Recommended reading resources for small businesses

Vancouver Public Library offers an array of research tools for entrepreneurs

Vancouver Public Library, downtown branch | Shutterstock

In celebration of Small Business Month, the reading and information experts at Vancouver Public Library (VPL) have put together a selection of must-reads and top resources for aspiring entrepreneurs and small businesses – and it’s all free with a Vancouver library card.

The Crowdsourceress by Alex Daly

Author Alex Daly has raised more than $20 million for businesses and non-profits using innovative and grassroots crowdsourcing. In The Crowdsourceress: Get Smart, Get Funded, and Kickstart Your Next Big Idea, she offers advice on influencing influencers and creating powerful campaigns, and provides tips on creating videos, pitches and rewards for funders. Borrow the book at Learn more about crowdsourcing through video courses and tutorials via at

What’s Your Presentation Persona? by Scott Schwertly and Sunday Mancini

You don’t need to be a standup comedian or a rock star to be a great presenter. In What’s Your Presentation Persona? Discover Your Unique Communication Style and Succeed in Any Arena, by Ethos3 founder Scott Schwertly and former Ethos3 content strategist Sunday Mancini, use a self-assessment to identify the best style for you, and develop strategies for presentations to fit that style. Borrow the book at Improve your presentation skills with video courses and tutorials via at

Figure out if this is a good time to open a toy shop (or any other business) in Canada

Explore the marketplace with Research Monitor, a database that connects you to more than 5,000 industry reports across 80 countries. Search by geography and subject, narrow your search for trends and opinion articles and find statistics on demographics, market sizes, forecasts and more. Research via

Do you wonder? Is it better for business owners to pay themselves dividends or a salary?

Dig into Canadian Tax Information, a database of primary and secondary tax details, news and updates maintained by Wolters Kluwer. You’ll need to access this via a VPL location, owing to licensing limitations, but the depth of information makes it worthwhile. Explore at

Map the best place in Vancouver to open a tattoo parlour (or any other business)

Use SimplyAnalytics to create a map of all the tattoo parlours or other kinds of businesses in Vancouver, connect Environics market segmentation data to show where different target demographics live, and more. You can even export your work as maps and spreadsheets for your business plan to better showcase your research to potential funders. Start your mapping at