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Business Canvas (Entrepreneurship) Course LibGuide

Learn to use Western Library Resources for business research.

Basic and Advanced Search Strategies

Basic Searching

list iconAs you read to gather background information and data, keep a running list of

  • relevant words, phrases, key concepts, subjects and issues
    • related your specific business, industry,  consumer, target market, etc.
    • also make a list of terms and their variations

note icon


  • entrepreneur; entrepreneurship
  • customer segments; customer development; customer management; consumer
  • mass market; niche market; target market; market segments
  • distribution channels; indirect channel; direct channel
  • value; value proposition
  • revenue stream
  • fixed costs; variable costs
  • SWOT, SWOT analysis
  • management; manager; operations management; project management; strategic management
  • business; business model; business structure; small business; micro-business
  • product; services
  • company; corporation
  • personnel; employee; staff
  • profit; profit margin

Advanced Searching

advanced search icon


Advanced search strategies can save you time and narrow your search from tens of thousands of articles to dozens.

Remember when searching, put quotes or parentheses around phrases of more than one word to search for the phrase instead of the individual words separately.

  • Boolean Operators (AND, OR, and NOT) to help you narrow or expand your results
    • Searching for restaurant AND delivery will give you results with both words present. Therefore, your results are fewer.
    • Using OR between similar keywords restaurant OR cafe will give you results that include either word alone or both words together. Therefore, your results are greater. A search for will retrieve either or both terms.

      The NOT operator gives you results from only one of your words -  delivery NOT mail - . Therefore, your results are fewer. Searching  eliminate articles containing the word mail from the results.

    • Most databases have an Advanced Search option that provdes you with three or more boxes to insert keywords, phrases, names etc. and options to choose AND, OR, and NOT from a drop-down menu.

  • Wildcard Searching - Truncation will save you time by searching or variations of a root word

    • Adding an asterisk to a root word, manag* means you will locate articles or information for ALL variations of the root, manag*

      • manage, manages, manager, managers, managing, management


NOTE: When searching, if you have trouble finding information, try putting quotes or parentheses around phrases


  • "market research" 
  • (market research) 

This helps the database search for the phrase, "market research," instead of searching for the two words separately, which will return many irrelevant results.

Short Video: Western Library Databases


Ask-a-Librarian button

Reach out to a librarian if you have any questions about finding information in the library databases. Use the Ask-a-Librarian button at the left, or check beneath my profile pic below to see if I'm online for a Chat or feel free to reach out to me via email as well! I'm happy to help!

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