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 www.cecil.ebranch.info, 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 www.Indeed.com 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!

(Image courtesy of wocintechchat.com)


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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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