June 20th, 2016

If You Build It, They Will Come (Unless You Didn’t Have a Marketing Strategy)

My wife and I love to bring people together. This usually happens at the dinner table and for different reasons. For her, she loves to cook and cook well, and I’m not just saying that because she might read this. Adventurous artichoke and cheddar breads or chocolate-raspberry cupcakes always come out amazing. For me, I bring people to the table for games – party games, strategy games, card games, you name it. When we retire we see a potential business in our future. I would love to operate a family-friendly board game cafe and she would love to own a bakery. Somehow I think these could smash together into a hybrid, making great money and great memories. Half of the space would be filled with shelves of games and spacious tables and my wife would sell coffees, baked goods, and gourmet meals on the other half. But how would we ever get there? How do we pick a location? How do we take a passion and make it a reality? I recommend using the resources afforded to you the award-winning Small Business Information Center of CCPL.

CCPL offers marketing books, databases filled with useful regional statistics, free programs, plus one-on-one appointments with a professional librarian to discuss your ideas and goals. These are cost-free materials and services. You just bring optimism and a good work ethic.

Be your own catalyst for positive change and try some of the following titles:

 

Main Street Entrepreneur

Main Street Entrepreneur by Michael Glauser helps you understand how to grow and maintain a business with clear purpose. It explains how to build on what you know and do so tenaciously. We can’t all create the next Google or Facebook, but this 2016 book can help you with your approach to local business, and enrich the lives of your community.

 

 

Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing

Ultimate Guide to Local Business Marketing by Perry Marshal is exactly what it sounds like, but don’t let the boring name fool you. Entrepreneur Magazine put out this 2016 edition, and this is great to have next to your laptop for reference.

 

 


Get Scrappy

Get Scrappy is my favorite 2016 marketing book so far, and not just for its great title. This is the small book that packs a punch in the digital marketing department. If you are specifically looking to get an edge on your blogs, your videos, and your social media presence, this is the book to checkout. It’s hard to keep up with an online world that is constantly reinventing itself, but this new title should help you keep up.

 

The 10% Entrepreneur

And what about the people who want to start up a business and not quit their day job? I have a brand new book for them, too. The 10% Entrepreneur understands the reality that sometimes you can’t just quit your current job and put all of your eggs in one basket. First of all, you don’t know if that will work. Secondly, it’s scary. Written by Patrick McGinnis who has been there and done that, this slim little volume lays out a step-by-step plan to stay smart, stay secure, and make progress on your dream. (Plus, anybody who dedicates their book “to all my teachers – especially my parents” is alright if you ask me.)

 

To make an appointment with the SBIC to brainstorm business concepts, discuss your plans, look for specific business information, work on marketing, financial strategies and more, stop by the Elkton Central Library at 301 Newark Avenue in Elkton, or call us at 410-996-5600 ext. 128, or email us at sbic@ccplnet.org .

Sign up for our newsletter, the LINK, right here so you always know about upcoming business programs and opportunities.

For a list of small business and marketing resources including the titles described in this blog, click here.


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May 23rd, 2016

Summer Reading for Teens

girl-869213_1280You may have heard the term “summer slide,” which sounds like a pleasant family fun activity, but it actually refers to the tendency for students who don’t actively engage in educational opportunities to lose the knowledge and learning they gained during the school year.

But don’t worry, one of the easiest ways to reverse “slide” it is simply by reading throughout the summer. Our Summer Reading Program is almost here, which means we’ll be spending the next several months promoting reading and giving out prizes to those who complete a Summer Reading log. And teens have their very own program! We define “teens” as any child entering 6th – 12th grade. So if your child falls within that range, they can sign up for the Summer Reading Program, read 6 hours, and become entered into win cool prizes. And the best part, they can complete as many logs as they want throughout the summer!

We also have thousands of items available digitally, from ebooks and digital magazines to e-audiobooks, movies and music. All you need is your library card, PIN and access to the internet. While students have reading assignments during the school year – the summer can be all about what’s most interesting to them. Sports, zombies, pop stars – if your teen is reading books, magazines or graphic novels, they are engaging their minds and beating summer slide.

Did you know listening to audiobooks is a valuable reading tool? 85% of learning comes from listening and 30% of people are auditory learners. Listening to books exposes students to pronunciation of English, dialects and non-English words, expands vocabulary and can be combined with a physical book to guide struggling readers through the story. Audiobook narrators are actors who create compelling voices to make the stories come alive, thus improving attention spans.

AudiobookSYNC is a free program, available to all teens for 15 weeks, with a total of 30 teen-friendly audiobooks to download and keep. Many of the titles have curricular connections; all have high recommendations from both professional reviewers and casual audiobook listeners. You can even sign up for text alerts: text SYNCYA to 25827

Research has shown that freedom of choice in reading materials is a clear indicator in summer reading success. If your teen is picking out what she wants to read and listen to, she’s more likely to finish the books and keep reading all summer long.

Not sure what to suggest to your teen to read? Here’s a list of award-winning titles for teens, as well as a website dedicated to developing boys’ love of reading.

And our summer reading program has plenty of events for teens to hang out with other teens and explore topics from science experiments and games, to upcycling and art projects.

Our summer reading program begins June 1 – to register, go to http://www.cecil.ebranch.info/teens/summer-reading/.


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