Archive for July, 2011

Entrepreneurs Profit from Free Business Resources

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

You have an entrepreneurial spirit and small business potential. But, where can you find the professional advice and resources you need – for free?  Your public library!

The Skokie Public Library, like many libraries across the country, offers extensive business and marketing resources, one-one-one counseling services and business connections that will help you start and grow your business.

“Small businesses may not have the budget to hire business and marketing pros, but our business portal is pretty sophisticated,” says Carolyn Anthony, the library’s Director. “Remember, time is money, and our portal offers immediate access to help you focus your efforts.”  

The Skokie Public Library’s Business Portal introduces you to: Research on your industry, location and potential consumers. Business and marketing plans. Legal and business forms. Advertising opportunities. Media connections. Trade shows. Databases to help you target and reach consumers. Online video tutorials. And many more possibilities at http://business.skokielibrary.info.

One resource is BusinessDecision, a reporting and mapping service that combines extensive consumer household, market segmentation, and demographic data with GIS mapping technology. You can locate potential customers, identify new store locations, evaluate competitors, and more effectively market your product or service. “BusinessDecision lets you set up your own account and database,” Anthony says.

“A business person was looking for detailed information on income and household spending patterns for specific regions around the country,” adds Michael Buhmann, business librarian at the library. “He worked in a real estate partnership that periodically bought properties in unfamiliar areas, and the company needed much more information before committing to a deal. He found the information and maps very helpful in getting a handle on the make-up of a region.”

As you will see from your public library’s business portal, you can also visit the library in person and benefit from counseling appointments with business professionals from SCORE and the SBA. Feedback and support from like-minded entrepreneurs and experienced pros will help you in the “Growing Your Business” groups and other special programs. There are, of course, the library’s current books, articles and online resources for starting and marketing your small business to consumers.  

If, in your business research, you decide that your entrepreneurial spirit should be used in someone else’s organization, the library’s impressive career and job-hunting resources will also prove rewarding…and free.

Discover more about your 1st Person PR and career opportunities at your public library.

Do You Need a Personal Business Plan?

Thursday, July 14th, 2011

The term “business model” comes up all of the time, whether for your business or personal goals. It evolves from the classic business plan and starts with introspection.

Given what’s going on around us, we’re fortunate if we have an income. Yes, we’re learning how to live within our means: if we can, earn more than we spend, or, at least, come out even. We also know that since most of us will be responsible for our futures, we must consider the implications of that challenge.

Depending upon our natures, we believe our lives should be rewarding – whether rewarding means a balanced, focused or workaholic lifestyle – maybe loaded with megabucks or professional/personal recognition that does not require big money. Maybe we want to live in a cabin in the woods, travel around the world, or volunteer our time and resources.

We should then ask ourselves other questions, including: what are our responsibilities, what do we want to do, what are we currently or potentially capable of, and what’s stopping us?  Given unforeseen circumstances, how can we take control or point ourselves in a more rewarding direction?

Whether reviewing career opportunities, tapping into your entrepreneurial spirit, or regrouping your personal lifestyle, it may be time for a new business model or plan.  This might mean relatively minor changes in attitude or actions, or it might require a broader strategy.

Research on the subject offers impressive information and resources: blog posts, sample plans, tools, apps, books, articles, and more. Here are some starting points for creating a plan that works for you – in your business or personal life…or both. There are, of course, many other coaching, mentoring, career, and employment resources and opportunities.

If you would like to share more information, I would be delighted to post it on 1st Person PR (that’s you).

Let’s get started…

Business Models for Business

Blog Posts on Business Models

Business Models for Personal Life

Great times or changing times, it could be time for a new plan?!

P.S.  Sorry about some formatting issues, but the links should work.