Business Services Blog
We've recently created a new welcome video for Business services! Please feel free to view and share. At just a little over one minute, it's short and to the point. We want to be part of your community and help your business grow. Come see us!
We meet with small business owners on a daily basis who need to create an online presence but don't know where to start. Or a business has a website but needs to include a social media presence. The use of consistent imagery is a great way to unify your look across the various platforms of your business. From Facebook Pages, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, your website, business cards, and LinkedIn, it's important to have consistency so you have a professional and recognizable presence. A unified look might include:
- using the same profile picture (this can be your headshot or a logo).
- using the same color scheme
- using the same tag line
- using the same header image
Just a few simple tweeks will help create a seamless presence for your business. Set up an appointment with a Business Services Specialist if you need some assistance!
Money Smart Week is just a few days away and we've planned something special for our community of entrepreneurs!
Every business wants to grow, but growth can be tricky for the entrepreneur. Should you consider business financing? What do you need to be aware of when deciding to get a loan? We've invited a local business banker from Village Bank & Trust to provide insight and tips regarding financial considerations for the growing small business. Join us Tuesday, April 21, 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm. Register online.
We are entering a new season in Business Services! Based on the survey results from 2014, we heard you wanted more remote services, opportunities for education via video streaming, and recorded classes. We listened and are in the process of developing new services to meet your needs for accessibility. This year we'll be adding:
- Remote one-on-one appointments via Skype or Google Hangouts.
- Monthly Video-Bytes which will be brief 3 minute videos created by Business Services staff with practical tips, tools and resources that you can use in your business.
- Lunch-Bytes Webinars beginning in July for social media marketing and technology tips instruction.
- Co-working Connection offered twice a month creating a space for local business owners to collaborate and network.
We would love to hear from you regarding topics you want to hear about for the video series. Please email Julie with your feedback!
We hosted a Technology Tools Buffet Breakfast event last week in partnership with the Arlington Heights Chamber of Commerce. We were able to highlight the technology resources including our Tech a la Carte service, the database resources in the Business Center, 3-D printing demonstrations in Digital Services, and tours of the Studio and related resources. For additional reading, check out the recent write-up in the Chicago Tribune!
The Co-working Connection launch last Wednesday was a success! To enhance the networking that happens, we have a Co-working Resource Binder available for participants to include contact information and business cards. This binder will remain in the Business Center during regular library hours. Our desire is for participants to become a support system and resource to each other. Our next Co-working connection will be next week, Wednesday, March 18 from 9 a.m. - 12 p.m. This is an informal opportunity to work alongside other small businesses, collaborate and network. A Business Specialist will be available during this time for guidance regarding business resources both inside and outside of the library. Drop in at any time, you never know what connections you'll make! Co-working Connection space in the Business Center will be available the 1st and 3rd Wednesday mornings of the month.
Did you know that Business Services is on social media? We share occasional business updates and program marketing through the AHML Facebook and Twitter feeds. We also have a dedicated business board on Pinterest! Have you browsed the resources we’re sharing on there? We are tapped into many small business newsletter resources and love to share the most inspiring information to you through these social media outlets. Topics range from how to create an awesome “About” page on your website to articles on preparing your business taxes, book recommendations and more. Make sure you’re following or periodically browsing to find new tips, tricks, and resources that can help your business navigate the marketing and goal setting tools you need for success.
As always, if you want to talk with someone specifically about your business and need direction for your next steps, make an appointment with one of our business specialists!
Are you aware of all the reference and research resources available to you? We have databases and reference libraries that are available to you from home or office just by logging into the AHML website (www.ahml.info).
A few highlights include:
- Gale Virtual Reference Library - with a category just for businesses
- Reference USA - a powerful database for demographics and mailing list research
- Corporate Affiliations - includes a directory of parent and subsidiary companies
- Plunkett Research - provides industry statistics and trends with lists of related organizations
In our 2014 business survey, respondants indicated a desire for more networking opportunities. We also understand that working from home or being a solopreneur can be a lonely venture with few opportunities to create a sense of community. In just a few weeks we are launching a new opportunity to use our Business Center as a co-working space for those who work from home or would like an environment where they can collaborate, network, and co-mingle. Twice a month you can work at the library in a space dedicated to the small business community. You will have the opportunity to use the business center and resources, meet other business owners, network and potentially collaborate on new ideas. We hope this will become a valuable and productive resource for our business community.
The Co-working Connection is a drop-in opportunity. A business specialist from the library will be available to assist you with business resources. Beginning March 4th, co-working space in the Business Center will be available the 1st & 3rd Wednesday mornings of every month from 9 am – 12 pm.
Yesterday's class was so interactive! Lot's of great questions were asked and new tools were developed for marketing new and established businesses. If you missed it, feel free to browse the presentation right here. Our next class will be using Instagram as a Marketing Tool - another creative and easy tool to use. Come get some ideas for thinking outside of the box on these social media platforms!