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Load up on info before starting business

By Paul Birkhead
Rowan Public Library
Many people share the same desire to start their own small business. Unfortunately, it is all too common for them to also share similar frustration when seeking information on how to get started.
There are many resources competing for the attention of those seeking help in starting a small business. The reference librarians at Rowan Public Library are always happy to help you find credible information that meets your needs.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is the government agency in charge of aiding, counseling and protecting the interests of small business in America. The SBA has some wonderful information on its Web site (www.sba.gov) that was designed to educate citizens who want to start their own businesses.
One nice feature on the Web site is a self-evaluation tool that can help you decide if creating your own business is right for you. There is also a glossary of terms on the Web site that can help you with business lingo.
Of course, there is no charge to use any of these features because they come from the U.S. government.
“So You Want to Start a Business?” by Edward D. Hess and Charles F. Goetz, is a book you can find at Rowan Public Library that discusses eight steps to take before making the leap into small business.
The combined experience of the authors creating and operating small businesses gives them particular insight into what mistakes most people make when going into business for themselves and how to avoid repeating them.
One of the first chapters in the book explains how to evaluate potential net profit margins from whatever product or service you wish to sell. If it’s clear you can’t make money selling a product, you can save yourself a lot of trouble by investigating something else.
“The Legal Guide for Starting & Running a Small Business” is a book written by a practicing attorney, Fred S. Steingold. Business owners are frequently confronted with legal questions, especially when their venture is getting started. This resource gives advice on many legal issues, including forming a corporation, choosing the right type of insurance and even negotiating a favorable lease.The North Carolina Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC) is a state government agency that was established in 1984 with a mission to help North Carolina’s emerging entrepreneurs by providing free counseling and information.
The agency’s Web site (www.sbtdc.org) has extensive resources, including a 40-page “Business Start-up and Resource Guide.” Another enlightening document is the SBTDC Annual Report, which always features several success stories from SBTDC clients.
If you’re dreaming of starting a small business here in North Carolina, you’ll be in good company. Many of your neighbors have already started businesses of their own. Some who started their own businesses did so in hopes of getting rich, while some simply yearned to be their own boss.
Still others sought the security of not being laid off without notice again. Whatever the reasons for starting a new business, the key to success is in careful research and planning. Come into Rowan Public library and let us help get you started.
Children’s holiday programs: South, Tuesday, 6 p.m., Holiday Pajama Express. Get comfy and wear your pajamas to hear seasonal stories, make fun crafts and enjoy cocoa at the Holiday Pajama Express.
East, Dec. 12, 10:30 a.m., Stories by the Fireplace. Enjoy great stories, crafts and a visit from a very special guest. Ho, ho, ho.
Headquarters, Dec. 12, 2 p.m., RoBoJo Holiday Theatre. A wild and wacky troupe of actors creates holiday mayhem with stories, jokes and songs. Dec. 16, 10:30 a.m., Christmas Tea Party. The children’s staff will hold their annual holiday party with stories and crafts.
Displays: Headquarters ó Kwanzaa by Eleanor Qadirah; South ó Christmas village by Tammie Foster. East ó Friends Basket display.
December hours: Dec. 18, all branches open at 1 p.m. (staff development); Dec. 21-23, all branches close at 6 p.m.; Dec. 24-27, all branches closed for holidays; Dec. 31, all branches close at 5 p.m.; Jan. 1, 2010, all branches closed.Literacy: Call the Rowan County Literacy Council at 704-216-8266 for more information on teaching or receiving literacy tutoring for English speakers or for those for whom English is a second language.

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