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Virtual Business Information Center

Entrepreneurship Resources


Starting a New Business

The first step in creating a new business is to come up with a concept or an idea that can be developed into a product, or service or new technology that will satisfy two criteria.  First the product or service must solve a problem, meet a need or create a new need in a manner that others have not exploited.  In other words, there must be an opportunity that the entrepreneur can fulfill.  Second the product or service must offer a greater value to the consumers than the cost for them to acquire that product or service.

Meeting these two criteria can be a difficult and frustrating process, necessitating a partnership between the entrepreneur and the business librarian who is knowledgeable about the fundamental resources applicable to each step of the startup process.  The Plan of Action below lists the questions and steps the entrepreneur needs to consider and provides links to suggested resources that will supply the entrepreneur with some of the data and information needed.  Additional survey research, networking and outreach may be necessary to supply other critical information.

Business Startup Plan of Action

1. What is the need to be fulfilled or the problem to be solved?

Entrepreneur's Action: Brainstorming, deliberating, evaluating, analyzing the needs, frustrations, irritations of the entrepreneur and others to determine if a potential business opportunity exists

2. What is the number and characteristics of people with that need?

Entrepreneur's Action: Determine the strength of the need in the market, market size, consumer behavior, attitudes/demographics, and purchasing habits.

Librarian suggestions:  Use Mintel database.  Refer to Consumer Analysis topic section for more resources on consumers.

3. Who are or might be competitors in meeting that need?

Entrepreneur's Action: Assess what companies or organizations are likely to compete in meeting the need and what are the strengths, weaknesses, and strategies of those entities. 

Librarian Suggestions: Use Mergent Intellect IBISWorld and Passport to learn about competitors.  Refer to Competitors topic section for more resources on competitors.

4. How will the industry size and structure impact the startup?

Entrepreneur's Action: Evaluate how the size, structure, culture and trends in the industry will impact the startup operations and risks.

Librarian Suggestions: Use IBISWorldMergent Intellect and Passport databases to gather information on industry trends, challenges, opportunities and threats.  Refer to Industry Analysis topic section for more resources on industry trends, challenges, opportunities and threats.

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Lily Griner at
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