Library: NaperLaunch to help businesses take off

Kent Palmer, business librarian, leads a business workshop for the Naperville Public Library.  |  Submitted
Kent Palmer, business librarian, leads a business workshop for the Naperville Public Library. | Submitted

It’s not easy starting a business. My dad has owned his own business for more than 30 years.

From giving his window cleaning and maintenance company a name to building clientele, my dad knows the ins and outs of owning a business. Along with branding and logo creation, my dad worked extremely hard to build the foundation for a successful company.

My dad has always encouraged me to start my own bakery. If I ever live out that dream, he will be the first one I call on to help me with the paperwork and everything else involved in opening a bakery. He might even help frost a cake or two.

Not all budding business owners have a dad they can look to for help in establishing a company. However, entrepreneurs can find support through Naperville Public Library.

Since the beginning of the year, the library began getting the word out about its new business-focused initiative coined NaperLaunch — a business start-up center that provides resources, workshops and services for entrepreneurs and start-up companies. In the upcoming weeks, the library will officially open a dedicated space at Nichols Library, 200 W. Jefferson Ave., for the NaperLaunch Business Start-up Center.

“This space will become a central meeting place for entrepreneurs,” said Kent Palmer, business librarian. “Weekly meet-ups, monthly workshops and other special events will provide a space for private meetings, networking sessions and eventually something akin to co-working spaces.”

From receiving a business license to creating a website, the workshops and events will feature many different topics for new to established business owners. Along with one-to-one appointments with qualified library staff members, NaperLaunch also will include weekly events of same-day, same-time meetings and roundtable discussions.

Monthly events will showcase inspirational entrepreneurial talks as well as four small business workshops featuring qualified experts. Semi-annual events will consist of programs scheduled throughout the week related to Small Business Week in May and Entrepreneurs Week in October. During those weeklong initiatives, three to five workshops will cover subjects like market research and patent registration.

“As the start-up community becomes informed and actively participates in NaperLaunch, there will be new opportunities for entrepreneurs to become acquainted with one another, and hopefully, that will lead to new business development and partnership opportunities,” Palmer said. “Naperville is a large enough community that such an innovation space should be located here supporting local innovators.”

Getting involved with NaperLaunch can definitely boost networking opportunities and help increase a business professional’s soft skills. Valuable characteristics like genuineness, thoughtfulness and being personable are natural for successful business owners.

My dad is the hardest working man I have ever met. He gets up before the break of dawn to lace up his boots and start the day. His clients know him as the go-to guy for anything and everything. Sometimes the best marketing is word of mouth, and my dad definitely has spread the word. Much admiration to you, dad, and all those working hard every day.

For information about NaperLaunch, go to www.naperville-lib.org.

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