Starting Smart for Small Business

It’s the time of year for new beginnings. If you’ve dreamed about starting your own business, now is as good a time as any to take your first step. To start smart, take that first step with Omaha Public Library (OPL).

Launching a new business is a serious investment of time, energy and money. Improve your odds of success by being organized and seeking out information and mentorship early on in the process. Your library can connect you to free resources to do just that.

OPL offers access to Gale Small Business Builder (GSBB), a step-by-step online planning tool for starting, managing and optimizing a business or nonprofit. Gale Small Business Builder leads users through a series of guided questions to understand their own entrepreneurial readiness, build a business plan based on a Lean Canvas model, and get a feel for the financial health of their dream or existing business.

"I love that my business clients can use Gale Small Business Builder to develop and export a business plan, but I always try to point out that the real value of creating a plan is in the work of getting to really know your business," said OPL Business Specialist Mark Sorensen. "GSBB just provides a framework and guide - it should ask you questions you don’t know how to answer yet!"

When you need more information to start your business, the library has more to offer. OPL has tools for market research, online learning to build your business skills, and programs designed to help you connect with invaluable community resources. Check out the New Year, New Business series offered in partnership with the Small Business Administration - beginning with Start-Up Business Basics on Thursday Jan 3, noon-1:30 p.m. at Milton R. Abrahams Branch. The series continues weekly through February at libraries around the city, with a new topic each week.

With so much information necessary - and available - to get a strong start in your business, it’s natural to need a little help finding your way around. Please feel free to schedule a meeting with OPL's business librarian to find the right resource for you.

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