Writing a business plan? Need help determining competitors or locating suppliers? Looking to expand your customer base? The Rapides Parish Library offers help so you can mind your own business! Entrepreneurs need access to effective resources to start, manage, and grow their businesses. Current and prospective business owners will find valuable information in the Rapides Parish Library online resources and selected websites.
The knowledgeable staff of the Reference Department can assist you in accessing the most powerful databases available to help you analyze what types of businesses would be most profitable in your area. Using all the tools in their reference and research arsenal, you can access consumer market databases for small businesses, entrepreneurs and non-profit organizations that help businesses to succeed by targeting advertising efforts, increasing market share and growing their clientele. You can research consumer expenditure data and demographic data. With the online Business Searching Interface from the Louisiana State Library, you can connect to publications, academic journals, industry profiles, market research reports, SWOT analyses, business trade publications and white papers from market analysts from all over the country. There are databases that have consumer incomes, home values and incomes that will let you collect and extrapolate the data that will lead to potential business customers. With a library card, you can search the online indexes for full-text magazine, newspaper and trade journal articles about trends in your industry and consumer attitudes and how they spend their money.
There are also thousands of titles that you can check out to help you find a way to start up a business using your creativity and expertise or use your hobbies and interests to propel you into a new franchise, start-up, home-based or online business. Here are just a few titles from your neighborhood library to help you mind your own business:
- How to prepare a business plan by Edward Blackwell
- Legal guide for starting and running a small business by Fred S. Steingold.
- Steps to a small business start-up: Everything you need to know to turn your idea into a successful business by Linda Pinson and Jerry Jinnett.
- There’s A Business in Every Woman: A 7-step guide to discovering, starting, and building the business of your dreams, by Ann M. Holmes.
- Franchising 101: the complete guide to evaluating, buying and growing your franchise business from the Association of Small Business Development Centers (ASBDC); edited by Ann Dugan.
- 32 Ways to be a champion in business by Earvin “Magic” Johnson.
- How to show and sell your crafts: how to build your craft business at home, online and in the marketplace by Torie Jayne.
- The everything home-based business book: Everything you need to know to start and run a successful home-based business by Jack Savage.
If you’re interested in these books, or you’d like to find out more about the Business Searching Interface, or any of the databases, services or resources available through the Rapides Parish Library, contact the knowledgeable Reference staff at 318-445-2411 x 1030 or online at www.rpl.org.