Most people already know about something that the library has…lots of books. Yes, you can find all these books and thousands more like them on business at your local public library. If you can make it there when we’re open, assuming someone else hasn’t checked out the book before you got there.
Fortunately for us, there’s so much more to the library thanks to the power of the Internet! Libraries have been busy since the advent of the Internet. Your local public libraries, in partnership with the South Carolina State Library’s DISCUS program, have built a whole new kind of library for our state. County library websites are now more like online library branches, filled with millions of trade journal articles, industry overviews, statistics, business profiles, and more—all available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Whether you’re just starting a business or have been in the trenches for years, every day is a learning experience. You never know when you’ll encounter something you’ve never dealt with before. The library has some good resources to handle your general business questions. Check out Small Business Resource Center and Small Business Reference Center at http://tinyurl.com/ccplbusinessdatabases. Find over 300 sample business plans, preselected searches on popular businesses and even business topics such as pricing, marketing, and more.
Not every business question has to do with how to run your small business. Sometimes you need to find out more about industry trends to see if what you’re experiencing is par for the course. Maybe you want to know more about how the leaders in your industry operate to see if there’s something you’re missing. Business Insights: Essentials is a great tool for finding this kind of information. You can find company profiles with financials for public companies, industry overviews, trade journal articles and more with this powerful database. I’ve been using the predecessor of this database, Business & Company Resource Center, for years and I still find things in there that are a pleasant surprise.
Market Research can be expensive if you pay someone to do it for you, but why do it when the Library’s resources are here? Want a more in-depth profile that’s drop dead easy? Take a few minutes to use DemographicsNow. This database can help you pinpoint who will be most likely to buy your product, where in town will you find them, and where you might want to open a new location. You’ll be amazed at what you can find out. This is your tax dollars hard at work!
If you work in a B2B environment, or if you’d like to spy on your local competitors, here’s a showstopping tool for you: ReferenceUSA. The publisher, infoUSA will sell you their data individually, but why pay for it twice? Use the Library’s subscription to build a mailing list or check out your competitors. You can even play from work! All you need for access is a CCPL library card, free for in county residents, $35 for out of county cards, which is a steal since one purchase of the data from the publishers would cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you don’t have a library card, take a few minutes and pick one up at any CCPL branch. You’ll be glad you did!
Your Online Library contains even more than these databases we’ve talked about. We’re happy to say that as of this month (September 2011) CCPL launched two new services for our online library-- e-books from Overdrive and downloadable audiobooks from Recorded Book’s brand new OneClickdigital service. Our NextReads service offers you monthly or bimonthly email newsletters filled with lists of books for every reading interest. You can also sign up for a monthly email that lists upcoming CCPL business & personal finance events.
We’re here to help if you have a question while you are using our online resources. Use our Ask A Question service to get help any time the library is open. CCPL also has a presence on Facebook and Twitter, and there is a Business Center blog/website for more detailed information about our business resources.
All you need for access is a CCPL library card, free for in county residents, $35 for out of county cards, which is a steal since one purchase of the data from the publishers would cost you hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you don’t have a library card, take a few minutes and pick one up at any CCPL branch. You’ll be glad you did!
Once you get home, you’re not alone! Give us a call if you have questions. Our Reference staff is here whenever we’re open. If they can’t answer your question, they’ll consult with myself and my business librarian colleague John, and one of us will get back to you. We’re happy to help. Good luck with your next DIY research project!
DIY Business Research for SCORE Counselors
DIY Business Research
You Already Know This Much…
Libraries have lots of books on running a business
Happily, There’s So Much More!
Available 24/7 at your online library branch
Answer Small Business Questions
Articles, business plan samples,
directory information, & advice for every
type of small business
Get Insight Into Companies,
Industries, & Markets
Corporate profiles, industry overviews,
articles, market research, etc.
Find Your Own Demographics
for Market Research or Grantwriting
Find in-depth, customizable reports for SC
population, income, housing, consumer
expenditures, businesses and more!
Make A B2B Mailing List
or Spy On Your Competition
Spy on 13 million+ public and private businesses:
Who’s in charge? What do they do? How much
do they earn & spend? Contact information?
Explore Your Online Library
Your online library also includes ebooks,
downloadable audiobooks & email newsletters on
business and many other topics
Need Help On the Go?
Text, IM, Email, or Call us!
Feel Sociable? Look for us
everywhere you are online:
Get In On The Action
In county? Get a free card!
Out of county? Stop by &
use our resources for free!
Need some inspiration?
Attend a business program.
You’ll soon see that…