Business & Careers
We've got all the tools you need to start, manage and grow a thriving business. Find business plans, models and blueprints. Learn about emerging companies, how to raise venture capital and apply for small business loans. There are also financial management guides and investment portfolios.
Find a Local Group or Organization
Small Business Startup
One-on-one consultations for entrepreneurs at the Halifax Central Library. Starting or expanding a business can be an overwhelming prospect. Let us guide you to resources that can help lessen the anxiety. Geared toward the startup entrepreneur, each 45 minute one-on-one information session is tailored to your business idea. More info...
Use databases to find information about industry trends, statistics and startup advice. Includes articles from:
- Business magazines: Good sources for background information
- Trade journals: Targeted for a specific industry/trade; invaluable resource for small business owners
- Newspapers: First to carry information about changes in your field/industry
- Business Plans Handbook (eBook edition)
Actual business plans compiled by, and aimed at, entrepreneurs. From a variety of industries.
General Reference Centre
General interest items, mostly US-based.
Canadian journals and magazines. Full-text coverage of Halifax Daily News from 1990 on.
Eureka.cc (formerly Newscan.com; on-site access only)
Over 4000 titles from around the world including the New York Times, the Guardian, and local newspapers including the Chronicle Herald, Cape Breton Post, New Glasgow Evening News and Truro Daily News.
Suggested Reading Lists - Business
- Starting a Business (Print PDF)
- Market Research (Print PDF)
- Operating a Business (Print PDF)
- Growing a Business (Print PDF)
- Fund-Raising and Non-Profit Management (Print PDF)
Suggested Reading Lists - Careers
- Choosing Your Career (Print PDF)
- The Hidden Job Market (Print PDF)
- Preparing for Your Interview (Print PDF)
- Voluntary Sector Resource Collection
Frequently Asked Questions
- I have to write a business plan. Where do I start?
- The library gives you access to the Business Plans Handbook. Here you'll find hundreds of business plans that have been used successfully in North America. It's conveniently available to you through a library computer or at home.
Business Plans Handbook
- There are numerous books available on business plan writing which are helpful in breaking down this big job into manageable steps. You will find many books in the library’s collection on business plan writing.
Halifax Public Libraries - Business Planning
- Here are some other websites great for business plan templates and business plan samples:
Canada Business Plans
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
Reference for Business
- What are the options for funding my business?
Many entrepreneurs will require financing help to cover their start-up costs and operational requirements. Your business plan will include detailed evidence of funding requirements. Benchmarking tools can be helpful in determining your cash flow statement.
Helpful Links --> Benchmarking Tools
Sources of financing for your business can come in the form of equity financing (investors) and debt financing (private and government lenders). To understand your funding options the library has print resources which deal with the variety of financing possibilities open to you.
Halifax Public Libraries - Financing Your Business
Several government websites have detailed information about specific programs which might be appropriate for you business.
Helpful Links --> Financing
- How do I determine market share?
Market share is a measurement of how well a company is doing (or will perform) compared to its competitors. In very basic terms market share is determined by dividing a company’s sales by the total sales for the industry. Business directories like the Atlantic Provinces Business to Business Sales and Marketing Directory and The Canadian Key Business Directory give general numbers for estimated sales for companies.
Benchmarking tools can provide a picture of how other businesses perform in your industry.
Helpful Links --> Benchmarking
Look at some other websites with how-to information concerning how to determine market share:
"Market Strategies." Entrepreneur Magazine - Blog. August 1, 2006
How to Prepare a Marketing Plan (ACOA)
- How do I research my competition?
Business Directories will help you to identify your competition, indicate how long they have been in business and provide you with data regarding sales and number of employees. Business directories like the Atlantic Provinces Business to Business Sales and Marketing Directory and The Canadian Key Business Directory give general numbers for estimated sales for companies.
For further information on your competitors:
Use magazine and newspaper databases to search for articles written about the company. The library also maintains clipping files on local businesses that contain a wealth of information.
Use Industry Canada’s Company Directories which includes additional useful information like a company’s major clients.
Contact your local chamber of commerce or neighborhood business associations.
Don’t neglect social media. Follow your competition on Twittter, Facebook and LinkedIn to see how they promote themselves and customer reaction.