How can I open my dream business?
Special to the Whig
Dear Librarian: I dream of owning my own business, but don’t know where to start.
Dear Reader: I know just what you mean!
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 cooks well (and I’m not just saying that because she might read this). Adventurous artichoke and cheddar breads or chocolateraspberry 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 familyfriendly board game cafe and she would love to own a bakery.
Somehow, I think we could smash these ideas together, making great money and great memories. Half of the space would be filled with shelves of games and spacious tables, and my wife could 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 at the Cecil County Public Library.
The library offers marketing books, databases filled with useful regional statistics and free programs, plus one-on-one appointments with a professional librarian to discuss your ideas and goals. These are 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” 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” 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” 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, videos and social media presence, this is the book to check out. It’s hard to keep up with an online world that is constantly reinventing itself, but this new title should help you keep up.
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-bystep 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 all right 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 Ave. in Elkton, call us at 410-996-5600 ext. 128, or email us at email@example.com.
Last Week’s Trivia Question: In 1995, how many publishing houses rejected J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book before it was published? Answer: Twelve. Stick with it, authors — J.K. Rowling didn’t give up and neither should you.
This Week’s Trivia Question: When was the Small Business Administration, the government agency that provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses, founded?
Upcoming Event: Learn about the incredible, edible mushroom at 7 p.m. on Tuesday during a Science Café at Elkton Central Library. Jack Reitnauer, chief operating officer of Phillips Mushroom Farms, will show us the diversity of this amazing food. The state-ofthe-art facility in Warwick grows many varieties. Phillips Mushroom Farms is the largest grower of specialty mushrooms in the U.S. To register, call 410-996-5600 ext. 481 or visit www.cecil.ebranch. info.
What People Are Asking runs weekly in Jumpstart and is written by librarians at the Cecil County Public Library. Questions? Visit your local branch, email ask@ ccplnet.org, call 410-996-5600 or visit www.cecil.ebranch.