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New Year, Newfound Resolve: Let the Library Kick-Start Your 2017 Business Resolutions

New Year, Newfound Resolve: Let the Library Kick-Start Your 2017 Business Resolutions


by


It’s that time of year again—the time to pause for reflection and to establish resolutions that, if accomplished, promise to make the following year the most successful and gratifying yet. For many folks, New Year’s resolutions are a way to light the fuse on dreams that have perhaps laid dormant due to impediments in time, funding, expertise—or all three.

That’s where Mid-Continent Public Library comes in—from business specialists that act as resolution rudders, steering entrepreneurs and small business owners toward many of the most effective resources, to innumerable free programs, books, and online databases, which contain insights that can take a venture to the next level. Just by applying for a Library card, entrepreneurs can unlock a treasure trove of business biofuel.

Square One Small Business Services

Funded in part by a grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, MCPL’s Square One Small Business Services was created as an initiative to support Kansas City’s entrepreneurs and to inject a shot of energy into the local economy. The program helps businesspeople obtain the tools they need to build strong, viable enterprises. To date, the Library’s Square One initiative has helped launch or improve the operations of more than 45 local businesses.

Square One’s repertoire of services includes one-on-one meetings with business specialists who assess an entreprenuer’s goals and provide customized prescriptions to propel them toward those goals. Sometimes this means introducing them to the Library’s free online databases like ReferenceUSA and DemographicsNow, which can be used to create competitive or market analyses. Other times it means recommending one of Square One’s free in-branch courses on topics like evaluating funding options or utilizing low-cost marketing tactics.

“The services that MCPL offers through their business specialists are unexpected and amazing,” said Mat Maynor, co-owner of Big Vision Media Group. “It is a big value for small business. My one-on-one with the business specialist even led to starting another venture due to the market research.”

Library Benefits for Your Business

Whatever the resolution, the Library and its Square One team have the resources to help cross it off your list. So, grab your Library
card, and discover how the Library can help tackle some of those
top resolutions for 2017:

  Minimize expenses.

>  Keep current on the local and national business landscape with free access to publications like The Wall Street Journal and Entrepreneur.

>  Looking for a makerspace to work or conduct meetings? Reserve a meeting room for free at a local MCPL branch—complete with free high-speed Wi-Fi and without the noise and distraction of a coffee shop.

>  Utilize the online database LawDepot to draft legal documents—personalized to your location and situation—and fill out business plans.

  Prioritize professional development.

>  Trade expensive professional development courses for engaging, top-quality online tutorials through online databases like lynda.com—available for free with your Library card. Subjects range from business, software training, and technology to marketing, photography, and more.

>  Attend a free Square One program taught by local experts on a variety of subjects, such as:

  • Building a Solid Foundation for Opening a Restaurant (January 10)
  • Business Basics: Doing Business in the Cloud (January 17)
  • Business Basics: Non-Traditional Advertising for Small Businesses (January 26)
  • Social Media Content Creation: How to Engage Your Online Followers (February 15)

  Take a page from industry experts.

Check out the latest tips and advice from industry professionals in these recommended reads:

Apply for a Mid-Continent Public Library card online at mymcpl.org/newcard. See the full list of upcoming Square One programs, and sign up for an appointment with a Square One business specialist, at mymcpl.org/squareone.

 

James Hart

Written by

James Hart is a freelance writer based in Kansas City.

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