Background Information
Outside Information and Publications

(Date posted: June 2, 2009)

This page helps people learn business basics by providing sources of outside information and publications. This information is especially useful for people who lack experience in planning, starting, and running a small business.

Here are the topics:

Government information
Home improvement information
Online bookstores
Recommended books

This outside information is meant to supplement the extensive information on this website.


Before using this information to start a business be sure to read the following notice: Disclaimer

Government information

U.S. Small Business Administration

The SBA website has loads of free information to help people start a business.

Following are the main categories of SBA online assistance:

Starting and Managing -- Links to extensive information on starting and managing a small business.

Loans and Grants -- Links to information about SBA-backed loans for a small business.

SBA Learning Center -- Links to various courses to help your small business.

Local Assistance -- Links to information about SBA local offices, SBA regional offices, SBA disaster field offices, and other groups.

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Home improvement information

Printed manuals

You probably can find manuals on handyman skills and home improvement ideas and information at some of the larger building product stores, such as Lowe's or Home Depot.

Following are some of the subjects covered by these manuals:

  • Bathroom ideas
  • Carpentry
  • Concrete work
  • Electrical wiring
  • Kitchen ideas
  • Landscaping
  • Plumbing
  • Remodeling
  • Storage ideas

You may be able to find other books and manuals at an online or local bookstore.


Better Homes and Gardens -- They have many gardening, decorating, and home improvement ideas.

Do It Yourself -- This website has loads of topics on all aspects of home improvement and remodeling.

My Home My Style -- They have great ideas for improving homes.

This Old House -- They have loads of home improvement topics.

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Online bookstores

Online bookstores can provide valuable help for people who want to start a business of their own.

Sites for general purpose bookstores -- Amazon has a wide range of books, magazines, textbooks, and used books.

Barnes & Noble -- Barnes and Noble have a wide range of books, magazines, textbooks, and used books.

BestBookBuys® -- They let you search dozens of online bookstores for the best prices.

Sites for textbooks

Direct Textbook -- "Direct Textbook searches over 200 online bookstores for cheap textbooks, to save you money and time. We also help you get more for your used books with our college textbook buyback price search."

Campusbooks -- They have new and used college textbooks. They also buy back college textbooks. -- They have a wide range of inexpensive college textbooks.

eCampus®.com -- They have a large assortment of new and used textbooks and eTextbooks. -- They have new and used textbooks and eBooks. They also buy back textbooks.

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Recommended books

The series of "books for dummies" provides a handy source of information if you want to start a business. While these books may not be the best or most recent sources, they are inexpensive and contain much useful information. (Note: The "for dummies" series of books are easy to read instructional manuals for normal people, not dummies.)

These books can be purchased at and other online bookstores.

Accounting and finance

Accounting for Dummies -- Discusses purpose of accounting, financial statements and accounting standards, bookkeeping and accounting systems, figuring out financial statements, accounting in managing a business, preparing and using financial reports, and accounting tips for managers.

Accounting Workbook for Dummies -- Illustrates business accounting basics; preparing financial statements; managerial, manufacturing, and capital accounting; and accounting tips for managers.

Bookkeeping for Dummies -- Discusses basic bookkeeping: why you need it, keeping a paper trail, tracking day-to-day operations with your books, preparing the books for year's (or month's) end, reporting results (for year or month) and starting over (for a new year), and bookkeeping tips.

Bookkeeping Workbook for Dummies -- Illustrates exploring bookkeeping basics, putting it all on paper, tracking day-to-day business operations with your books, getting ready for year's (or month's) end, putting on your best financial face (making the books balance, and so on), and bookkeeping tips.

Reading Financial Reports for Dummies -- Discusses getting down to financial reporting basics, checking out the big show: annual reports, analyzing the numbers, understanding how companies optimize operations, the many ways companies answer to others, and financial tips.

Small business planning and management

Business Plans for Dummies -- Discusses knowing where you want to go, describing your marketplace, weighing your company's prospects, looking to the future, putting your business plan into action, and business plan tips.

Business Plans Kit for Dummies -- Guides you through laying the foundation for your plan, developing your plan's components, tailoring a business plan to fit your needs, making the most of your plan, and business plan tips. The book includes a CD to illustrate various points about writing a business plan.

Small Business for Dummies -- Discusses becoming an entrepreneur, buying an existing business, running a successful small business, keeping your business in business, and business tips. (Note: In my opinion, only a fully experienced businessperson should attempt to buy and operate an existing business.)

Small Business Kit for Dummies -- Guides you through starting up your business, money matters, employee and consultant issues, bulletproofing your business, spreading the word, and business tips. The book includes a CD to illustrate various points about starting and running a small business.

Small Business Financial Management Kit for Dummies -- Guides you through improving your profit, cash flow, and solvency; using tools of the trade; dealing with small business financial issues; looking at service and manufacturing businesses; reaching the end of the line; and financial management tips. The book includes a CD to illustrate various points about the financial management of a small business.

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