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LIBRARY GUIDE TO Business of Art

Business Model Canvas

The Business Model Canvas is a Creative Commons Resource that is a brainstorming tool for fleshing out a business idea.  It, and a bevy of supporting tools, can be found on the Strategyzer website.  You will need to sign up for a free account to use their site. 

You can download a blank version of the Business Model Canvas here:   Business Model Canvas (blank) pdf   There is also a list of best practices available to help you get started( Designing Crystal Clear Business Model Canvases pdf ).

If you prefer an online tool, Canvanizer, is a free online Business Canvas Model builder.

Sample Business Model Canvas for Netflix

netflix business model canvas
Image courtesy of INNODYN on Slideshare.
Business Plan Resources
The Business Plans Handbook:  A compilation of actual business plans

This resource is traditionally found in print, but through the library you get online access to a few years worth of editions including: The handbook contains many different business plans for actual companies.  Browse through the various editions to find relevent business plans.  A sample plan for a desktop publisher can be seen here:
Desktop Publishing Business Plan


Bplans is a website full of sample/example business plans.  They are completely free, but your browsing will freequently be interrupted by advertisments.  See their website here:

Sample Graphic Design Business Plan

Small Business Administration

The SBA is run by the federal government and has a boatload of resources for starting/running a small business.  Their website, sba.gov, is worth exploring thoroughly, but two sections that are particularlly useful are:

Writing a Business Plan
Choosing a Business Structure

Business Research Tools
Industry Reports

To compile your business plan, it is important to gather information about the industry or industries you plan on competing in.  The best resource for this is called IBISWorld.  Their analysts compile reports from thousands of industries.

Detailed market research and analysis on over 700 U.S. industries as well as Global Industry Reports, China Industry Reports and Business Environment Reports.

You can view a sample industry report for Graphic Designers.

Demographics and Market Segments

Gathering information about who you want to market to and where you want to do business is also very important when formulating your business plan.  A good resource for gathering this kind of information is DemographicsNow.  Which contains basic demographic information, consumer spending, consumer opinions, and even some market segmentation reports.

Provides access to demographic data. Drill down to the city or neighborhood level to identify markets and audiences in your community. Ideal for supporting small business and local economic development activities. Thanks to MeL.
This resource contains information from the Census, Consumer Expenditure Survey, Labor Statistics as well as Experian MOSAIC Segmentation reports and Simmons Consumer Survey responses.

This is a catch all resource for all sorts of US government data at the Federal, State, and Local levels.  You can keyword search or browse through different categories.
Copyright Resources


*Make sure to register your intellectual property! This protects you more than “informal copyright.”
Recommended Guides:
License & Merchandise Creative Art
The Copyright Zone

Legal organizations:

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts
Art Serve Michigan


Other resources:

Copyright Zone Blog


CAA’s IP page: http://collegeart.org/ip/

Library Contact
Picture: Katie Greer

Katie Greer
Associate Professor

Picture: Shawn McCann

Shawn McCann
Assistant Professor

Available: W 2-4pm
& Th 10-11am
Book appointment


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