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 sbic@cc­

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@ cc­, call 410-996-5600 or visit www.ce­cil.ebranch.

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