September 30th, 2016

Attention Business Owners, Aspiring Entrepreneurs and Job Seekers – We’ve got a resource tailored just for you!

25171510533_bd5d080cae_zDatabase is a word librarians throw out there, but it’s not always clear what we mean. I want to share a database that you will use, wish you knew about before, and then use again and again. What is it? Reference USA.

Reference USA is easy to use and free to all Cecil County Public Library cardholders, accessible through our website, whether you are in the library, on the go or at home. This business database carries a file for each business and the information is drawn from public records, such as number of employees, sales volume, year established, credit rating, business location, executive name, square footage of building, hours of operation, company news, and amount spent on payroll.

If you are a job seeker and have landed that coveted interview, do your research on the company before the interview using Reference USA. You could find valuable information that may impress an interviewer. Perhaps you are seeking a job in a certain industry. For example, you could search for all HVAC contractors in Cecil County, and it would pull up a list of them and link each record to to tell you if they are hiring.

Are you an aspiring business owner or current business owner? This resource will prove so valuable. You can look up your competitors and do searches by specific geographic areas. You can see how many employees your competitor has hired this year, how their sales volume has changed over the years. Perhaps you are looking for business collaborators. This database will allow you to type in a specific industry and geographic area and voila – a list of businesses matching your search criteria will appear.

In conjunction with this powerful resource, we also offer personalized one-on-one assistance with your searches. Please call our Small Business Information Center at 410-996-5600 ext. 128 to make an appointment. The library is here to help you succeed!

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December 28th, 2015

New Year, New Business

womenThe idea of starting your own business probably stirs up equal parts excitement and fear.   If you have decided that 2016 may indeed be the year to launch your small business, let the Cecil County Public Library’s free business resources help assuage some of your fears.

Are you overwhelmed at the prospect of deciding on a legal structure, knowing which licenses you will need and what forms you need to fill out?  Did Google bring up so much information that you are completely overwhelmed?   We’ve done all the research for you and created a guide titled “Key Steps to Starting a Business,” which gives you step by step instructions on how to start a business in Cecil County and includes all the relevant contact information for each step.

Do you dread writing the business plan?  Don’t fret – we are here to help!  We have sample business plans, templates, databases that easily find competitor information and demographic information, and it’s all easily accessible from your home computer.

Are you worried you don’t have the right connections to start your business in Cecil County?  Again, we are here to help!  We can connect you to the Cecil Business Resource Partners and introduce you to people that work in organizations dedicated to helping small businesses succeed in Cecil County.

Does the accounting side of small business ownership worry you?  We have free online courses, including: Accounting Fundamentals, Introduction to QuickBooks, and Introduction to Excel to name a few.  The classes are taught by an instructor and are six weeks in length.  They can be accessed on your home computer with your library card.

So as 2015 winds down and you are looking forward to a new year, a bold change, and the dream of entrepreneurship, remember that the Cecil County Public Library is here to help.