Business Plans Handbook

business plans handbookOne of our coolest resources for start-up businesses is the Business Plans Handbook. The BPH is basically an encyclopedia of business plans – they take real-life plans written by actual entrepreneurs, change details for privacy, and put them together. It’s a great tool to use when writing your own business plan – obviously you’ll need to fill in your own details and statistics, but they make great templates and give you a good sense of what a business plan looks like.

We have a few volumes as actual hardcopy books, but the majority of our collection is online and accessible anytime. And best part, we’ve added to the collection!  The new volumes include business plans for a self-published author, a seniors’ yoga instructor and a craft jewellery business, among many others.

The Business Plans Handbook is available through the Gale Virtual Reference Library, one of our many amazing databases. GVRL is a great collection of reference tools for every subject you can imagine and it’s accessible on our website. Just look under business and you’ll see the Business Plans Handbook. From there, you can search for your specific business type and see what BPH has to offer. Please note that you’ll need a WPL card to access it from home.

Starting a business isn’t easy, but library resources can make your life a little bit easier. Check them out!

New Look

Seems time to mix things up a little. This blog was launched something like seven years ago (2009) and we’ve used the same template since day one. So we’ve changed things over to this McKinley template – seems fresh and clean and well-designed. We’ll have to add the library card photo, but regular library card users may have noticed that we changed our cards to new designs some time ago. We’ll have to take a new photo or find another pic.

Room for rent

Good meeting space can be tough to find in Whitby. If you have a meeting or event planned, check out the meeting rooms at the Central Library. We have two great meeting rooms, one of which can be divided into two, so really three. Each can be set up in a variety of configurations to suit your needs, and we can provide projectors, smart TV and other amenities for a small extra charge. All of the details are available on our website – but if you’re interested, act fast! The rooms are very popular.

Or…maybe you just need a pleasant, public place to meet a client. That works too. We have all sorts of comfy chairs, tables and study spaces that work well for informal meetings. We just ask that you be mindful of your neighbours and follow library policies. But while you’re here, don’t forget to check out some of the business resources available!

New entrepreneurship program

BACD

The BACD has done it again! Just a few months after launching their Pathway program aimed at helping businesses reach the next step in their growth, they’ve come up with a new initiative designed for budding entrepreneurs 30 and up.

Second Start provides would-be entrepreneurs with training, skills development, and mentoring, as well as a chance to win $5000 in seed capital to help them start, grow or buy a small business. Training sessions will be held between February and May of this year. There will be a pitch preparation from 13-16 June, a practice pitch 24 June and a grand finale on the 26th. Judges will pick up to 10 winners based on their pitches. You can find full details and an application form on their website.

Second Start is a pilot program funded by the Ministry of Research and Innovation. Here’s hoping that it’s a success. And applicants – don’t forget that we have all sorts of demographic and other information that might help you in your pitch!

 

Best of the year

Becoming Steve Jobs

December always brings out year-end “best of” business book lists. There are plenty of lists to choose from, let alone books. “Best” books are always subjective, so it’s best to read the description to see what piques your interest. Sometimes it might be something that you “need” (e.g. dealing with a particular problem you’re facing). Other times it might be something inspirational or something that helps you stand back and look at the big picture. Or it just might be something you find interesting.

With all of the lists out there, it’s hard to choose just one, but here are a few titles from Fast Company’s 10 best business books of 2015 list that are on the shelves at this very moment:

Stand Out: How To Find Your Breakthrough Idea And Build A Following Around It by Dorie Clark.

Marissa Mayer And The Fight To Save Yahoo! by Nicolas Carson

Becoming Steve Jobs: The Evolution Of A Reckless Upstart Into A Revolutionary Leader by Brent Schlender

These are just the books available on the shelf as of the morning of Thursday the 31st. Overall, we have nine of ten from this particular list (the others are checked out or on order). Of course there are other lists (like this one) and lots of books that don’t appear on lists. The point is, whatever business (or other) book you seek, we will do our utmost to get into your hands.

Book list season hits its peak at the end of the year. And as 2015 wraps up, we at the library would like to take this opportunity to wish you a happy and prosperous 2016. See you next year!

 

 

 

 

New PCensus data!

Screenshot of PCensus.We’re very pleased to announce that we have updated data for PCensus! Previously, we had data from the 2011 Census and spending information from 2012. Our new spending data is from 2015, and the latest data release has 2015 demographic estimates as well as projections to 2018! Of course, everything is based on the 2011 Census (the last available), but current estimates help us get a better handle on what’s happening as we approach the end of the five-year gap between Censuses.

We can expect new Census data in the not-too-distant future, as the next Census will be taken in Spring 2016. The resulting data should start to be released in 2017.

Also – without getting into politics, the government recently announced that the 2016 Census will be mandatory instead of voluntary. This means that the data will be more robust and will hopefully avoid the many problems of the voluntary 2011 Census. This will translate into better data for PCensus.

Interested in using this new data to look into demographics that wil help your business? Drop us a line and we’ll see how we can help!

Do It In Durham Returns!

Logo for Do It In DurhamDo It In Durham, a Region-wide celebration of Global Entrepreneurship Week, is back for 2015! DIID is a series of instructional and informative events held across Durham Region over the course of Global Entrepreneurship Week, which goes from November 16th to the 22nd. There are fifty events hosted by fifty different organizations, including your Whitby Public Library! DIID is offered through the hard work of the good folks of the people at the Business Advisory Centre Durham.

The sessions cover everything business-related. Branding, SEO, hiring, web design, social media, using the cloud, and much, much more. You can browse a complete list of events and attend as many as you like throughout the week. There’s an impressive list, and it’s all free!

Please pay special attention to one of the events scheduled for Tuesday the 17th at 2:00 PM. We’ll be presenting Your Library Card *Is* Your Business Card, an outline of all of the resources available for business at the Whitby Public Library. Be sure to join us!

Only 18 more sleeps!

Durham Business Summit 2015 logo.

Less than two weeks to the 2015 Durham Business Summit! This is your chance to see the always popular and electrifying keynote speaker Pinball Clemons.There are also three workshops on HR, customer experience and cash flow strategy, as well as an expert panel and closing speaker. Add in a chance to network with other business pros and exhibitor’s booths from leading Durham businesses

It’s a full day of inspiration and learning – “the best day you’ll spend out of the office all year!” And if last year’s summit is any indication, it will be exactly that. Get your tickets now!

Pathways to the BACD

BACDThe Business Advisory Centre Durham (BACD) has launched a new program. Unlike the many initiatives aimed at assisting startups, Pathway is aimed at existing businesses that want to grow, but need help figuring out how to get there. That help could take any form – marketing, assistance obtaining government grants, whatever is necessary – the advice and assistance is tailored to your needs and situation.

If you think this is something that could help your business, check out the Pathway page on the BACD website. Please note that there is a $350 admin fee.