Category: business

Summer Reading

Our friends over at UBC Library’s Small Business Accelerator are tweeting summer reading recommendations, using the hashtag #sbalibrary.

We’ve been inspired! Here are some of those business books that are available in the OC Library:

Thinking fast and slow / Daniel Kahneman thinkingfast

How to fly a horse : the secret history of creation, invention, and discovery / Kevin Ashton flyhorse

Unfinished business : women, men, work, family / Anne-Marie Slaughter

The misfit economy : lessons in creativity from pirates, hackers, gangsters, and other informal entrepreneurs / Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Losing the signal : the untold story behind the extraordinary rise and spectacular fall of Blackberry / Jacquie McNish, Sean Silcoff

More books at the library that were recommended in summer reading lists from Forbes and The Atlantic:

David and Goliath : underdogs, misfits, and the art of battling giants / Malcolm Gladwell

 icarusThe Icarus deception : how high will you fly? / Seth Godin

The advantage : why organizational health trumps everything else in business / Patrick Lencioni

Dark money : the hidden history of the billionaires behind the rise of the radical right / Jane Mayer

And for even more summer reading lists, see the recent post by OC Library News.

Now go grab a book, pack a beach bag and get out there and read! [*or, grab a book and find a nook in your local coffee shop, if thunderstorms are threatening your beach reading]







Small Business Month

October is Small Business Month here in B.C. and Small Business Week is nationwide starting Sunday October 18th through till the 24th. This is a time for entrepreneurs from all over the country get together in person and virtually to collaborate, find new business opportunities, and explore new developments in small business entrepreneurship, management, and leadership.

There are lots of events being held nationwide but you can use this interactive map to find all the ones taking place  here in B.C.

Small Business BC also has some great in person and online events that you can check out here.

If you are interested in starting your own small business, or are researching one for class, there are lots of great resources available through the Library and the web.

Online you can check out the Small Business Profile for 2015 from the government of B.C., where you can find information on how many small businesses are in the province, how many employees they have and their contribution to the provincial economy.

The Canadian Revenue Agency also has lots of resources on how to start a small business in Canada and the different types of business structures available for small businesses.

Of course the Library also has tons of great resources that you can use to research Small Business, Entrepreneurship and SME’s (Small and Medium Sized Enterprises). Here are a few books the library has that can help you get started…

SmallBusinessintheCitythe art of waryour small business






Don’t forget there are also subject and course guides on Small Business Management, Entrepreneurship and general Business Administration that are always available to you through the library.

Last of the Summer Reading List

The back to school ads are upon us, and with the school year just around the corner we all need a few things to keep our minds in summer mode for the last few weeks.

Below are some great reading lists that cover a range of topics in business, and that are not all heavy in content.

JP Morgan 2015 Summer Reading List

10 Business Books For Your Summer Reading List from the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business

A Summer 2015 Reading List For Creative Leaders from Forbes

Here are some previous business summer reading picks that are in the library, click on the images to find out where each book is in the library.

Talk Like Ted

Things a little bird told me

Big Data

Lean in






And don’t forget Mark Zuckerberg’s A Year of Books List, several of which the library has. Check out a few below…

Dealing With ChinaGang Leader for a Day

Creativity Inc.


In the news

There are so many ways to keep up-to-date on current business events– and keeping current (even if it means just reading some headlines everyday and bookmarking articles to look at later, or skimming through tweets) is vital for many reasons. For business decisions, strategy, information on your competition, job opportunities, investments– knowing trends, events, strengths and weaknesses can help you in long run. It may also help with your conversational skills to have a few good news stories in your back pocket!

To keep current you can of course use social media– Facebook and Twitter are both valuable for following companies and news sources– check out lists like this to find the top business and leadership twitter accounts to follow. I’d recommend following major business news sources such as Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, and Business Insider.

Get email notifications from major publications too– that way you can wake up to a list of hot topics in your inbox every morning from sources like the Financial Times. Many of the big newspapers are now behind pay walls, however they often allow a certain amount of free articles a month (some only if you register).

Look for local sources to round out your reading– see what local news and businesses are using social media to keep up with regional information. Cities, newspapers, local politicians and reporters, are great ways to keep in the loop.

Some of the interesting articles I came across this week:

Tech industry news: The now infamous Microsoft layoffs and memo.

Entrepreneurship: A new co-working space: Beta Collective

Marketing: “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables”— how to improve business, reduce waste, and get consumers to eat their vegetables

Wine Industry: “Wine social media pays off”— wine marketing ROI

What ways do you keep up-to-date on business news?

Happy reading 🙂



Industry Research

Last week I visited the entrepreneurship class to talk about research for their business plans. Industry research is a big component. There are many reasons to learn to do effective research on an industry– you might be working on a business plan, however industry research can also be very useful when you are trying to land a job or invest in a company. In these scenarios, having insight into an industry is imperative for good decision making and planning.

There are many resources out there for researching industries, both freely available online and paid resources available through the library. I’ll use the example of doing research on the beer industry, because it’s 30 degrees out and I’m daydreaming about a cold one, and also because I stumbled across a few articles about beer companies earlier this week that got me thinking about the industry: from Forbes, an article about a failed brewing empire; from Slate, an article about Anheuser-Busch and the craft beer movement; and from the Globe and Mail, an article about a failed ad campaign by Molson Coors Canada.

So beer is in the news, and if you were interested in looking further into the beer industry in Canada, where would you start?

For industry research (well, for most research!), I start by thinking about WHO would publish information about an industry? In most cases, I would suggest checking news and trade publications that publish current information on companies and industries; government sources that collect and publish information on businesses and industries (often in the form of data and statistics); and library databases are a great place to look for industry profiles written by big market research firms.

So to start– newspapers are great for information– check the national papers for articles like the one above about Molson Coors, or library databases like Canadian Newsstand for articles that are behind pay-walls. News articles will often quote other reports– look out for associations or reports named in news articles, and go try to find those for more information.

Trade associations will often have research, reports, and magazines where they publish current information for those in the field– for example on Beer Canada‘s website, I found the interesting factlet that Canadians drank just over 65 litres of beer per person in 2012.

Beer trade associations: Beer Canada, BC Craft Brewers Guild

Government collects information and reports on industries– check out Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada’s market information on the Canadian Brewery Industry, including lots of stats on sales, performance and employment (they also list the names of beer associations across Canada).

Industry profiles by market research companies can be found in the library’s subscription to Passport— find in-depth reports as well as data on top companies and sales– some sample report titles: Beer in Canada; Beer: A New Dawn Brewing; company profiles on Big Rock Brewing, Anheuser-Busch, etc., and also articles like Beer for Women: Clever Marketing or Just Insulting? Check other databases like Business Source Complete for industry and company profiles as well.

And the library has many books on industries… for detailed histories the following books might make for good reading while sipping on a beer in your backyard this summer:

Craft beer revolution : the insider’s guide to B.C. breweries / Joe WiebeCraftBeer

Bitter brew : the rise and fall of Anheuser-Busch and America’s kings of beer / William Knoedelseder

Last Canadian beer : the Moosehead story / Harvey Sawler

House of suds : a history of beer brewing in Western Canada / William A. Hagelund

Lager heads : Labatt, Molson and the people who created Canada’s beer wars / Paul Brent

For more research suggestions, see the library’s Industry Research Guide, and check out the Small Business Accelerator’s Craft Beer Industry Profile and their Craft Beer Accelerator Guide

Happy researching 🙂