economic development

BPlans.com – The Business Planning Expert
www.bplans.com/

Offers more than 500 free sample business plans that you can view online. It also features videos and recorded webinars on business planning as well interactive calculators to determine cash flow, starting costs, conversion rate, and other figures to use in a business plan. How-to guides cover starting a business, getting funded, growing your business, running an online business, incorporating your business, and buying a business. The company’s Business Plan Pro business planning software is available for purchase through the website.

Business Owner’s Toolkit: Marketing Your Product
www.toolkit.com/small_business_guide/sbg.aspx?nid=P03_0101

Introduces the small business owner to some of the concepts and strategies that professional marketing experts in large companies use. It offers articles and tips on analyzing the market environment; market research; developing and refining your product; packaging and pricing your product; choosing distribution methods; promotion, advertising and PR; building a successful marketing plan; and total quality management.

Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Business Plans and Profile Index
www.clpgh.org/subject/business/bplansindex.html

Lists hundreds of types of small businesses and offers a corresponding sample business plan, profile or book about each type with sources provided for the entry.

Delaware Economic Development Office
dedo.delaware.gov

The Delaware Economic Development Office offers a wide array of business financing programs to meet the needs of virtually any business. Whether you are thinking of locating or expanding a business in Delaware, starting up a small technology-based firm, enhancing a seasoned 100-employee manufacturing company, or focusing on Clean Energy initiatives or Brownfield Redevelopment, we stand ready to respond to your individual needs.

Delaware Small Businesss Development Center
delawaresbdc.org/

Whether you are starting, growing, or expanding your business, the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) can provide seasoned expertise and business knowledge to guide you through the process. Through a variety of services including training, free business advice, business information and research, SBIR/STTR proposal assistance, assistance locating and bidding on government contracts, and many other specialties SBDC can help you take your business to the next level of success. SBDC is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).

Entrepreneur.com
www.entrepreneur.com/

Has a vast array of practical resources for starting a business, buying a franchise, growing a home-based business, business opportunities, money and finance, sales and marketing, management, e-business, technology, and other topics.

Entrepreneurial Connection
www.entrepreneurialconnection.com

Powered by the National Association of the Self-Employed, offers free weekly learning modules and trend alerts on topics vital to the success of the self-employed and micro-entrepreneurs (with less than 10 employees). A free e-newsletter, Get Connected, covers a range of small business issues such as hiring employees, where to find free legal help, going green, creating a marketing plan, avoiding home business mistakes, and succession planning.

How Delaware Compares
www.udel.edu/howdelawarecompares/

How Delaware Compares is an inventory of the state's standing on key quality-of-life and economic indicators. This project not only provides timely Delaware-focused data, but also explores the findings, by including analysis, insight, and context from faculty experts in their respective fields.

Inc.com – Market Research
www.inc.com/guides/marketing/24018.html

Offers a research primer that has a collection of archived Inc. articles about market research, including low-budget suggestions for conducting your own market research.

Innovation in American Regions: Tools for Economic Development
www.statsamerica.org/innovation/index.html

This website provides tools to facilitate relevant insights and help answer the fundamental questions underlying regional development in today's changing economy. The purpose of these tools is to help a region guide strategic discussions about where to invest scarce resources to build prosperity for the next generation. More specifically, these tools enable regional leaders to focus on 2 sets of core assets that create prosperity: brainpower and innovation.

Manta
www.manta.com

Is a free site that contains profiles of more than 64 million businesses and organizations. “The basic company information on Manta is collected by third-party publishers through multiple sources, including public company financials and trade records; public records such as business registrations and government registries; and direct phone calls to businesses.” Using the site’s search function, you can find U.S. companies by business name, business category and geographic location; or you can browse company profiles by location or line of business. Company profiles include address, SIC code, contact name and title, annual sales, number of employees and other data. You can also browse businesses located in Canada, UK, South America, and other worldwide locations. Free registration is required to access some of the options. Additional features, such as lists of new businesses, are available through subscription options.

