example. Click a title that seems relevant and look at the subject terms. Consider clicking a subject term to generate a list of materials linked to that same subject term or main idea.

Another trick is to click a call number to see what is on the shelf nearby. You will be able to tell if that section of the collection is useful to your research. Write down a few call numbers and pay attention to where the item is located (MAIN vs. REF vs. DVD).

Go to google, advanced search. Where it says domain, type either org or gov. Type business plans in the exact phrase bar. Sites from org and gov tend to be more reliable as the institution is not posting information to make a profit. Watch out for Wikipedia, an org site. It has come out in the news recently that companies edit their own information on Wikipedia removing anything negative in the process. For tips on analyzing a web page, and making a decision whether the information is reliable, see Five Criteria for Evaluating Web Pages.


What businesses are similar to the one I will establish? How did they get started?

Click databases by subject, International Business and Logistics, and Business and Company Resource Center. Find it in the alphabetical list of databases and click it again.

Click Industry. Type one or two words that describe your industry in the Enter Industry Description box and click Search Descriptions. Bars and pubs are actually "drinking establishments." If you can't find your industry listed, come to the library between 8:00 and 4:30, Monday through Friday, or email to get help.

Look at either the SIC or NAICS descriptions and click on one of them. You will probably get an industry snapshot that includes current conditions and growth figures. There is a list of further readings at the end of the article.

At the top of the page are several tabs including Company Profile. If you click it, you can see a list of similar companies operating in this industry. By clicking a company name, occasionally you will be able to click the tab Histories, and read up on the company's beginnings. More often, you will have to research the company through Business and Company Resource Center, Business Source Premier and ProQuest Newspapers.

Databases list current articles first. By reading the oldest articles on a company, you will be able to trace the development and history of the company. Occasionally, you'll find an article that does that for you, but more often, you'll have to plug through several articles to develop a snapshot of the company's beginnings.

Tips for Database Searching (Articles)

  • Always used advanced search when looking for articles in databases.
  • Don't change the default search setting to the right of the search bar. Often it will read keyword, or word, or select a field, or descriptors. The words you type into the search bar will be taken from the article's title, abstract, subject terms, and other fields.
  • Many databases including Business Source Premier, provide subject terms, sometimes called keywords or descriptors in the article record. Think of subject terms as main ideas. If you can find a subject term that describes your topic, such as the name of the company, click it to generate a list of all articles having that subject term as a main idea. If the subject term is too general, add a word after it is clicked to make it more specific.
  • As a rule, when two words are typed together, the database interprets the words as a phrase. To avoid making a phrase, put the word and between the words, or just type them on two separate lines
    boden and clothing
  • Synonyms or like concepts may be searched by using parentheses and the word or.
    (beginning* or histor* or start) and boden and clothing
  • An asterisk represents any number of letters after the last letter typed.
    History, histories and historical are all being searched.


Library Catalog
If it's a Maine company or a large, well known one, search for the company's name in the library catalog or through MaineCat.


What are some resources for new businesses?

Library Catalog

Try subject searches on the following terms. You will find many resources in our library and through MaineCat.

New Business Enterprises
Small Business
Success in Business

These are the main ideas of the books, videos, etc., and to the right, the number of materials in our library having that main idea. Click on the subject heading to get a list of titles in our library. Take your search further by clicking Search MaineCat at the top of the screen.

Nutting Memorial Library's Best of Business Websites

single most useful website in the Best of Business Websites is U.S. Small Business Administration.


Where should I establish this new business? Where is there a market?

Economic Census
Every five years the U.S. compiles economic data from the local to national level. There is a huge amount of information available by state and by industry.


How do I cite these resources?
Examples for all kinds of documents/citation styles here. Or, try an automatic citation generator. Here's another one. The generators, according to the authors, do make errors. Check the results.




Nutting Memorial Library, Maine Maritime Academy, Box C-1, Pleasant Street, Castine, ME 04420 (207) 326-2263

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