The importance of planning cannot be overemphasized. By taking an objective look at your business, you can identify areas of strengths and weaknesses, pinpoint needs you might have overlooked, spot problems before they arise, and begin planning how you can best achieve your business goals.
The one-stop shop for the development of your business plan. Bplans.com contains the largest single online collection of free sample business plans. In addition, it has helpful tools and know-how for managing your business. Bplans.com includes practical advice on planning, interactive tools, and calculators.
This site offers resources for business planning. It includes different types of tools and examples of various plans. The "strategy insight" portion allows entrepreneurs to test their own business plans.
A premiere web site for retail executives. Chain Store Age delivers a wealth of information on retailing trends and the forces behind them, with regular sections covering: retail technology, merchandising, shopping center development, marketing, physical support systems, finance, legislative affairs, security, store design and visual display, strategic planning and human resources, distribution, and transportation.
California Downtown Association (CDA) is committed to the long term preservation and prosperity of business districts everywhere and has been helping property owners and planners who are looking to become a catalyst within their community.
The Entrepreneur magazine site contains information and advice for startups, home businesses, and franchises. The small business center focuses on a different topic every week. The site includes how-to guides, business news, and an "opportunity finder" where visitors can browse business prospects based on investment output or category.
Entrepreneurship.org features a vast array of content and resources to assist entrepreneurs, business mentors, policy makers, academics, and investors through each phase of the entrepreneurial process. The content ranges from resources entrepreneurs need to launch a company, to policies and research that has been conducted regarding entrepreneurship.
Envirosell is a behavioral market research and consulting company that specializes in examining consumer shopping behavior using a combination of in-store video recording, observation, and customer intercept interviews.
A guide that outlines how to write an accurate and comprehensive business plan. It details ideas and strategies to have the best chance of funding and to help a business owner understand his own business.
ICSC champions small and emerging businesses in getting from business plan to brick-and-mortar. They are committed to fostering their sustainability and growth with practical resources and educational opportunities.
The NRF Foundation is the center for the collection and dissemination of information about retailing. As such, the Foundation is the link between retailing's past, present, and future. The Foundation conducts research and education programs and promotes awareness of retailing's community involvement.
The SCORE Association (Service Corps of Retired Executives) is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration. SCORE is dedicated to aiding in the formation, growth, and success of small businesses nationwide.
Census Data contains statistics about population, housing, industry, business, and your community. It has a list of U.S. Census Bureau products and can be used to create reference maps and quick thematic maps. You can also search for specific U.S. Census data.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is dedicated to providing customer-oriented, full-service programs, and both accurate and timely information to the entrepreneurial community. SBA helps businesses across the country through what we call the "3 C's" of our service: capital, contracts, and counseling.
As part of the Northern California SBDC network, the Alameda County Small Business Development Center (ACSBDC) serves all of Alameda County and is hosted by Main Street Launch. We work hands-on with entrepreneurs and business owners to address challenges, seize opportunities and grow our clients’ bottom line.
The Wall Street Journal Center for Entrepreneurs site includes a searchable database of business opportunities, franchises, and companies. Sections include "how-to," "ideas," "financing," and "running a business." The "toolkit" section includes information on creating a business plan and a function for performing a trademark search.
Vistage provides monthly forums for entrepreneurs to work on their businesses. Vistage facilitates groups for chief executives, key executives, division leaders, professional service providers, high school students, and college students. On the site is a preview of Vistage's topics, ranging from setting goals to negotiating business deals.