Business Reference on the Net
a presentation by Marylaine Block for for the Prairie Area Library System, September 8, 2004
Indexes -- Directories -- Statistical Data
Company Information -- Personal Finance -- Consumer Info
Small Business -- Marketing -- International Business
Management -- Business Law -- Miscellaneous
Business Indexes and Search Tools
BPubs: the Business Publications Search Engine http://www.bpubs.com/
browse by category or search by keyword through full-text articles from online business web sites and magazines
Business.com: the search engine for business information http://www.business.com/
search for products and services in a directory containing more than 400,000 listings within 25,000 industry, product and service subcategories.
CEOExpress: Business Portal for Executives created by a busy executive http://www.ceoexpress.com/
a selective set of links to news, business publications, travel, reference, office tools, directories, business law, economic data, investments, etc.
Has several search engines, each searching a different body of knowledge. In the Corporate Counsel section, that includes legal news, legal web sites, FindLaw itself, corporate contracts, litigation, case law, and more. To gain access to all these search engines, you need to register your location.
Google Uncle Sam http://www.google.com/unclesam
in my book, the best tool for searching for federal, state, local and international government agencies and information.
LookSmart's FindArticles http://www.findarticles.com/
Indexes full-text articles from over 900 magazines and journals, both articles available free online and a premium collection. Not just a business tool, but useful for any topic. Requires registration to view the full articles.
Thomas Register of American Manufacturers http://thomasregister.com/
search for manufacturers of industrial products and services or brand names, and get product info, online catalog, CAD drawings, and opportunity to order online. Free registration required.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions can be found in one or more of the above sites:
Find articles about the tax consequences of having an Extreme Home Makeover.
Find funding sources for cleanup of brownfields.
Find a copy of the licensing agreement between Microsoft and Expedia.
Directories: Businesses, Organizations, Government
Business Information Directory, Small Business Search Engine http://www.businessnation.com/library/index.html
aimed at small business, this links to articles, business forms and templates, local and regional business assistance sources, and 350,000+ businesses
Hoover's Online: the Business Network http://www.hoovers.com/
free company "capsules" with more detailed info for paid subscribers. Other features: CEOs on Camera, Newsmakers, Small Business Center, free e-mail newsletters, and Newly Updated Company profiles
Internet Public Library - Associations on the Net http://www.ipl.org/div/aon/
over 2,000 associations, browsable and searchable.
Internet Tollfree National Directory http://internettollfree.com/showheadings.cfm?Book=BusinessListings
has city guides and a classified directory. Search by business name or category and location; also lets you store and address book and "search nearby" any of the addresses and offers driving directions. Infospace http://www.infospace.com/info.zip/ does the same sort of thing.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions can be found in one or more of the above sites:
I need a form or model letter for asking permission to use copyrighted material.
Somebody told me I should apply for a CDBG for a housing project. What is that?
Statistical Resources on the Web http://www.lib.umich.edu/govdocs/stats.html
From here, you can get to pretty much any data you want. Browse by category or use the handy detailed subject guide.
Economic Data http://www.usg.edu/galileo/internet/business/econdata.html
another excellent guide; some overlap with the above site, but some unique links as well.
National Bureau of Economic Research http://www.nber.org/
"the nation's leading nonprofit economic research organization." Some data here is free, as are the searchable abstracts of their reports, available for purchase or free to members.
Organizes public opinion data on many topics, gathered by a variety of polling sources
United States Economy at a Glance http://stats.bls.gov/eag/eag.us.htm
All in one charts, the past 6 months official data on unemployment, hourly earnings, CPI, PPI, import prices, employment costs, productivity. Also, quick comparison charts for industries, regions, and individual states.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions can be found in the above sites:
- What kinds of data archives or datasets are available on Americans' health?
- What public opinion data is available about the corporate accounting scandals?
Company and Investment Information
Annual Report Gallery http://www.reportgallery.com/
Claims to be "the most complete and up-to-date listing of Annual Reports online." Search by name of company, ticker symbol, exchange, industry, or sector.
BigCharts -- Interactive Charting http://www.bigcharts.com/
A source for market news, a stock screener tool, and historical stock prices.
Corporate Library http://www.thecorporatelibrary.com/
EDGAR Database http://www.sec.gov/edgar/searchedgar/webusers.htm
search current and historical SEC filings
the mutual fund guide. A lot of good info is free.
when you get flash quotes, you can get expanded and historical chart data, company news, fundamentals, risk analysis, analyst info, real-time filings, and lots more.
"an investor focused search engine that covers the websites of more than 24,000 public companies in over 90 countries, and growing." Search by company name or by keyword (product, industry, service, etc.) or "create a watchlist of keywords and search phrases they will monitor for you.
Searching for Company Information http://www.nypl.org/research/sibl/company/c2index.htm
a research guide from NYPL. Includes an online tutorial.
BIZQUIZ: The answers to these questions can be found in the above sites.
