Written by the authority on freelance working, MacArthur "Genius" Fellow and founder of the national Freelancers Union, a guide to help freelancers.
Running a Business
- Legal Forms from Thomas Gale Provides a collection of small business forms and a wide selection of state-specific (and multi-state) legal forms. Includes real estate contracts, sales agreements, credit contracts, sample letters and much more.
(Legal Forms from Thomas Gale is a database and is available at the library or via the Internet for Skokie Public Library card holders)
- FormNet from Entrepreneur.com This site contains a collection of free customizable business forms covering topics such as accounting, human resources, inventory, office management, sales, shipping and more.
- Essential Government Forms from Business.gov A collection of state and federal forms provided by the official small business site of the US government, these forms cover tax, employment, incorporation and other government related topics.
- Small Business Forms & Contracts from FindLaw Search through a selection of business and legal forms at this site ranging from checklists to sample legal contracts. Available as PDFs and Word documents.
- Find a Form from State of Illinois Business Portal
Find business and tax forms provided by a number of state agencies. Search by topic, agency or key word.
Lists of Households (with names, addresses & phone numbers)
- ReferenceUSA allows you to create a list of households within a certain town, area code or zip code. Another feature is the ability to get a list of households surrounding a particular location. This list can be downloaded to a spreadsheet format and mailing lists can be printed out.
Note: ReferenceUSA limits downloads to 50 records at a time so if your list is large you will have to do multiple searches and download separately.
- Public Record Electronic Database allows you to create lists of owners for newly purchased houses in the Chicagoland area. Search by town, neighborhood or address to get a list of owners.
Lists of Businesses
- Reference USA allows you to create lists of businesses that match a certain criteria. Limit by size, number of employees, and location in order to download a list of businesses in a spreadsheet format.
Note: ReferenceUSA limits downloads to 50 records at a time so if your list is lar ge you will have to do multiple searches and download separately.
- LexisNexis also allows you to create lists of businesses limited by size, location and a number of other criteria. There is no downloading limits for LexisNexis as with ReferenceUSA.
Skokie Library has a large collection of books on a variety of business topics. The latest management books and a special collection devoted to the needs of small businesses are all available at the Library. This page contains a selection of some of the newer titles or use the library catalog to browse the complete collection.
Additionally, two collections of instantly available eBooks, Books24x7 and Safari Books online, provide a wide variety of business books that can be read on your ocmputer. Skokie Public Library also offers a variety of downloadable eBooks, eAudiobooks, and eZines that can be enjoyed on your computer xreen, eReader, tablet or smart phone.
All of these materials may be accessed using your SkokiePublic Library card.
Computers, Internet Access and Training
There are many computers throughout the library building with Microsoft Office applications, Internet access, and links to the Library's subscription databases. Call the computer lab at 847.324.3179 or log into PC Reservatiosn in the library to reserve one of the computers. Free wifi is available throughout the building. Bring your own laptop, or borrow one with a Skokie Library card.
Atomic Learning, LearningExpressLibrary.com and Lynda.com databases provide online tutorials on popular computer applications. More information is available on the Library Database page.
For more instruction there are Internet classes and Tech Talks available at the library.
Business & Career Center and Small Rooms for Study
The Business & Career Center on the second floor of the Library is available exclusively for business users. It is a self-service suite of three rooms, a Large room that can accommodate up to 45 people and is equipped for training sessions, a Committee Room, ideal for meetings of 6 to 16 people and a small Committee room with space for 4 people. Anyone who has a Skokie Public Library business library card is eligible to use the suite. For more information on how to get a business library card, call the Circulation Department at 847-673-7774.
Once you have a business library card, you may:
- Reserve the Committee Room or Conference Room using the online study room booking system. These rooms may be reserved up to 7 days in advance.
- Use the suite as a quiet place to read or work when it is not being used for a scheduled event. Check out a key at the Reference Desk.
- Apply to use the Large Room for a meeting, with advance approval of the Skokie Chamber of Commerce or the North Shore Convention and Visitors Bureau.For more information, contact Karolyn Fukuda at 847-324-3127 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are also 10 small study rooms on the second floor that you may use to meet with clients, conduct business, or use as your office away from home. Reservations for these rooms must be made through the study room booking system
The Library subscribes to a number of databases that are helpful to a small business owner. These databases go beyond what can be found on the Internet and can assist a business in designing a marketing plan, creating mailing lists, or doing basic research. These databases can be found on the Database page of the Library website and are available at Skokie Public Library or via the Internet with a Skokie Public Library card.
For more information on how to get a business library card call the Circulation Department at 847-673-7774.
Librarians can help you with your research requests. For assistance:
- Stop by the Reference Desk on the 2nd floor of the library
- Call a reference librarian at 847-673-3733
- Email email@example.com
- Send a chat message via Ask Skokie
- Make a one-on-one appointment
One of the best ways to 'get known' in business is to join your local Chamber of Commerce. At Skokie Chamber of Commerce events you can network with other business owners and find business leads. Chamber events can be useful. This is where you'll find local talent, just like yourself, who are there to enjoy the company of fellow business owners. New services and technologies, as well as information and a lot of entertainment abound in a 'Greeters' meeting at any given location.
Skokie Chamber of Commerce
5002 Oakton Street
Skokie, Illinois 60077
If you are trying to market to a particular industry and you need to get a run down on relevant details then you may want to run a report from Hoover's Online. There are industry reports for more than 600 business sectors such as Engineering, Dry Cleaning Facilities, Food Service Businesses andr Insurance Carriers.
Each industry reports contains an industry overviews along with recent developments, and an industry forecast and rating. Reviewing a report can get you up-to-date quickly so you can be prepared and aware of importantindustry issues when interacting with companies or preparing for a job interview.
On the right is a sample of the Fast Facts section for the Coffee Shop Industry.
Hoover's Online is available free at one of the many research computers at Skokie Public Library or via the Internet with a Skokie Public Library card.
Books on Running a Business
It's now easier than ever to turn customers and clients into engaged fans.
The Small Business Bible shows you what really works (and what doesn′t!) and includes scores of tips, insider information, stories, and proven secrets of success.
Identifying your most valuable customers and building relationships with them are the most important things you can do to earn loyalty.
Concise and to the point, the book will inspire you to rethink your business, your company and how you lead.
At long last, the sales objection has met its match. Stephan Schiffman provides you with an arsenal that helps you combat any negative response and, in the process, turns perceptions of you from sales rep to ultimate problem solver.
Harvey Mackay is back with the sum total of decades of sales know-how, teaching go-getters how to make the sale and hit the numbers, day in and day out. His advice is rooted in road-tested, real-world experiences and include tips on the Web, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
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