UCB Libraries

BCOR 1010: Introduction to Business

This is the guide for the BCOR 1010, Introduction to Business. This guide walks through the resources to use when conducting your research. This guide can be used to find resources or to remember the research process, each tab can be used independently, but it is recommended that everyone start on the "Getting Started" tab.

  • Getting Started
  • Context
  • Marketing
  • Accounting & Finance
  • Operations
  • HR/Management
  • More Help
  • All the Resources in this Guide
Useful Library Resources

  • Business Library Home Page
    The Business Library web site links to all of the resources (and much more) mentioned in this guide, in addition you can browse for specific resources using the drop down menu at the top to find resources on a particular topic.
  • How do I...?
    These guides provide quick tips on how to find books, cite resources, and much more.
  • Off-Campus Access
    If you do your research away from campus, you may wish to connect through the VPN. The VPN software makes it appear as though you are accessing the Library's subscription resources from on campus, thus reducing the need to log in to each subscription database. If you are not identified as a member of the CU community, the websites or publishers may ask you to pay for access.
    NOTE: Some of our databases require a VPN connection. Those databases are indicated on this guide with this icon: VPN icon
    If you encounter problems with the VPN, contact OIT at http://oit.colorado.edu/vpn
  • Chinook, the library catalog
    While the majority of your research will be conducted in databases, you may want to check out the library catalog to see if there are any books, government reports or anything else that might be able to assist you with your project.
Starting your Research

Before starting your research, there are a few steps that will make it much easier.

Get started by filling in this table, which you will continue to update as you search.
Your Company:                                                                                                      
Industry:                                                                                                      
Competitors/Similar Companies                                                                                                      

Identify your Industry

My company:
I want to start a company that will make dog toys and then sell them online and to retail stores.

My industries: I am a dog toy manufacturer and online dog toy store.

BUT...
You need to be prepared to get more or less detailed depending on the resource being searched. Think about what stores are (retail) and try that term. You can also try another word for your company's area (in this case, pet instead of dog). Not all industry reports distinguish between online and physical stores, so try eliminating online when searching for industries.

Identify Similar Companies

If you are having trouble identifying your industry, often you can approach the issue sideways. Think about similar companies and researching the industries they belong to.

My company: I want to start a company that will make dog toys and then sell them online and to retail stores.

Similar companies: Kong, Nylabone

This only works if you know of similar companies, see the context tab for help researching this question using ReferenceUSA CU.
Context is the economic, governmental, environmental and social climate in which a business operates.

Choose from the databases listed below for help finding the resources you need for your project.
+ Hoover's
Hoover's CU VPN icon is a good source for both company and industry information. It is a great place to begin researching the context of your company.

You can search across all the tabs or search for a particular company or industry by using those tabs.

Hoover's Industry Categories
A few highlights on Industry Index:

Companies List: Having trouble finding names of similar companies? Check this out for a list of companies that operate in this industry (the companies are linked to full company profiles).

Associated Industry Codes: These are the SIC and NAICS codes for your industry. These codes can be used to search in databases and will take you more quickly to the resources you are looking for.

Hoover's Company Categories

A few highlights on Company Index:
Competition: This provides information on the competitors, but sometimes the results are less useful. Depending on the SIC and NAICS for your company, these results can end up with a mix of holding companies or even companies with only a slight relation to the aspect you are interested in. It is important to look at what codes Hoovers assigns under Industry Information.

Industry Information: This provides links to all the industries the company belongs to as well as their SIC and NAICS codes for the industries.


+ IBIS World Industry Reports

IBIS World Industry Reports CU (Accessible until March 10, 2014) provides an overview of different aspects of Industry Research.

 

Search a product or industry to find Reports listed by NAICS Industry Codes. See sections containing information about competitiors, and other key statistics for the industry.

+ Business Insights: Global
Business Insights: Global CU provides both industry and company information and is another good place to start your research.

Business Insights: Global Searching
While you can browse a particular area of interest (case studies, companies, etc.), the easiest option is to search and then use the filters to refine your results.

Want to start an advertising agency in Colorado? The video below demonstrates how to browse the company finder to find your local competitors: Unable to display content. Adobe Flash is required.
+ Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage

Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage CU provides information on selected industries and detailed company financials.

