Make the Virtual Small Business Resource Center Your First Stop on the Road to Entrepreneurism

June 26th, 2017

Small Business Resource CenterStarting a small business is no easy feat!  Just thinking of starting a business can cause major stress.  Entrepreneurs have to be willing to research and think through every component of their business.  At the library, we realize research isn’t everyone’s passion like it is ours and not everyone has the time to sort through the 876 million results of a Google query “How to Start a Business.” Fortunately, Cecil County Public Library has an online resource called the Small Business Resource Center, which gives entrepreneurs a great place to begin their research.

We recommend all aspiring entrepreneurs spend time in the Small Business Resource Center because it really can help answer a lot of the questions an early-stage entrepreneur might have.  This database is designed especially for small business owners.  Based on the type of business you are thinking of starting you will find business plans, related professional associations and articles from trade journals which are specific to your industry.  It also has general information on common small business topics such as management, financing, budgeting and marketing.

To access this free online resource, visit: https://www.cecil.ebranch.info/small-business/business-plan-help/ and scroll down to Small Business Resource Center.  Enter your library card number and you will have immediate access to this information.

Another helpful feature of this resource is the glossary.  It defines business terminology that a new entrepreneur might not be familiar with such as “cash flow” and “break-even pricing” in easy to understand terminology.  There is also a page dedicated to overall “how to” questions like: How to Finance Your Business, How to Sell a Business, How to Buy a Business, and more.  The resource will generate recommended resources that answer these questions.

For more information on this database, or our other small business databases that provide competitor and demographic information, feel free to contact the Small Business Information Center at the Cecil County Public Library at 410-996-5600 ext. 128 or email sbic@ccplnet.org.


Tags: , , , , , ,


Passion for the Elderly Turns into an Entrepreneurial Journey to Owning a Business

February 13th, 2017

When I first met Donna Harrity over a year ago, it was clear that she had a passion for the business she wanted to start. Donna Harrity’s drive to become self-employed started with a need she found in the community while working for 20 years as Director of Admissions at Calvert Manor. “People would call me more and more and say that a parent was ready to be in a nursing home and couldn’t live alone anymore. After a brief discussion, it became evident that their parent could stay at home if they were simply more aware of community resources available to them,” Harrity explains. She knew about the resources available to help keep seniors living in their own home longer and felt that she could be that resource connecting the dots for these families.
Harrity’s launched her small business Aging Life Guides with a mission to help seniors and their families make informed decisions to meet individual needs and to help maintain a high quality of life. The mission and drive came easy to Harrity, but she did not know where to begin when it came to formalizing the business. During an appointment at CCPL’s Small Business Information Center we discussed the process of starting a business in Cecil County.
“The brochure that the library provided on starting a business was an excellent step-by-step guide that really helped to lay the groundwork for creating an LLC. It simplified what I thought was going to be a complicated process.” Harrity credits the resources at the Cecil County Public Library as being instrumental in the early stages of her business.
“We were able to find pertinent demographic information from the library’s databases along with projections on my target population. The competitor analysis from Reference USA (another library database) also helped me to visualize where the current need for my services was not being met.” Harrity also praises the Gale Online Courses offered through the library’s website. She took a class on Healthy Aging and plans to take more in the future to stay current on both general business topics and topics specific to her industry.
Currently, Aging Life Guides provides assessment and care plans that evaluate a senior’s abilities and areas of concern as well as solutions. Harrity also assists families with home care providers, home equipment, managing medications, banking and bill paying. In addition, she can provide a transition plan when a senior is discharged from the hospital or rehab back to home. Her warm personality and experience in geriatric care a perfect combination for an entrepreneur in this industry. If you would like to contact Donna Harrity and discuss the services she can offer to your family, call 443-207-8834 or visit www.aginglifeguides.com or email her at donna@aginglifeguides.com.
Future goals for Harrity include connecting to more potential collaborators, like financial planners and eldercare lawyers. She plans to consult with the library in the future to help guide her along the way. Using the library’s free online database Reference USA, she now has a complete contact lists for all financial planners in Cecil County, so she is on her way to achieving these goals.
Another opportunity to benefit from Harrity’s eldercare knowledge involves a new collaboration with St. Mary Anne’s Church in North East. They are presenting a free, three-part series of workshops on Managing Senior Life: “Paying for Long-Term Care” on February 11 at 10am, “Staying Strong with Age” on March 11 at 10am and “Time to Give-up the Keys” on April 1 at 10am.
For more information about the free services offered by the Cecil County Public Library’s Small Business Information Center, visit www.cecil.ebranch.info/smallbusiness or call 410-996-5600 ext. 128 or email sbic@ccplnet.org. As the Small Business Librarian, I would be happy to meet with you one-on-one and assist you with your research needs in starting or running your small business.


Tags: , ,