MarketingSherpa
www.marketingsherpa.com/index.html

Is a subscription service that offers a number of free reports and open access content on its site. You can also sign up for MarketingSherpa’s free weekly case studies, new research data, how-tos, interviews and articles.

MarketResearch.com
www.marketresearch.com/

Is a searchable database of more than 250,000 market research reports from over 650 global publishers. Reports cover all industry sectors, both domestic and international. The site offers free searching, abstracts, and tables of contents, but the actual reports are fee-based, often costing thousands of dollars. You can sometimes buy “by the slice” to get specific pieces of a report.

Mindbranch
www.mindbranch.com/

Is similar to MarketResearch.com in that it aggregates syndicated and custom industry research (more than 90,000 market research reports) from more than 650 independent research firms through a searchable interface. You can also browse by industry or publisher. Searching is free; the actual reports are fee-based. Description and table of contents are available for most reports, and purchased reports are downloadable in PDF format.

Mplans.com
http://www.mplans.com/

Contains a collection of several dozen free sample marketing plans. It also offers how-to articles and advice for writing a marketing plan; a library of articles on all aspects of marketing; and a Business in General blog that offers commentary on small business, marketing and lead generation, business planning, and winning strategies and tactics for growing your business. The website is a free resource owned and operated by Palo Alto Software, Inc., which also sells its marketing software through the site. 

My Own Business
www.myownbusiness.org/

Is a free Internet course for anyone starting a business. It provides 12 lessons covering topics such as business communications, e-commerce and online marketing, international trade, and small business marketing. The course textbook may be purchased for $40.00. Note: the site appears to work best in Internet Explorer.

Rotary Club of Delaware
www.delawarerotary.org/

Rotary is a worldwide organization of more than 1.2 million business, professional, and community leaders. Members of Rotary clubs, known as Rotarians, provide humanitarian service, encourage high ethical standards in all vocations, and help build goodwill and peace in the world. Clubs are nonpolitical, nonreligious, and open to all cultures, races, and creeds. As signified by the motto Service Above Self, Rotary’s main objective is service — in the community, in the workplace, and throughout the world. Sussex County organizations include the Georgetown-Millsboro, Milford, Milford Mispillion, Lewes-Rehoboth Beach, Rehoboth Sunrise, Nanticoke/Seaford, Southern Sussex and Harrington-Greenwood-Felton Contennial clubs.

SurveyMonkey.com
www.surveymonkey.com/

Allows you to create professional online surveys, collect responses, and analyze results via the web. A basic subscription is free and includes all of the basic features of SurveyMonkey. Basic subscribers are limited to a total of 10 questions and 100 responses per survey. A professional subscription is $19.95/month (or only $200.00/year), and includes an unlimited number of surveys, and up to 1,000 responses per month. The service is straightforward and easy to use. Numerous competitors, including Zoomerang,http://www.zoomerang.com/ http://www.diggyinsurance.com, and ConstantContact Online Surveys, http://search.constantcontact.com/survey/index.jsp). Vanguard Vista offers a robust subscription-based survey product, but also provides a free “quick poll” tool, http://www.vista-survey.com/features/quick-poll.htm.

Think Insights with Google
www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/

Forward thinking and rooted in data, Think Insights offers you a one-stop shop for consumer trends, marketing insights and industry research. Stay updated and join the conversation

TRF PolicyMap
www.policymap.com
The Reinvestment Fund (TRF) is a nonprofit community development financial institution that works across the Mid-Atlantic. We've spent the last twenty years financing affordable housing, schools, businesses, supermarkets and other projects that build wealth and opportunity for the people and places that need it the most. And for us, having information about the places in which we invest is a necessity. It's why we built PolicyMap in the first place. Knowledge is power and data should drive the place-based decisions we all make.

University of Delaware – Office of Economic Innovation & Partnerships
www.udel.edu/oeip/

The Office of Economic Innovation and Partnerships works with the University community to turn research discoveries into meaningful inventions. UD's Technology Transfer Center helps protect intellectual property as well as aiding with licensing, commercialization and growth of new enterprises.