| Originally posted on American Libraries Magazine |
Launching a Small Business in Naperville
User: Kent Palmer, business librarian, Naperville (Ill.) Public Library
Product: Gale Small Business Builder
Description: Gale Small Business Builder is a software platform designed to help libraries support business planning for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and other small business ventures.
How do you use Gale Small Business Builder?
We use Gale Small Business Builder in three ways. Walk-in library customers who ask about any resources for writing a business plan are given a brief demonstration on how to use Gale Small Business Builder. Entrepreneurs who are writing a business plan can make one-on-one appointments to receive a more in-depth demonstration, including creating an account in Gale Small Business Builder. We also use the software as the foundation of a three-session class entitled Write a Business Plan, taught in the NaperLaunch Academy, our series of programs designed to support entrepreneurs.
How does Gale Small Business Builder serve your library’s needs?
Entrepreneurs in our area hear about NaperLaunch, our business coworking space, and come to the library to work. Or they are directed by a SCORE Association mentor to come here for assistance with developing market information, demographics, and writing a business plan. We provide guidance on how to write a business plan through Gale Small Business Builder.
What are the main benefits?
The software was designed by a former investment banker with the intent of democratizing the process for business start-ups to access funding by giving smaller enterprises the same top-quality, professional approach to business planning that larger enterprises develop through expensive advisors and consultants. The advice and consulting services are built into the software. The software guidance is comprehensive, and the step-by-step approach encourages them to think of things they would not otherwise consider, allowing the entrepreneur to understand their own business and financials better after using Gale Small Business Builder. The entrepreneur using Gale Small Business Builder will create a more thorough plan than without its guidance.