With a new year starting, it is a perfect time to think about future plans and how to make the next year special. Starting a small business is something that many of us consider from time to time. Why not take the next step? Maybe you have an idea for a side project or want to explore the possibility of starting something that will support you and your family entirely. Whatever your idea or stage of the process, we have resources to help. We offer support for those just getting started with general research on the topic, those who are ready to write a business plan or update an existing one and those who are looking to take their business to the next level.
Thanks to the continued support from the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, we are able to offer an array of electronic resources to support small businesses and those with small business ideas. Through our partnership we offer the following:
• Add skills or provide training for employees with LinkedIn Learning, offering online courses taught by industry experts. The site allows you to learn business, creative, and technology skills from individual software to topics like customer service or management techniques. There is a wide array of options to meet various needs.
• The Gale Business Resources are a suite of tools to meet a variety of business-related needs, including the following components. Plan Builder is a step-by-step tool that guides users through the process of developing a business plan. Demographics Now connects users with detailed demographic data on more than 24 million U.S. businesses and 206 million consumers. It is ideal for gaining consumer and market insight. Entrepreneurship is a comprehensive database covering all aspects of starting and operating a business including accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, tax and more.
In addition to these tools provided through our partnership with the PCDC, we offer several other electronic resources. AtoZDatabases is a public records database for sales leads, mailing lists and market research. Small Business Reference Center is a research database offering information on small business and entrepreneurial subjects. Texas Legal Forms offers access to the most up-to-date legal forms, specific to the state of Texas.
All of these resources are available for free with your library card and are accessible anytime, anywhere on the device of your choice. Simply log into your library account with your card number and password (or PIN) to gain access.
Are electronic resources not your thing? We also have good old-fashioned books. A simple search in our catalog pulls up titles like “Tax Savvy for Small Business,” “Virtually Free Marketing: Harnessing the Power of the Web for your Small Business” and “Successful Business Plan: Secrets & Strategies.” There are many more similar titles found in our adult nonfiction section.
Need to get of the house and find a place to work from? You can also use the library as a co-working space. We offer flexible space throughout the building where you can set up a laptop, meet with others or work on a project. Find a quiet spot and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi, low-cost printing and free scanning. We also offer meeting rooms available for reservation at a low cost.
The Pfab Lab, which is the library’s makers space, offers the chance to use tools like 3-D printers, laser cutters and more. We offer training on the tools in the lab and appointments to use the tools after you have been trained. Perhaps you need to develop a prototype for a business proposal or to secure funding. The tools in the lab provide an opportunity to do just that.
As we begin to reintroduce more programming in 2022 as the pandemic allows, keep an eye out for small business-related programs on subjects like learning how to best use the library’s electronic resources to meet your small business needs. In the meantime, please reach out if you have any questions or would like to learn more. We are here to help you succeed.
To learn more about the Pfab Lab, see the page on the library website: library.pflugervilletx.gov/services/pfab-lab.
Daniel Berra is assistant director at the Pflugerville Public Library.