| By Gale Staff |
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20% of new businesses fail within the first two years. This number increases to 45% by year five—that’s nearly one in two! Still, many new ventures prosper. With 50/50 odds, it seems like a coin flip determines business success. But what really makes the difference between a successful idea and a failed venture?
Careful preparation directly impacts long-term success—and that means writing a business plan. With National Write a Business Plan Month coming up in December, this is the perfect time to position your library system as an ally for small businesses in your community. With powerful tools for aspiring entrepreneurs at all stages of their journey, Gale is here to set you—and your community—up for success.
A thoughtful business plan considers the common pitfalls of starting a new business and addresses funding, management, staffing, marketing, and sales. By outlining and strategizing these variables, business owners can proactively plan for different circumstances.
Small business owners are some of the hardest working people around—and their establishments add immeasurable value to our communities. They attract new shoppers, pay taxes, provide employment, and add unique character to our towns.
While your town prepares for its holiday festivities, discover ways to support new business ventures in your area. Aspiring business leaders in your community don’t have to go it alone! Public libraries that subscribe to Gale’s business suite can provide entrepreneurs with the essential tools for success.
Access Step-by-Step Guidance
Sometimes, the most challenging step toward starting a new business is knowing where to begin. Gale Business: Plan Builder is an innovative step-by-step tool that helps entrepreneurs turn an idea into a structured, action-oriented document. By investing in Gale’s suite of business tools, you’re demonstrating your library’s relevance to diverse constituents across your community. Regardless of academic or professional background, Gale Business: Plan Builder is an accessible, curated resource for the entire lifecycle of any business and any business owner.
In addition to providing templates and other helpful tools, the database walks users through five key areas: entrepreneur profile, business ideation, break-even analysis, business plan, and financial projection. Gale Business: Plan Builder encourages users to reflect on their strengths, familiarize themselves with crucial business software, prepare an economic assessment—and ultimately create their business plan. Users will even gain strategies for presenting their new business to potential partners and investors, thus increasing their chances of funding.
Become an Incubator for Local Business
Business school is costly, time-consuming—and out of reach for most. While your community members may not have the means to engage in a formal business program, that shouldn’t deter them from pursuing their dreams of opening their own businesses. With Gale Business: Entrepreneurship, your library can become a hub for new business ventures and an incubator for great ideas. Patrons can bypass night classes and tuition fees, as Gale Business: Entrepreneurship is an all-inclusive database for launching a new business. Access targeted periodicals, e-books, podcasts, directories, frequently asked questions and even a helpful glossary of business terms. Everything is digitized and fully searchable, so users can quickly identify resources related to their field.
Experts designed Gale Business: Entrepreneurship for accessibility and easy navigation. Entrepreneurs will find four distinct topics to help them wherever they are on their journey: plan, fund, start, and manage. The program covers everything you need throughout the business lifecycle, making your library a consistent, reliable hub for community business owners. Plus, users can find valuable guidance from other business leaders and up-to-date industry trends.
Find Model Business Plans
It’s never easy to start from scratch. Browsing existing business plans from other successful companies can be very beneficial, which is why Gale’s Business Plan Handbook offers copies of over 1,000 real-life business plans, with new examples added every few months. Users can undoubtedly find a plan that mimics their personal business goals, providing a valuable structure to impose their unique ideas. Studying business plans from similar companies will assist entrepreneurs in avoiding pitfalls and leveraging valuable lessons. They can get a sense of the market trends and gain insider tips from established businesses. A model business plan is a map to success for new business owners.
Raise Awareness for Write a Business Plan Month
Subscribing to Gale’s business suite is your library’s first step to support local business owners. From there, consider other fun opportunities to share those business resources and help raise awareness for National Write a Business Plan Month.
Host a New Business Workshop
To kick off National Write a Business Plan Month, your library can host a new business workshop. In addition to promoting your Gale resources, you could invite local business owners to speak about their experience and tips for success. Individuals with drafted business plans could also ask experts to review and offer feedback on their proposals. To get extra traction, you might consider hosting this event alongside Small Business Saturday on November 25!
Support Local Business
Show your support for new community businesses by purchasing gift cards for library events. You can use them as prizes throughout the year, and gift card recipients will then patronize those businesses (which may inspire additional purchases in the future).
Share on Social Media
Use your library’s social media page to advertise your business resources. You can share stories from your favorite community businesses and maybe capture advice from local entrepreneurs. Host a Facebook live walkthrough to demonstrate the ease of different business tools your library provides. Use #WriteABusinessPlanMonth for your posts.
Gale’s business suite has valuable resources to even the playing field. Your library can help aspiring entrepreneurs gain confidence and manage risk.
December is a time for reflection, taking stock of the past year—and starting to think about what’s on the horizon in the coming year. It’s the perfect time to start or revisit a business idea. Each of Gale’s business resources, Gale Business: Plan Builder, Gale Business: Entrepreneurship, and Business Plan Handbook, has the potential to empower members of your community from all walks of life to create a business plan. Request a trial of Gale’s databases today so your library can support your patrons in starting their business. To learn more about National Write a Business Plan Month, visit the holiday page on NationalToday.com.