Industry Surveys

S&P NetAdvantage's has fewer industry surveys than Hoover's and Business Insights: Global, and they tend to be focused on bigger industries. Despite that, if your industry is covered by S&P you will find a deeper analysis, for example: Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage Industry Report
One nice feature of this report is the "How to Analyze a..." section. This report is for determining the value of a particular company, but it also outlines factors that potential investors will consider.

Tip: If you can't determine your industry try going at the problem sideways. Search a company similar to yours (for example, Amazon for a major online retail company) and see which industry they are a part of.

+ ReferenceUSA
ReferenceUSA CU is a great source of information on competitors.

The University of Texas at Austin has created a great video demonstrating how to make a list of companies in ReferenceUSA:
+ Business Source Complete
Business Source Complete CU is a great for finding SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats) analyses, as well as articles on your industry.

Tip: Remember the SIC and NAICS codes you found in some of the other sources? You can use those here as a search term to guarantee relevant results.
Business Source Complete Results Screen

This search for 453910 and SWOT brings us back all the SWOT analyses on Pet and Pet Supplies Stores.
+ GREENR
GREENER CU provides articles, statistics, and case studies on issues relating to the environment, energy and natural resources.

Tip: Search the basic search box at the top with corporate social responsibility and the name of your industry or company.

Want more information on social responsibility issues? Check out the Business Library's Business Ethics / Social Responsibility page.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines marketing as "the action, business, or process of promoting and selling a product, etc., including market research, advertising, and distribution" ("marketing, n.". OED Online. June 2012. Oxford University Press. 28 August 2012).

Choose from the databases listed below for help finding the resources you need for your project.
+ Mintel

Mintel CU provides market research containing information on consumer trends, demographic profiles, brand share dynamics and market drivers. There are over 800 individual reports now available in 13 categories, with data covering US and select International Markets.

You need to register using your colorado.edu email address to use this database.
Mintel Create Profile

Once you are signed in to Mintel, search for products, companies, or demographics (i.e. iphone, Apple, teens). Your results will contain News, Analyst Insights, or Reports. News are short stories about companies, while Analysts Insights examine a trend in the market, and what it means to the researcher. A report will contain the most in depth information about a market or market segment.

+ Tablebase
Tablebase CU provides data and statistics on a variety of markets. Want to know the number of cell phone users who downloaded apps this year? Or maybe you want to know how much consumers in the US have spent on their pets over the past ten years? All of this data can be found in here.

This database is purely tables, thus the table in the name, so if you are looking for in-depth reports this is not the place to go.
+ Hoover's
Hoover's CU VPN icon can provide marketing information, but you will need a list of similar companies to your industry first. You can find that by searching for your industry and clicking on the top companies or search directly for the company.
Hoover's Company Categories

A few highlights on Company Index:
Competition: This provides information on the competitors, but sometimes the results are less useful. Depending on the SIC and NAICS for your company, these results can end up with a mix of holding companies or even companies with only a slight relation to the aspect you are interested in. It is important to look at what codes Hoovers assigns under Industry Information.

Industry Information: This provides links to all the industries the company belongs to as well as their SIC and NAICS codes for the industries.
There are a number of sources that can help you discover information on accounting and finance issues for your company and industry.

Tip: One of the keys to remember when looking for accounting and financial information is the public versus private company issue. Private companies are not required to share their financial information. If your major competitor is a private company and these resources do not help, please click the More Help tab and contact the library for additional resources.

Choose from the databases listed below for help finding the resources you need for your project.
+ Hoover's
Hoover's CUVPN icon is a good source for both company and industry information and is a great place to begin researching the accounting & finance for your company.

You can search across all the tabs or search just for a particular company or industry by using those tabs.

Hoover's Industry Categories
A few highlights of Industry Index:

Financials: This resource gives you basic information on the financials of this industry along with some nice charts.

Associated Industry Codes: These are the SIC and NAICS codes for your industry. These codes can be used to search in many of the other databases and will like you more quickly to exactly what you are looking for.

Hoover's Company Categories

A few highlights of Company Index:
Financials: You will get not only detailed information on the financial operations of your company, but also information on their prospective financial outputs and comparison to the industry as a whole.

