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Starting a Small Business Guide - LSC-North Harris


Starting Point

Keywords and Search Strategy

  • Brainstorm about the keywords that best represent the main idea of your topic.  Think of synonyms and related terms.
  • keywords to find general articles or books on starting a business: 
    staring a business | business start-up | entrepreneurship 
  • keywords to find books on specialized business topics: 
    business plans | business and marketing | business and financing
  • Think about the type of business you would like to open.  If you need ideas, browse library books and websites on starting a business (take a look at Entrepreneur's startup kits). 
  • keywords to find books or articles on starting a business in a particular field or industry: 
    business and day care | child day care | elderly day care
    business and cosmetology | business and hair salon | business and hair styling


Research Databases

Find e-books, streaming videos, and articles from magazines, newspapers, and journals. Use your 14-digit library barcode number for off-campus access (the number is on the back of your student ID).  Don't have an ID? Get one from the library. Distance students can fill out the online request form.


Library Catalog

Find books, e-books, DVDs, and more.


Use the Library Catalog

  • Enter search terms.
  • Browse search results and click on the title to view the detailed item record.
  • Scroll to the bottom for availability, collection, location, and call number.
  • To find the book on the shelf you will need the complete call number.
  • To request a book from another location, click "request first available copy" then type in your library barcode number and your PIN.

Search the Library Catalog

 Keyword Anywhere:


Library Catalog Video Tutorials




In-Print books are located in the HB through HJ sections of the shelves on the third floor of the library.

  • Kiss, Bow, or Shake Hands (doing business in other countries, or with persons from other countries)
  • Encyclopedia of Consumer Brands (3rd floor Reference, HF 5415.3 E527 1994)
  • Hoover's Handbook of Private Companies (3rd floor Reference, HG 4057. A28616 2011)
  • Hoover's Handbook of American Business (3rd floor Reference, HG 4057. A28617 2011)
  • D&B Regional Business Directory (3rd floor Reference, HG 4058. H68 D86 2011 )
  • How to Setup Your Own Small Business
  • How to Write a Business Plan
  • The SBA Loan Book
  • Creating a Successful Marketing Strategy for your Small Business

The library has a variety of handbooks on starting your small business in a particular field such as cosmetology, gardening, bakery, recording studio, and so much more.


Streaming Videos 

  1. Planning Your Business: Research, Goals, and Business Plans [25 min.]
  2. Starting Your Business: Financing, Branding, & Regulations [25 min.]
  3. Finding Your Customers: Marketing & Advertising Your Business [25 min.]
  4. Managing Your Business: Prices, Finances, & Staffing [25 min.]
  5. Looking Ahead: Exiting Your Business [25 min]

Web Sites

General Business Sites

Business Plans

Online Business News Magazines

Permits, Licenses, and other Legal Considerations

Check with your local government agency, perhaps the city or county to find out about local permits that you will need.  You can also check with local business development centers.  Check with your industry or trade associations to find out about other permits or certifications that you will need to be able to do the type of business or services.

Customer Demographics

Identify your potential customers by location.  Learn basic demographic information to target your marketing campaign.

ZIP Codes in North Houston and Montgomery County:

  • Aldine-North Loop-Greenspoint 77016, 022, 026, 028, 032, 037, 038, 039, 050, 060, 073, 076, 078, 086, 088, 091, 093, 396
  • FM 1960-Spring-Klein 77014, 066, 067, 068, 090, 373, 379, 388, 389
  • Humble-Atascocita-Northeast 77336, 337, 338, 346, 347, 357, 358, 365, 372, 390, 391, 396 
  • Northwest-Cy-Fair 77040, 041, 064, 065, 069, 070, 095, 429, 433, 447, 484
  • Tomball-Magnolia 77353, 354, 355, 362, 375
  • South Montgomery County 77380, 381, 382, 384, 385, 386
  • North Montgomery County -- 77301, 302, 303, 304, 305, 306, 327, 328, 333, 356, 378


Business and Association Directories

Find associations, councils, societies, and organizations in your trade or industry. Such organizations can help you stay informed about trends in your industry, legislation, continuing education, required and/or recommended certifications, employment, business leads for your small business marketing and networking. 

Encyclopedia of Associations - Reference HS17 .G334 2002 3 Vols.

Use a web browser to search for such organizations, or browse the following resources:

Citation Help

  1. Keep track of all of the information and sources you used during your research.
  2. Ask your professor about the required citation style.
  3. Consult Citation Help Guide from LSC-North Harris Library to help you construct your citations.

Each citation should answer the questions:

  • Who wrote the material you are using?
  • What did the author(s) entitle the piece he/she/they wrote?
  • Where and when was it published (for a book, what city; for an article, which periodical)?
  • If it's an article or a chapter, what pages is your source on?

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