The local library is a treasure house of resources that can help your home business build a client base and promote services.
If you are in the process of starting a home business, you are probably wondering about local resources that may be able to help you build a client base and advertise your product. You don't have to rely exclusively on the classified ads anymore.
Here are some creative ways in which you can take advantage of an array of services made available through your local public library.
1. Check out the business indices. You can browse publications like Dun and Bradstreet with a broad range of business reports and information. There are also business and finance Web logs, global economy publications, and others on ethics and responsibility. If your library doesn't have these on hand, they can be ordered through interlibrary loan. Free journals, government reports, and other resources are available for review at your convenience.
2. Borrow business books to read when you have time. You can get self-help books on starting a business or others related to building a home-based company. Best sellers by blue chip company CEO's and self-made millionaires can offer tips on how to build a business from scratch. You can get accounting blueprints, business plans, and marketing strategies for free reading when you stop by the library to check out the offerings.
3. Give a talk at the library for those who might be interested in what you are offering in terms of products of services. For example, if you are starting a home-based plumbing business, ask the library if you can give a free demonstration to the public on how to fix a leaky faucet. Make up fliers and distribute them in advance to draw interested people to the event. Libraries love to provide educational talks or demonstrations to the community, so they may be able to promote your talk. Take several business cards with you in case some of your audience members want to get in touch with you for a consultation or have you come and check a more serious plumbing problem at their homes.
4. Ask about tax forms when filing time comes each spring. Libraries often provide state and federal tax forms of all kinds, so you can count on getting those you need at a convenient location. Supplemental filing forms are often available as well, along with handy guides for tax preparation.
5. Participate in other library programs and events. For example, there may be a speaker series on home repair. Attend these when possible so you can start making connections that will help your business. If your library doesn't already offer this type of series, why not propose one? Contact other professionals in your area to see about creating a pool of small business resources that can benefit others, and then arrange a four- or six-week speaker's series to help residents in your community.
6. Look for miscellaneous guides and support items. Foreign language audiotapes can prepare you to serve immigrants in your area. Magazine subscriptions in your field of expertise may be available for additional reading. Travel guides and information for cities that host conventions can save you time and money.
Whatever your home based business needs may be, stop by the library to see what they can offer. Be prepared to offer a little bit of information in exchange, and everyone can benefit.
Written by Debra Johanyak - © 2002 Pagewise