Local libraries can enhance their information services for small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs, turning librarians into heroes, helping businesses grow, creating new jobs, and increasing the vitality of their local economies. Over the last 30 years, nearly all net new jobs have been created by small businesses. Public libraries provide services to small businesses 2.8 million times each month, proving how important libraries are to small business success.
Changes in the economy, data, and technology are creating or providing challenges and opportunities for libraries. Innovative librarians taking advantage of these possibilities will establish their libraries as a nexus for small business assistance and entrepreneurship.
Today, one of the primary ways that innovative librarians can help small businesses is by providing research in the form of databases for market analysis, finding customers, demographic analysis, and evaluating business locations. This is because data is becoming the difference between business success and failure.
Updated market research is defining the business winners and losers in today’s information economy. Libraries are uniquely positioned to be able to provide business intelligence through data subscriptions that small businesses and entrepreneurs can’t afford on their own. According to American Libraries magazine, data services are a key element of library small business assistance and online databases that provide community demographic information, industry trends, and marketing insights are resources that libraries provide to meet today’s business needs. Mark Andersen, chief of Chicago Public Library’s Business, Science, and Technology Division learned that, “The Boeings and Motorolas think nothing about buying these resources for themselves… but they make a huge difference to the entrepreneur who is struggling just to qualify for a loan.”
Libraries can serve this need of their entrepreneurs by providing local business intelligence assistance using SizeUp LBI. For example, Santa Barbara, California’s library provides local business intelligence assistance using SizeUp LBI and other libraries can also license this high-quality small business intelligence for themselves and easily add it to their websites.
FastCompany points out that “Arguably the most valuable aspect of libraries are their role in leveling the playing field.” Libraries providing small businesses with market research through the SizeUp LBI data subscriptions reveals data insights previously only available to large corporations.
Every community has different prominent industries. In your region it may be agriculture, technology, manufacturing, or business services. Unlike trade journals and magazines focusing on general industries, SizeUp LBI provides detailed, interactive, sub-industry data that is hyperlocal to your community.
SizeUp uses millions of pieces of data providing businesses in your community with customized data for their unique businesses, in their specific industry, in their exact location. Entrepreneurs preparing to open a new business can also use SizeUp to create their business plan, perform market research, and analyze how realistic their projections and estimates are for a business similar to theirs. SizeUp helps businesses in your community make smarter decisions through data.
Morgan Miller, Director at the Cecil County Public Library in Maryland, explains that libraries are well equipped to provide resources, research, and connections to help before an entrepreneur even has a business or marketing plan and further explains that, “Before people can go to the Economic Development Department or go to a bank for financing they need a business plan — where do you go? How do you do it? How do you perform a competitor analysis and develop a marketing plan?”
SizeUp LBI delivers answers and meaningful information libraries need to better serve your local businesses. For more information how your library can subscribe to SizeUp LBI, please contact us.