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Entrepreneurial Approach to Helping Entrepreneurs

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High Point Public Library's program for helping entrepreneurs who use their library services

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Entrepreneurial Approach to Helping Entrepreneurs

  1. 1. An Entrepreneurial Approach to Helping Entrepreneurs Kassie Ettefagh John Raynor High Point Public Library
  2. 2. The “roots” of HPPL’s Business Center project Inspired by the “embedded librarianship” model of reference service Initially promulgated by… Jamie LaRue, former director of the Douglas County (Colo.) Libraries …and locally exemplified by the business outreach program of the Mauney Memorial Library at Kings Mountain, led by Sharon Stack
  3. 3. The “roots” of HPPL’s Business Center project Inspired by the “embedded librarianship” model of reference service • A response to the decline in “traditional” (desk-based) service in a world of ubiquitous information • Takes librarians out of the library • Promotes the development of ongoing working relationships between librarians and customers
  4. 4. The “roots” of HPPL’s Business Center project Community Reference: Making Libraries Indispensable in a New Way Galston, C., Huber, E. K., Johnson, K., & Long, A. (2012) American Libraries, 43(5), 46-50. “Librarians have the power to change lives and build community -- but to do this, we have to leave our desks, leave our buildings, and show the community what a powerful tool we are.”
  5. 5. The “roots” of HPPL’s Business Center project “Participating in these organizations allows us to demonstrate our value, while also becoming deeply knowledgeable about the issues they are facing.” Community Reference: Making Libraries Indispensable in a New Way Galston, C., Huber, E. K., Johnson, K., & Long, A. (2012) American Libraries, 43(5), 46-50.
  6. 6. Kings Mountain and High Point are different communities with differing needs, so naturally their respective libraries’ business outreach initiatives will also differ significantly.
  7. 7. 12.3 square miles 53.8 square miles
  8. 8. 108,031 people 5,202 businesses Downtown is shaped by the presence of the large furniture showroom buildings serving the twice-yearly High Point Market (180 buildings, offering 11.5 million ft2 of show space). 10,792 people 874 businesses Compact walkable 17-block downtown district
  9. 9. 108,031 people 5,202 businesses 10,792 people 874 businesses Compact walkable 17-block downtown municipal district 81 Businesses within this area of operations Downtown is shaped by the presence of the large furniture showroom buildings serving the twice-yearly High Point Market (180 buildings, offering 11.5 million ft2 of show space).
  10. 10. The library’s response to a municipal strategic plan: • Entrepreneurship promotion (incl. the attraction/retention of millennials) • City-wide scope (but w/an emphasis on creating new businesses downtown) • Improved code enforcement The business outreach initiative was built upon the foundation of a well-established collaboration w/the Kings Mountain Main Street program • Operated within a very well-defined area • Focused on supporting existing businesses • “No Wrong Door” Initiative
  11. 11. Going out to the crossroads of local business, being visible/available at leading organizations Closely cooperating with individual downtown businesses (w/signed agreements)
  12. 12. “Our Library’s Business Center staff is tenacious in their desire to help businesses grow and compete. We view them as an integral part of our strategic plan for growing the local economy. As a manager it confirms the value of this service to me when the Center’s customers go out of their way to say thank you.” Randy Hemann Asst. City Manager, City of High Point
  13. 13. High Point’s business outreach initiative was accompanied by the creation of a dedicated Business Center space. If a goal of embedded librarianship is “a seat at the table,” providing a table now and then is a step in the right direction.
  14. 14. The High Point Economic Development Corporation met in the library’s Business Center on October 5th, 2016 If a goal of embedded librarianship is “a seat at the table,” providing a table now and then is a step in the right direction.
  15. 15. • Chamber of Commerce • City Planning and Development Office • City Public Information Office • High Point EDC • GTCC Small Business Center • Guilford Merchant Association • Main Street Task Force • SCORE High Point Our Partners
  16. 16. Outreach
  17. 17. 1. Initial Client Approach • Networking, referrals, word-of-mouth 2. Identify business’s needs • Phone • Email • In Person (library or business site) 3. Research 4. Delivery of Results 5. Follow-up Result: 150 client consults per year Our Process
  18. 18. (It’s not just books, anymore!) Tools Available
  19. 19. • Company Profiles • Industry and Market Research Data • Demographic Analysis • International Business Research • GIS Real Estate Research • Social Media Assistance • Municipal Assistance • One-on-one Tutorials Checklist We Offer:
  20. 20. • Researched point-of-sale software for a business owner Result: Owner has met with vendors, system will upgrade sales and inventory procedures • Researched city demographic distribution Result: Business owner has list of addresses to contact through mail marketing • Created social media page for small business Result: Business has first official online presence • Conducted research on city’s demographics, housing prices, and education levels over five year period Result: Client has information to help with decision on purchasing High Point company Success Stories
  21. 21. Success Stories Recent research to support downtown entrepreneurship
  22. 22. Success Stories Recent research to support downtown entrepreneurship
  23. 23. Liaison Success: Municipal Assistance
  24. 24. A portion of Main Street was closed from November 2016 through April 2017 for infrastructure improvements and burying electrical lines. The library reached out to each business, provided assistance, gave feedback to the city, and attended biweekly meetings. Result: Businesses felt engaged and supported. Liaison Success: Municipal Assistance
  25. 25. A Further Result: The library is now liaising with businesses effected by downtown road closures associated with the ongoing Elm Street Project (starting in September of 2018). Liaison Success: Municipal Assistance
  26. 26. Testimonials “Kassie and the HP Public Library were such help to my family’s restaurant business. We experienced a total road closure in front of our business for 6 months, without Kassie’s help with our social media I’m not sure we would’ve survived. Her patience and expertise was sunlight in what was a very dark time. Thank you Kassie!” Chris Amos The Dog House, Inc.
  27. 27. Sue Falcone Remarkable! A Speaker’s Bureau Testimonials As the CEO of a growing company I know the value of market research and the expense of it. In contacting the library I have received excellent information and contacts that will further grow our company…. I will be forever grateful for all you have provided and look forward to working with and recommending you to all who are seeking to expand and have a successful business!"
  28. 28. “The Business Center at the High Point Library is an excellent asset for both city residents and the business community. When the High Point Economic Development Corporation staff members are working with persons who are starting or growing their business and could benefit from some additional one-on-one assistance, we refer them to the business center. In addition, our office utilizes the center’s expertise to gather data for our economic development projects.” Marshall Yandle Vice President, High Point EDC Testimonials
  29. 29. Programming
  30. 30. Money Management Entrepreneur Fundraising
  31. 31. Job Search Career Assistance
  32. 32. • Press releases through the City’s Public Information Office • High Point Chamber of Commerce online calendar • Guilford Nonprofit Consortium mailing list and online calendar for relevant events • TV News Coverage Spectrum News and Fox 8 Advertising Methods Include:
  33. 33. Cross-Promotion
  34. 34. The High Point Public Library’s Business Center is not a direct continuation of the pioneering work at Kings Mountain. It’s a new expression of the principle first developed by the Douglas County Libraries, adapted to High Point’s needs. Darwin’s Galapagos Finches
  35. 35. There are as many potential forms of embedded librarianship as there are business communities here in North Carolina So what form might it take in your community? Darwin’s Galapagos Finches

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