- What was the value of Yahoo stock (YHOO) when I purchased it on January 14, 1997? When I sold it on September 14, 1999?
- I need a risk analysis for Primedia (PRM).
Personal Finance and Money Management
Dollar Stretcher http://www.stretcher.com/index.cfm
A searchable weekly guide to frugal living.
Encyclopedia of Finance http://www.ameritrade.com/education/html/encyclopedia/index.html
Defines terms; also offers tutorials on security analysis and research, mutual funds, retirement planning, etc.
Interactive Tools for Investors http://www.sec.gov/investor/tools.shtml
including mutual fund cost calculator, tax-free vs. taxable yield calculator, retirement calculator, social security calculator
MSN Money Central http://moneycentral.com/home.asp
tips on banking, bills, retirement and wills, taxes, insurance, saving and spending, mortgages and loans. Includes an interactive tax estimate program and a deduction finder.
info on bills and banking, your creditworthiness, investing, home loans, retirement, small business, insurance, etc. And of course, a place to buy Quicken software.
Smart Money http://smartmoney.com/
a magazine, a collection of tools (asset allocator, 401k planner, capital gains, estate taxes, fund screener,etc.), guide to personal finance (college planning, divorce guide, elder care, real estate, etc.) and a small business center that offers excellent advice on startups, taxes, retirement planning, etc.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these will be found in the sites above:
- I need advice on planning an inexpensive wedding.
- I need help figuring out how much money I'll need when I retire in 15 years.
- What exactly is an ETF, and why might I want to invest in one?
FCIC Consumer Action Handbook Online edition http://www.consumeraction.gov/
Tips for before and after you buy, info on filing complaints, links to BBBs and consumer organizations, etc.
Consumer Product Safety Commission http://www.cpsc.gov/
find out about product recalls and report unsafe products here, view their publications on various kinds of products, report unsafe products.
Consumer Protection http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/consumer.htm
"publications with advice on avoiding scams and rip-offs, as well as tips on other consumer topics," including the central resource for identity theft.
Consumer World http://www.consumerworld.org/
"a public service, non-commercial guide cataloging over 2000 of the most useful consumer resources," including bargains and discounts, product reviews, price comparisons, etc.
view the users' opinions of a variety of consumer products and services. Find the highest rated and lowest rated products in any given category.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions can be found on the above sites:
- Where do I report somebody making use of my good credit?
- Where can I find dealers' costs for new cars?
- I'd like to see some reviews of the HP desk jet 5550 printer.
Small Business Resources
**CCH Business Owners' ToolKit http://www.toolkit.cch.com/
includes downloadable checklists and business forms, a human resources toolkit, and a guidebook for small businesses with chapters on financing, marketing, setting up your office, controlling your taxes, competing for government contracts, and more.
**EnterWeb: Small Business Portal http://www.enterweb.org/menu.htm#topics
"an annotated meta-index and information clearinghouse on enterprise development, business, finance, international trade and the economy in this new age of cyberspace and globalization." the "knowledge portal for small business." Topics include financing, marketing, cyberbusiness, incubators, law, women in business, etc, as well as guides to doing business abroad.
"A video archive that captures insights from leading members of the [Harvard Business] School's entrepreneurial community. Entrepreneurs speak on a common set of themes including their development as entrepreneurs, strategies for identifying opportunity, and leadership." Each is available as both video and transcript, and includes links to related HBS case studies.
** Inc.com http://www.inc.com/
your basic small business magazine provides a searchable archive of articles, a search engine for software and vendor white papers, and resource centers for a variety of functions: recruitment, business travel, sales and networking, etc.
the Franchise Handbook Online http://www.franchise1.com/
Includes a database of franchise opportunities, a collection of articles, a message board, and more.
Online Women's Business Center http://www.onlinewbc.gov/
Particularly useful for networking and finding a mentor.
SBA: Small Business Administration Home Page http://www.sbaonline.sba.gov/
SCORE: Service Corps of Retired Executives http://www.score.org/
includes articles, web resources, an e-newsletter, and a chance to find an online or in-person mentor for your business, or nearby SCORE workshops.
Small Business State Profiles http://www.sba.gov/ADVO/stats/profiles/
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions may be found in one or more of the sites above.
- How can my business bid for government contracts?
- I'd like advice on how to evaluate a franchisor's offer.
Marketing and Advertising
Advertising Age http://www.adage.com/
searchable news and special reports from the weekly trade publication, but it does require registration.
Advertising [About.com] http://advertising.about.com/
Annotated guide to key resources in the field, plus a forum and a personal guide.
Advertising Law in the Virtual Chase Legal Research Guide http://www.virtualchase.com/resources/adlaw.shtml
Annotated guide to key online resources.
American Demographics http://www.demographics.com/
This magazine is the key resource for analysis of the demographics and buying tastes of the American public. The articles are available only to subscribers, but searching the database is free (and many of you have American Demographics as part of your periodical databases).
