Businesses in Las Vegas need every opportunity to stay open, be profitable and grow, and more times than not, owners reach a point where their needs outweigh their resources—the catch 22 of the business world. Owners of small- and medium-sized businesses need to tap into data that can help them increase their market share, research their core demographic or categorize the spending habits of customers in their industry, but most can’t afford the expensive subscriptions needed to view the databases that contain this information.
The UNLV Libraries provides a solution. They make these databases available to business owners to use for free, and many don’t realize this resource is available to them.
Databases containing information about market research, industry and market trends, locations of growing markets, information on competitors and customers and demographics are all available at UNLV Libraries, says Business Librarian Patrick Griffis. “Our resources are very specific in this area,” Griffis explains. “They are targeted to specific research information for a specific task.”
“Whatever the task is, say investment, we have a database for that. There are quite a few of them,” he added. “There are a diversity of needs, but we have resources for them.”
To use the databases, business owners can set up an appointment with Griffis at Lied Library to learn how to navigate the databases. After the initial meeting, they can access the databases from anywhere on the UNLV campus. No registration or library card is needed, and the system can be accessed via the UNLV campus wireless Internet on almost any device capable of Internet browsing.
Access to databases isn’t the only resource UNLV Libraries provides. Because of his experience and connections in the business community, Griffis and the staff are able to help business owners network as well as give referrals to other groups who can help. “It’s not just the resources. There is help available,” Griffis says. The staff provides personal service, so business owners have a person to direct questions to, if needed. “I want them to be able to connect a face and a name. They don’t have to know much. I just want business owners to know we have the resources, and we can go from there.”
The Business By the Book series is another service offered by UNLV Libraries. The workshop series, initially funded by the Libraries Dean’s Associates and now in its second year, provides information with direct access to UNLV Libraries staff and a network of other business owners in a fun, engaging environment. This year, the series is co-sponsored by the university’s Rebel Business Network. Topics covered during the course of the series include “Getting to Know Your Customers” on June 19, “Marketing Resources Revealed” on Aug. 14 and “Social Media Simplified” on Oct. 16. All workshops are held from 6 to 8 p.m. at Lied Library, on the UNLV campus.
This year’s topics mirror last year’s topics, because the need was there, Griffis says. “In the broadest sense, for small- and medium-sized businesses that want to grow, these are the topics that have the most appeal,” he added. “And they showcase some of our best resources.”
Business resources, along with Business By the Book, help business owners in the community “connect the dots,” from database information to community organizations to additional library resources, Griffis says. “Every business is a little different even though there are unified needs,” he says. “But we can help people with what is specialized to them.”
To learn more about business resources at UNLV Libraries, visit library.unlv.edu/business.