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Creating a Business Plan

A Business Plan is the cornerstone of any successful new venture—especially if you are looking for inves-tors or need a loan. Harford County Public Library offers a free Gale Course that might help get you started.—a premier online learning resource offering more than 4,000 courses covering technical skills, creative techniques, business strategies, and more—is now available FREE with your library card..

Search under “Business Plan” for Courses and videos to help you.

Business Plans Handbook

This series from Harford County Public Library’s Gale Virtual Library gives sample plans for a variety of different industries.

Use the search box under Tools to search for your business type.


Doing your Business plan research

Market information

You can find basic information about your market—population, households, age, lifestyle preferences and much more through Harford County Public Library’s Reference USA.

Select US Consumers/Lifestyles and click on Additional Filters. Enter your service area zip codes to zero in on the customers that are most important to your business.


Competitor information

Find your competitors using Harford County Public Library's Reference USA database.

Select US Businesses Database, then Additional Filters. Then select your service area zip codes.


Market Research reports are available through Harford County Public Library's Business Source Premier.

Try adding the term “Market Research” as well as your type of business in your search. Don’t forget to use the quotation marks around the term “Market Research”. That will search for articles that have those two terms appearing together.


Other Local Resources

The Maryland Small Business Development Center has some great cours-es that will prepare you to write a business plan. These include:

  • Developing a Business Plan
  • Conducting Market Analysis
  • Analyze your competition, and
  • Targeting your market
Select the Enter the SBDC Virtual Classroom button for a complete list.