American Marketing Association http://www.marketingpower.com/
The best practices and the marketing tools sections will be of particular interest. There's also a marketing dictionary.
KnowThis: for Marketing, Market Research... http://www.knowthis.com/
A virtual library of marketing knowhow.
Marketingprofs.com - Marketing Know-How from Professors and Professionals
Includes articles, tutorials, a forum (the Know-How Exchange), marketing FAQ, the "hottest how-to's," and selected links. Some content is free; the rest requires an inexpensive subscription.
guide to pre-packaged marketing data, for sale (not cheap) for virtually any product
Subscribe to free e-mail newsletters on emerging trends.
BIZQUIZ: You can find answers to these questions in the resources above:
- What does the term "Majority Fallacy" mean in marketing?
- I need techniques for building a brand for my library.
BBC News - Business http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/default.stm
Excellent daily international business coverage and international market reports; entire content of BBC News is searchable.
The US government portal for export info: finding trade leads, info about doing business in each country (some info restricted to registered users), video market reports
Executive Planet: Business Culture, Customs and Etiquette
How to avoid giving offense while doing business with people of other cultures. Acceptable public conduct, attire, entertainment, forms of address, topics of conversation, etc. Arranged by country. 35 countries are covered.
Foreign Trade Statistics http://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/www/
International Business Information on the Web - Links
Web accompaniment to Sheri Lanza's book.
Trade Information Center http://www.trade.gov/td/tic/
tariff and tax info, answers to export questions, etc.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions may be found in the sources above:
- I need to know about product labeling law in Spain.
- What countries buy more from us than we buy from them?
- I need to know what stock exchanges there are in Latin America
Free Complete Toolkit for Boards
What first-time board members need to know -- responsibilities, creating successful committees, conducting good meetings, evaluating executives, and links to other articles and resources.
Free Management Library for For-Profit and Nonprofit Organizations http://www.managementhelp.org/topics.htm
Human Resources at About.com http://humanresources.about.com/
IT Management Resources - ZDNet http://techupdate.zdnet.com/cost_control.html
Includes planning toolkits, job aid toolkits, white papers, and more.
OSHnet Gateway for Safety and Health Information http://osh.net/
SHRM HR Links http://www.shrm.org/hrlinks/
Wachowitz' Web World: Web Sites for Discerning Finance Students http://web.utk.edu/~jwachowi/wacho_world.html
links selected to accompany one of the basic texts in financial management.
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions can be found in one or more of the resources above:
- What do I have to do to comply with the Drug-Free Workplace Act?
- What diseases and injuries are associated with specific job tasks?
- I'm a new nonprofit board member, and I don't know how to go about evaluating the performance of our chief executive.
** Legal Information Institute at Cornell: Law about... http://www.law.cornell.edu/topics/topic1.html
Roundups of federal, administrative, state and case law on a wide variety of topics.
Business and General Legal Forms from the 'Lectric Law Library http://www.lectlaw.com/formb.htm
forms for various kinds of contracts, assignments, warranties, agreements, etc.
includes "plain English" guides and tutorials, state and local government resources, a compliance assistance guide, and more. Search through BusinessLaw.gov, state and local government sites, or regulatory sites.
Business Law Site: articles, checklists, research http://www.methvenlaw.com/
Articles and links on topics like raising capital, electronic commerce, copyright and trademarks, contracts, employee law, etc., as well as links to research tools.
Code of Federal Regulations http://www.gpoaccess.gov/cfr/index.html
search by keyword
ELaws Advisors: Employment Laws Assistance for Workers and Small Business http://www.dol.gov/elaws/ -- info on retirement and health benefits, disability, safety & health standards, wages & hours, etc.
As mentioned above, the corporate counsel portion offers unusually rich business resources.
Intellectual Property Law Server http://www.intelproplaw.com/
Job Accommodation Network Americans with Disabilities Act Document Center http://www.jan.wvu.edu/links/adalinks.htm
Uniform Commercial Code http://www.law.cornell.edu/ucc/ucc.table.html -- Full text and searchable.
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission http://www.eeoc.gov/
US Patent and Trademark Office Home Page http://www.uspto.gov/
BIZQUIZ: Answers to these questions are available in one or more of the above sources:
- I need a form for assigning copyright.
- I'd like to find out about contracting opportunities with Iowa's state government.
- Is it legal for my employer to deny me pregnancy-related benefits because I'm not married?
Other Useful Resources
Business Daily Review
The same folks who select the most interesting arts stories in Arts & Letters Daily [http://www.aldaily.com/] and science stories in SciTech Daily Review [http://www.scitechdaily.com/] now select the most interesting stories from business magazines and news sources on the web, and its archive is now searchable. BIZQUIZ: find articles about creating "buzz" for your business.
Business Ethics Forum http://www.managementlogs.com/business_ethics.html