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New Venture Research: Associations and Websites

This guide offers a road map to research resources to develop a business plan for the Cornell University community.

Industry Associations

Industry Associations offer a wealth of information on any specific industry. You can find an association for almost every industry. Industry associations, by the nature of their business model, stay close to companies and consumers who make up a particular industry. You can find industry data, consumer usage and behavior information, and (sometimes) association-specific surveys that offer in-depth insights about an industry.

Associations Unlimited: database is available on management library website and offers information on around 460,000 international and U.S. national, regional, state, and local nonprofit membership organizations.

Google: You can find association on Google by searching by the "industry name+ Association." For example, "Beverage+Association" brings up all different associations connected with the beverage industry.


Additional Resources

There are a number of websites that offer important information useful in developing a business plan.

American FactFinder: use this database to obtain a wide variety of demographic data from more than 100 surveys conducted by the Census Bureau. Results can be displayed in either tables or maps.

Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS): This government website offers information on a number of different subjects. The consumer expenditure Survey offers data on household expenditure on different categories including food, apparel, healthcare, and entertainment.

MasterCard Business Plan Handbook: presents the components of a good plan, with in depth explanations of ratios and financial statements.

PewResearchCenter: This website can be helpful in finding data on a number of consumer attitudes and behaviors.

SurveyMonkey: A free/fee-based website to create custom consumer survey for primary research.

The US Small Business Administration: The SBA outlines the entire business planning process with their Small Business Planner this website offers the SEC filings in an easy-to-read format. Use this website to find competitors’ strategy and financials. Entrepreneurs can use comparable company’s financials at the time of the IPO to find out the revenue and cost structure to build pro-forma financial statements for the business plan.