Growing your Small Business
Small businesses vary widely in size and capacity for growth. They are characterized by independence of action, differing organizational structures, and varied management styles. Scaling your business is hard. It takes considerable effort. In the beginning, it means wearing different hats. It means dealing with sales and marketing. It means understanding taxes and corporate compliance. It involves having to interact with customers on a daily basis. And so much more. At the end of the day, it takes its toll on you.
The Independence Public Library can connect you with the resources and information you need to grow your small business initiative. If you’re struggling to grow your business, there is light at the end of the tunnel. If you buckle down, clear your mind, and just look at things in perspective, you can easily identify ways you can grow your business and make more money quickly.
Resources to help you grow your small business
- Small Business and Leadership Books – Browse our collection of Small Business Development, Job Seeking, and Leadership books while on the go. Place holds on items and pick them up at your convenience at the Independence Public Library.
- Small Business Reference Center – Exclusive full text for many top consumer small business reference books, as well as tools to address many small business topics. It includes business videos, a help and advice section, and details on how to create business plans. (Use the last 5 digits of your IPL Library card)
- Entrepreneurial Studies Source – Covering the latest insights in entrepreneurship and small business ownership, Entrepreneurial Studies Source is an essential full-text database for business students and researchers. (Use the last 5 digits of your IPL Library card)
- Hobbies and Crafts Reference Center – This database offers detailed “how-to” instructions and creative ideas to meet the interests of virtually every hobby enthusiast. Full text is provided from leading hobby and craft magazines. (Use the last 5 digits of your IPL Library card)
- Ice House Entrepreneurship Program – Whether you want to build a business, transform your organization or reinvent your career, an entrepreneurial mindset provides a new perspective; one that will expose new opportunities, ignite your ambition, and cultivate confidence and creativity, self-reliance, and the resourcefulness that are essential for anyone to adapt and thrive in today’s rapidly changing world. To access this database you will log in to SEKNFIND.ORG using your IPL library card. Once logged in, click on the green “KOHA” logo in the upper left-hand corner. Then click the orange button under “Click to Access” under the Ice House Entrepreneurship description.
- The Foundation Center – (Available only from IPL computers) Find and Approach Great Prospects with FDO’s Extensive Application & Fundraising Expertise. Funder Profiles, Peer Recipient Profiles, Decision Makers, Funder Types, Maps, Charts. Fuel Your Fundraising. In-Depth Fundraising Tool. Win More Grants.
- Mini Makers Space – a collaborative workspace inside the library for making, learning, exploring, and sharing.
- City of Independence – Find regulations, information and more.
- Independence Chamber of Commerce – The Chamber serves as a catalyst to initiate new economic development and community development projects or programs and sees to it that they are carried out either through a committee or another organization.
- Independence Main Street – a community organization that promotes small business growth, entrepreneur development, and shop local events.
- Montgomery County Action Council – Collaborates with numerous partners including local municipalities and entities to streamline the small business development process.
- Fab Lab ICC – Located in the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship on the main campus of Independence Community College in Independence, Kansas. The Fab Lab is a creative space providing community members and students access to advanced manufacturing and digital fabrication tools for: making things for fun; learning academic and vocational skills; developing innovations and inventions; creating businesses and items for business promotion; and producing personalized products.
- Kansas Small Business Development Center – Statewide network of centers whose business consultants provide confidential business assistance at no charge to established firms, growth companies and start-up enterprises. Training courses are also provided for which fees may be charged.
- Network Kansas – Resource for starting or growing a business including a central portal connecting entrepreneurs and small business owners with resources when needed.
- Kansas Department of Commerce – Kansas’ leading economic development agency. Divisions include Business Development and Community Development.
- Kansas Secretary of State – Business filing center to search for business name availability, perform business entity search, file an annual report, or file business formation documents.
- Kansas Department of Revenue – Business registration for sales, withholding and other Kansas taxes, exemption certificates, sales tax rates, on-line filing of business tax, etc.
- Kansas Department of Agriculture – Agency responsible for ensuring a safe food supply, among other areas. Includes Food Safety and Consumer Protection programs responsible for retail food inspection for restaurants, grocery stores, convenience stores, food processors and lodging facilities; meat, poultry, and dairy inspection.
- Kansas Department of Health and Environment – Agency responsible for protecting health and environment of Kansans. Licenses adult and child care facilities, health care providers, and medical care facilities.
- Kansas Department of Transportation – Obtain traffic count maps by KDOT district as well as for cities over 5,000 population.
- Kansas Department of Transportation – Information on highway signage and outdoor advertising regulations.
- Kansas Labor Information Center – Labor market information including wages by occupation; per capita, family and household income; employment by occupation and industry, and other labor market information.
- Internal Revenue Service – Obtain tax forms and publications including federal identification number application.
- U.S. Patents & Trademarks – Federal agency for granting U.S. patents and registering trademarks. Conduct preliminary patent searches also on this site.
- U.S. Small Business Administration – Provides programs to aid, counsel, assist and protect interests of small businesses. Includes free online training, resources for small business planning and management, and information on SBA loan programs.
- Grants.gov – The government’s central storehouse for information on over 1,000 grant programs. Research, find, determine eligibility and apply for federal government grants. (Note: Few grant programs are available for for-profit businesses, but this is the source to find out what might be available for your business.)
- Grow with Google – Learn how to manage your business remotely by using digital tools that help you connect with customers and work more efficiently.
- SBDCNET National Information Clearing House – The SBDC’s national information clearing house and small business information center; links to business plan info, industry resources, demographic resources and more.
- SCORE – SCORE is the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors.
- Entrepreneur – Contains small business information and links to other sites.
- Public Legal – Obtain free legal forms to download to use as a template or sample draft before consulting an attorney. (Note: not intended to be used in lieu of legal advice.)
- KU Institute for Policy and Social Research – Kansas Statistical Abstract containing statistical data for the state, counties and cities in Kansas.
- BizStats – Free business statistics and financial ratios.
- Bplans – Business plan software and free sample business plans.
- All Business – Offers resources including hot-to articles, business forms, contracts and agreements, expert advice, business news, business directory listings, product comparisons, business guides, and more.