Industry Information: This provides links to all the industries the company belongs to as well as their SIC and NAICS codes for the industries.


+ Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage
Standard & Poor's NetAdvantage CU provides information on selected industries and detailed company financials.

Industry Surveys

S&P NetAdvantage's has fewer industry surveys than Hoover's and Business Insights: Global, and they tend to be focused on bigger industries. Despite that, if your industry is covered by S&P you will find a deeper analysis, for example: Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage Industry Report
You can find financial information under Key Industry Ratios and Statistics and you can compare company financials under Comparative Company Analysis.

Tip: If you can't determine your industry try going at the problem sideways. Search a company similar to yours (for example, Amazon for a major online retail company) and see which industry they are a part of.

Company Profiles

Use S&P NetAdvantage CU to find statistics on individual companies. You can make charts comparing stocks to various indices time frames from 1 day to 10 years, find vital statistics such as valuation, dividends, estimates, financials and even reports comparing them to their major competitors.
+ Mergent Online
Mergent CU provides access to a vast archive of corporate and industry related documents.

Sounds great? The disadvantage to Mergent versus the other sources is that their industry reports are only available in PDF and the company information is mostly only available in .html format without a download option. That being said, the reports are up to date, relevant and very comprehensive.

Company Search

One of the nice features of the company search in Mergent CU is that if you have a company that works in multiple industries all of those industries will be listed in the Industry Reports tab.

You will also find financial reports on profitability, liquidity, and stocks. In the Reports section you will find Equity Reports with an analysis of the company itself with buy, sell or hold recommendations.

Industry Reports
Mergent CU is searchable by company name for an industry report or browse the industry and/or region. If you are using the drop-down menus we would recommend choosing your region, unless you are planning on foreign markets.
The operation of your company can be explored in a variety of ways, the databases below will help you begin that exploration.

Choose from the databases listed below for help finding the resources you need for your project.
+ Business & Management Practices
Business & Management Practices CU provides links to articles from journals and trade publications on practical issues of management.
Business and Management Practices Advanced Search
Under Department choose "Operations" (as seen in the image) and then type in the issue you are interested in, for example if you want information on shipping you could put "Shipping" in the title box.
+ Business Source Complete
Business Source Complete CU is a great source of articles on operations.

Tip: Use the term "Operations Research" in Subject Terms in the drop down in combination with your topic to discover articles focused on operations issues.
+ IBIS World Industry Reports

IBIS World Industry Reports CU (Accessible until March 10, 2014) provides an overview of different aspects of Industry Research.

 

Search a product or industry to find Reports listed by NAICS Industry Codes. See section about Operating Conditions, which includes supply and capital concerns.

+ Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage
Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage CU provides information on selected industries and detailed company financials.

Industry Surveys

S&P NetAdvantage's has fewer industry surveys than Hoover's and Business Insights: Global, and they tend to be focused on bigger industries. Despite that, if your industry is covered by S&P you will find a deeper analysis, for example: Standard and Poor's NetAdvantage Industry Report
The nice feature of this report is the "How the Industry Operates" section. This report provides information on the roles of various sectors of the industry and how they function.

Tip: If you can't determine your industry try going at the problem sideways. Search a company similar to yours (for example, Amazon for a major online retail company) and see which industry they are a part of.
The resources below will help you begin to explore and discover information on both the practice and people needed for HR Management.

Choose from the databases listed below for help finding the resources you need for your project.
+ Business & Management Practices
Business & Management Practices CU provides links to articles from journals and trade publications on practical issues of management.
Business and Management Practices Advanced Search
Under Department choose "Management" (as seen in the image) and then type in the issue you are interested in, for example if you want information on shipping you could put "diversity" in the title box.
+ ReferenceUSA
ReferenceUSA CU is a great source of information on competitors.

This means that you can find here the number of employees in similar businesses as well as information in business demographics on expenditures, such as office supplies and equipment.
+ Occupational Outlook Handbook
Occupational Outlook Handbook from the US Department of Labor provides information on salaries, working conditions, future prospects and much more on particular careers.

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SIC, Standard Industrial Classification, and NAICS, North American Industrial Classification System, are used by companies in the US, Mexico and Canada to identify their industry category.