Small Business Resources at CPL

Starting a small business? Need information to help you with your current business? Want some inspiration? Here are some print and online resources with the information you need to fuel your entrepreneurial spirit and grow your business from the ground up. 

Helpful Books

Also available in: e-book

Want to start a business? Don't know where to begin? Start here. The Small Business Start-Up Kit shows you how to set up a small business in your state, quickly and efficiently clearing state and local bureaucratic hurdles along the way.

It'll show you how to choose between an LLC and other business structures, write an effective business plan, pick a winning business name and protect it, get the proper licenses and permits, price, bid, and bill your projects, manage finances and taxes, hire and manage staff, get your website up and running, and market your business effectively, online and off.

The 10th edition is completely updated, with the latest legal and tax rules affecting small businesses, plus social media and e-commerce trends and platforms.

Also available in: e-book | e-audiobook

Small Business for Dummies provides authoritative guidance on every aspect of starting and growing your business, from financing and budgeting to marketing, management, and beyond.

This completely practical, no-nonsense guide gives you expert advice on everything from generating ideas and locating start-up money to hiring the right people, balancing the books, and planning for growth. You'll get plenty of help in ramping up your management skills, developing a marketing strategy, keeping your customers loyal, and much more. You'll also find out how to use the latest technology to improve your business's performance at every level.

Fully updated with new laws and regulations, this comprehensive resource provides current and prospective small-business owners valuable insight and guidance for not only starting a business, but also successfully running one. Included are suggestions for marketing wisely and cheaply; tips for managing cash flow, including credit and collections; techniques for creating a business plan that serves as an organizational blueprint and earns financial backing; and suggestions for how to control your tax liabilities. Effective approaches to managing human resources are also examined, including payroll, benefits, hiring, and firing. Case studies, checklists, and model business plans are included.

Starting an independent new business is rife with both opportunity and risk. And as an entrepreneur, you're the one in charge: your actions can make or break your business. You need to know the tried-and-true fundamentals - from writing a business plan to getting your first loan. You also need to know the latest thinking on how to create an irresistible pitch deck, mitigate risk through experimentation, and develop unique opportunities through business model innovation.

The HBR Entrepreneur's Handbook addresses these challenges and more with practical advice and wisdom from Harvard Business Review's archive. In the HBR Entrepreneur's Handbook you'll find step-by-step guidance through the entrepreneurial process, concise explanations of the latest research and thinking on entrepreneurship from Harvard Business Review contributors such as Marc Andreessen and Reid Hoffman, time-honed best practices, and stories of real companies.

The Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook is a practical guide for turning your entrepreneurial dreams into a successful company, from America’s most trusted source of financial advice. It answers would-be business owners’ biggest question—how do I fund my venture?—then explains the mechanics of building, running, and growing a profitable business. You’ll learn:
• How to write a winning business plan
• Secrets to finding extra money during the lean years and beyond
• Ways to keep your stress in check while maintaining a work/life balance
• How to manage your time, including taking vacations and dealing
   with sick days
• Strategies for keeping your business running smoothly—from investing
   in technology to hiring the right people
•  Marketing and management basics
• When angel investors or venture capital might be an appropriate way
   to grow
• How to execute your exit strategy

Also available in: e-book

Whether you're just starting a small business, or your business is already up and running, legal questions crop up on an almost daily basis. Ignoring them can threaten your enterprise--but hiring a lawyer to help with routine issues can devastate the bottom line.

The Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business has helped more than a quarter million entrepreneurs and business owners master the basics, including how to raise start-up money, decide between an LLC or other business structure, save on business taxes, get licenses and permits, choose the right insurance, negotiate contracts and leases, avoid problems if you're buying a franchise, hire and manage employees and independent contractors, attract and keep customers (and get paid on time), and limit your liability and protect your personal assets.

Whether you're a sole proprietor, or an LLC or corporation, a one-person business operating out of your home, or a company with a large staff leasing space, this book will help you start and run a successful business.

Other Print Resources

If the above books aren't available, or if you are looking for more, you can use the following links to search our catalog by subject heading:

Business planning


New business enterprises 

New business enterprises - Finance

New business enterprises - Management

New business enterprises - Planning

Small business

Small business - Taxation


Or, if you feel like browsing in the stacks, head over to these sections in the library:

332............Financial Economics

346.73.......Copyright & Patents

650............Business (general)


658............Business Management

658.022.....Small Business

658.152.....Business Proposals/Plans & Grant Writing

658.3.........Human Resources


CPL Databases

You can find even more useful information with some of our databases. Use the subject headings listed above to search, enter in your own keywords, or browse by topic. 

Small Business Reference Center

Search small business reference books, business videos, start-up information by state, sample business plans, start-up forms, and industry information by small business type.

EBSCO eBooks Business Collection

Search a tailored collection of ebooks for professionals, students, and entrepreneurs on topics ranging from necessary legal forms, taxation, and accounting to tips and tricks for small businesses.

GaleBusiness: DemographicsNow

(Sign in with your Michigan driver's license number.)

Find population reports, Census data, and maps to help you understand your market. Research individuals and businesses and create market research lists and reports.

Gale Courses

Take classes taught by real professionals on a variety of topics related to business, including starting your own business, general business skills, sales and marketing, business law, and business writing. Classes start monthly but can be completed according to your schedule.

Government & Nonprofit Organizations

Finally, consider visiting these websites for necessary forms, advice, networking, and workshops:

US Small Business Administration

Resources to plan, launch, and grow your business. Find free business counseling and information on business loans and government contracts.

IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center

Find basic federal tax information and forms along with information to assist in making business decisions, including a checklist for starting a business.

Michigan Small Business Development Center

Find local workshops, business consulting, and information on business plan development, market research, raising capital, financial management, and human resources.

Wayne County Business Services

Get entrepreneurial support such as a business plan review, co-working and incubator space, consulting, training, workshops, marketing and advertising, market research, demographic trends, location analysis, and strategic planning and business expansion.

Canton Chamber of Commerce

Engage in networking, find information about local markets, and attend workshops to develop your business management skills. Get advice and meet other entrepreneurs.

Need More Information?

If you are still looking for more information, don't hesitate to ask one of our librarians for help. You might also want to check out our webpage on Business Resources for even more support and links to useful organizations.