With a new year starting, now is a great time to reflect on 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 you want to explore the possibility of starting something that will fully support you and your family. Whatever your idea or stage of the process, we have resources to help you. We offer support for those new to general research on the subject, those ready to write a business plan or update an existing plan, and those looking to take their business to the next level.
With continued support from the Pflugerville Community Development Corporation, we are able to offer a range of electronic resources to support small businesses and those with small business ideas. Thanks to our partnership, we offer you:
• Add skills or train employees with LinkedIn Learning, offering online courses from industry experts. The site allows you to learn business, creative and technological skills from individual software to topics such as customer service or management techniques. There is a wide range of options to meet various needs.
• Gale Business Resources is 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 to detailed demographics of more than 24 million U.S. businesses and 206 million consumers. It is ideal for better understanding consumers and the market. Entrepreneurship is a comprehensive database covering all aspects of starting and operating a business including accounting, finance, human resources, management, marketing, taxation, etc.
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 leads, mailing lists, and market research. Small Business Reference Center is a research database providing information on topics relating to small business and entrepreneurship. Texas Legal Forms provides access to the most recent legal forms specific to the State of Texas.
All of these resources are available for free with your library card and can be accessed anytime, anywhere on your device of choice. Simply log into your library account with your card number and password (or PIN) to access it.
Electronic resources not your thing? We also have some good old school books. A simple search of our catalog brings up titles such as “Tax Savvy for Small Business”, “Virtually Free Marketing: Harnessing the Power of the Web for Your Small Business” and “A Successful Business Plan: Secrets and Strategies”. There are many other similar titles in our adult non-fiction section.
Need to get out of the house and find a place to work? You can also use the library as a co-working space. We provide flexible space throughout the building where you can set up a laptop, meet other people, or work on a project. Find a quiet place and take advantage of our free Wi-Fi, low cost printing and free scanning. We also have meeting rooms available for booking at low cost.
The Pfab Lab, which is the makers space of the library, offers the possibility of using tools such as 3D printers, laser cutters and more. We provide training on the tools in the lab and appointments to use the tools once you have been trained. Maybe you need to develop a prototype for a business proposal or get funding. The tools in the lab provide an opportunity to do just that.
As we begin to reintroduce more programs in 2022, as the pandemic allows, keep an eye out for small business-related programs on topics such as learning how to best use library electronic resources to meet needs. of your small business. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or want to know more. We’re here to help you succeed.
To learn more about the Pfab Lab, see the library’s website page: library.pflugervilletx.gov/services/pfab-lab.
Daniel Berra is Assistant Director at the Pflugerville Public Library.