April 13, 2022
The Library’s Square One Small Business Services team supports local entrepreneurs by connecting them with valuable business resources, offering free educational classes, and providing one-on-one guidance. Several Square One clients recently shared their experiences working with the Library and how it has helped their businesses.
Kansas City author Darlene Deluca is one such client. As an independent author, Deluca says building a relationship with a local library is advantageous for lesser-known authors who want to get their name out and increase their readership.
Libraries connect authors and readers, but beyond that, Deluca says Library staff understand that authors are small business owners and offer a comprehensive suite of online resources that help entrepreneurs learn basic skills that they need. This includes tools to help them build a cohesive business plan as well as tutorials to create reports and perform analyses. In addition, Square One offers mentoring to help guide small business owners.
MCPL staff’s individualized approach and personal attention has been critical for helping Deluca learn important skills like social media marketing. That personal touch and access to expert help was an important differentiator between Square One and other small business resources.
“Depending on how you learn and how you absorb things, it's just so much more effective to have a real person there,” she said. “Sitting and listening to a podcast or trying to read some instructions online, it just doesn't work for me.”
Deluca’s advice to other entrepreneurs is to seek out networking opportunities with local groups of authors as well as programs and services offered by their local library.
“If you can find a place like the library where you can find experts to work with to just sift through all the information that's out there … it’s very helpful,” she said.
This blog was adapted from materials authored by Knology, a social science research and evaluation nonprofit. These materials were produced in partnership with Urban Libraries Council for the Strengthening Libraries as Entrepreneurial Hubs initiative, a project funded by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Knology was the independent external evaluator for the project and is solely responsible for the content in the original material.
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