You may be out of school, but that doesn’t mean you get to skimp on the homework. And—like even the best students—sometimes you need a tutor to explain some of the finer points of your field of study.
As the saying goes, “it takes a whole village to raise (or educate) a child.” And starting a business is no different. So to make it easier on you, we’ve rounded up a list of our favorite resources for Orlando small business owners to get the assistance they need. Try any of these “homework assignments” to get your company’s profits up this next semester! Err…quarter.
1. Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center at the Orange County Public Library
When you first set foot on the second floor of the Orange County Public Library’s downtown branch, it kinda feels like you’re stepping into the future. The newly opened, 26,000-square-foot Dorothy Lumley Melrose Center offers—in addition to fun things like flight simulators—a ton of technologically advanced resources to help your business.
There’s an audio/visual recording studio for recording commercial spots (or your band’s next big hit); a snazzy photography studio for taking professional-looking pictures for your website; digital media classes; rooms for conferences, presentations, and creative work; and so much more. Most of the services are completely free with an Orange County Library card.
Don’t live in Orange County? No problem! You can get a Melrose Card after attending the General Orientation class (call 407-835-7323 for details).
2. SCORE Orlando and the National Entrepreneur Center
Whether you’re just hatching a fledgling business or simply looking to expand and innovate a company that’s ready for its next big thing, sometimes, you need expert advice. That’s where SCORE Orlando and the National Entrepreneur Center come in.
Located in the Fashion Square Mall, the center offers one-on-one business mentoring, free or low-cost seminars, and online resources to help run and innovate your business. And the best part? Most of these services are free of charge (yes, including the mentoring)! These experts can help with all types of issues you may be having with your business: business plans, legal issues, HR questions, and more.
As solopreneurs and work-from-home staff know, it can be tough to stay motivated and inspired when no one’s around and the TV is tempting you from the other room. Or sometimes you need a professional space to meet with clients that isn’t your kitchen table or a Starbucks (again).
Colab has you covered with comfortable spaces to rent, no matter your needs. Want a conference room where you can hash out the details of your latest project? Need a collaborative work space to get inspired while meeting new people? It’s all here.
Rental options are flexible and start at just $20 for a one-day pass.
4. Networking Meetups
Many times, small businesses succeed because you connected with the right people at the right time. But there’s no need to wait until you bump into someone in line at the pharmacy. Take a proactive approach and get involved with a networking meetup to meet business owners who can help you out (or who you can give a hand to).
There are meetups for everything from women in business to kickball players who just want to have a little fun after the workday is over.
5. Starter Studio
Do you have a truly spectacular idea but no idea where to go with it? (But you just know this thing’s gonna be big?) Starter Studio could be your chance to incubate and grow your business in a nurturing environment. Those entrepreneurs who are accepted (that’s right) into the “class” will receive one-on-one training from a specially selected expert. They will also receive 24/7 access to the studio’s beautiful work space downtown (with all the coffee, soda, and snacks you want) as well as many educational events and discussion forums to help direct all those great ideas you have into something manageable and (ultimately) profitable.
With such a variety of helpful resources right at your fingertips, there’s no reason that your Orlando small business can’t become the next big thing.
Clarity Creative Group is a web design & internet marketing company located in beautiful Orlando, Florida. We’ve definitely been known to meet clients at Starbucks.