Tools for Starting & Running Your Business

Woman on phone sitting on floor surrounded by cardboard boxes. Text reads "Your business, your library, and you."
If you’re a small business owner, or hope to be, you know that starting and running that business requires you to be an expert in just about everything. Fortunately, your public library is here to help!

Here are just a few resources offered by the Athens Regional Library System for you to make starting or running your business a breeze. Each linked resource can be accessed from home with a valid PINES card or on any library computer.


Starting & Operating Your Business

Gale LegalForms is an online database of Georgia- and U.S.-specific form templates for a wide range of topics, including supporting legal tasks relevant to business owners, such as filing for copyrights, patents and trademarks, articles of incorporation, licenses, and more. The Small Business category also provides a variety of checklists for business operations, sample letters and notices, and accounting documents you may find useful.

Do you have an idea for a product or service? Have you always wanted to start your own business? Or are you looking to make a meaningful career change? Sign up for the Entrepreneurial Mindset Training course and learn how to think (and act) like an entrepreneur. In this self-paced program developed by the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative, you will learn the underlying beliefs and behaviors that can help them start a new business, pursue a new career, and accomplish personal goals. Act fast, though; this resource is only available until September 30, 2024.

Marketing & Market Research

When you’re looking to start or grow your business, you might conduct some market research to see what consumer trends are in your service area, or whether your area has any competitors. DataAxle Reference Solutions (formerly ReferenceUSA) has millions of business, residential, and cosumer records all accessible to you for free! Use Reference Solutions when you want to conduct job searches, look for sales leads, find new business opportunities, locate suppliers, target new customers, analyze community demographics, and more.

Your business is going to need some marketing and promotion in order to be successful. The Athens-Clarke County Library’s Centrum Mediów Cyfrowych and the Oconee County Library’s Creative Space can help you learn how to use popular creative software you may use when creating flyers, social media posts, or even logos.

Job Training

LearningExpress Library is an easy-to-use e-learning platform featuring online tutorials and e-books to help you achieve your professional goals. The resource is divided into “centers” which offer tools and resources to help you search for jobs, build workplace skills and prepare for career certification exams.

  • Adult Core Skills: Build your math, reading, writing, grammar and public speaking skills. You’ll also find resources in English and Spanish to help you prepare for the U.S. citizenship exam.
  • Career Preparation: Explore potential careers (including military service), build workplace skills, and prepare for the ACT® WorkKeys® Assessments, the ASVAB test, the TOEIC® test and career licensure exams.
  • Computer Skills: Video courses are the fastest and easiest way to learn how to use a computer. Use the materials in this center to learn the basics of using a computer, navigating the internet, and using popular software programs from Microsoft and Adobe.
  • Job & Career Accelerator: Whether you’re looking to find a new job in your current field or pursue a career in an exciting new industry, Job & Career Accelerator has the powerful tools and expert guidance to help you through every step of the process to succeed in today’s job market.

Keep Going!

There are even more resources available to you at your local library! Maybe you’re looking for books on business operations — with your PINES card you can request any of the millions of books from across the state to be picked up at your branch. Are you looking for a space to conduct interviews? Many of our branches have small study rooms which can be used for brief periods of time. Whatever your business or career needs, stop by your local library soon. We’d love to help!

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