Lawson McGhee Library 

500 West Church Street 
Knoxville, TN  37902 
(865) 215-8722 


Starting and Operating a Business 

Don’t forget the library when you’re in the initial phase of starting a business. The Business Reference librarians at Lawson McGhee (Downtown Library) will assist you in finding the business information you need. And best of all, the service is free.

It would take many, many pages to list all of the business resources at the library-but, just to list a few, there are materials on franchising; demographics; statement studies (that will provide the profitability potential by type of business); and how to obtain financing.

There are many books available on how to start almost any kinds of businesses, and you can check them out to take home and study.

There is a directory of associations that lists organizations for specific types of businesses. While not every type of business s has an association, most do. For example, there are several hairdresser associations but only one Cinnamon Rabbit Breeders Association.

If you need help in developing a business plan, take a look at the Business Plans Handbook (also available online at the library ’s website). It contains many volumes of sample business plans of most types of businesses that have been prepared by actual entrepreneurs.

The Small Business Sourcebook provides a list of books, articles, associations, suppliers and other information by type of business. This is not only a valuable resource to use before starting your business but also a way to keep yourself up-to -date about your type of business once y our business is up and running. 

The library provides a Directory of Local Organizations. If you’re looking for a type of service, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here. 

ReferenceUSA, an online database, provides information on competitors and potential business customers. You can select the data geographically, by business size, by kind of business, and much more.

If you’re wondering where to purchase materials for doing business, supplier information on just about everything is available.

The staff at the Business Reference Desk can search the availability of business names, trade names and trademarks. They will also gladly assist you with your business search strategy.

Free Internet access is available at any library location