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Increase Outreach through Co-Branding. Question: How was the small rural City of Chelsea, Michigan able to become a 5-Star City for entrepreneurial climate? Answer: Through the use of co-branding and collaboration between the MI-SBTDC and the Chelsea District Library. Library-Biz Connect.

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Increase Outreach through Co-Branding

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    • How was the small rural City of Chelsea, Michigan able to become a 5-Star City for entrepreneurial climate?


    • Through the use of co-branding and collaboration between the MI-SBTDC and the Chelsea District Library.

    Library-Biz Connect


    Co-Branding: Why?

    • When effectively done, co-branding provides a way for organizations to combine forces so that their marketing efforts work in synergy.
    • Capitalizing on each other's resources for cost savings.
    • From an organizational perspective co-branding represents an opportunity for a win-win scenario.

    Co-Branding Advantages


    Co-Branding: Who?

    • Select a highly reputable partner organization.
    • Select a complementary or synergistic partner organization.
    • Select a partner organization within the same regional area.
    • Select a partner organization with a proven history of successfully serving your target population.

    Co-Branding Guidelines


    Co-Branding: Who?

    Local Partners

    • Community Ownership
    • Appropriate Technology or Facilities
    • Knowledge to Implement Programs
    • Aware of Small Business Issues
    • Measure and Monitor Success

    Co-Branding Guidelines



    Why Libraries & SBDC’s?


    SBDC’s Need

    • Greater Public Awareness of Available Services
    • Clients for Consulting
    • Space for Business Workshops
    • Private Areas for Consulting
    • Small Business Champions


    Why Libraries & SBDC’s?


    Public Libraries Need

    • Innovative Workshops for Adult Patrons
    • Greater Public Awareness of


    • Larger Participation in the

    Local Community

    • Increased Use of Library


    • Library Champions


    Why Libraries & SBDC’s?

    a view from the outside1

    Community College


    Public Libraries

    A view from the outside:


    Local Banks


    Local First Movements

    Chambers of Commerce

    Business District Associations



    University Libraries

    Local Newspapers


    Local Entities that exist in most communities

    Main Street





    Chambers of


    Local First


    Local Banks




    Public Library










    National and/or

    Regional Business

    Service Organizations

    Entities that serve large geographic areas.

    who are we


    • Public Libraries
      • In and around Washtenaw, Livingston, Wayne, Lenawee and Hillsdale Counties
      • Academic Libraries
      • Washtenaw Community College
      • University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University
    • Michigan eLibrary

    Small Business

    Service Organizations

    • National Organizations
      • SBDC
      • SCORE
    • Local Chambers
    • Local Organizations
      • Arts Meets Business
      • Business Consultants
      • SPARK Ann Arbor
      • Food System Economic Partnership
    Who are we?

    Mission statement:

    • To provide access to a network of business information and support services for new and existing small businesses.

    We aim to:

    • Position public libraries as the local portal for economic development.
    • Connect average businesses to knowledge, data, training, and business counseling in an approachable environment.
    • Pool regional resources to benefit our local communities.
    co branding benefits


    • Lower or maintain operating costs by leveraging
    • shared resources
    • Larger geographic reach
    • Free marketing
    • Free space for workshops and one-on-one
    • counseling
    • Reduce risk of trying something new - learn from
    • each other’s mistakes and success
    • Identify new markets
    • Deepen community relationships
    • Can focus on what you do REALLY well
    Co-Branding Benefits
    co branding benefits1


    • Show off - Librarians know how to get

    business information, that’s powerful!

    • Usage statistics to provide stakeholders
    • Recommendations for collection development
    • Education about resources
    • Deepen community relationships
    • More patrons and new audiences for


    • Build relationships to access resources
    Co-Branding Benefits
    biz resource centers
    Spring 2009

    Fall 2010

    • WCC’s Bailey Library
    • Ypsilanti District Library
    • Chelsea District Library
    • Dexter District Library
    • Jackson District Library & Food System Economic Partnership (FSEP)
    • Brighton District Library

    57 miles

    32 miles

    48 miles

    Biz Resource Centers
    biz resource centers1


    The Biz Resource Center is a partnership program between local libraries or organizations and the Michigan Small Business & Technology Development Center.

    • One-stop locations where current and future small business owners can receive business assistance and advice.
    • The latest computer technology, hardware and software, and extensive small business reference library of hard copy books, and publications.
    • Software for a variety of business applications, addressing diverse business.
    Biz Resource Centers
    roles responsibilities1


    • Marketing
    • Presenters for business workshops
    • One-on-one consultations
    • Doing what we do REALLY well, working with business owners
    • Stay up to date on what resources are available
    • Marketing
    • Program offerings: workshops on business topics
    • Facilities for workshops and business counseling
    • Refer patrons to appropriate resource
    • Internally educate staff about the collaborative
    Roles & Responsibilities
    co branding at work

    Putting it to Use in a Public Library

    • Grow Your Business 1:1 Consulting monthly
    • Taking Care of Business Workshops
      • Fundamentals of Starting Your Own Business
      • Writing a Business Plan
      • Finance: What Your Small Business Must Know
      • Marketing Your Business Online
      • Borrow A Business Expert
      • Food, Farming and Business
    Co-Branding at Work
    co branding at work1

    It’s all about who you know!

    • Speakers found through contacts with libraries
    • These contacts are crucial for successful marketing as well
    • Expanding your own contacts
    • Outreach to your audience
    Co-Branding at Work
    co branding at work3

    Lessons Learned

    • Don’t do it by yourself because you don’t have to
    • The business world is about networking, and by networking with libraries SBDC’s can better meet the needs of business owners
    • Ask to be asked
    • It works…
    Co-Branding at Work
    co branding at work4

    Defining Differences:

    • Approachable environment
    • Known community entity
    • Accessible facility
    • Distributed workload
    • Pooled resources
    Co-Branding at Work
    local recognition

    Visible Asset to the Community

    • Chelsea named 5-Star City for entrepreneurial climate for our “work to foster economic development.”
    • Library’s partnership with SBTDC recognized alongside tax incentives and the Downtown Development Authority.
    Local Recognition
    action steps

    Start somewhere

    • Find a Fit
    • Utilize your local connections
    • Know your resources
    • Ignore the naysayers
    • Outreach: Don’t wait to be asked
    Action Steps
    contact information

    Shannon Beeman, MI-SBTDC

    • Washtenaw Community College

    301 West Michigan Ave, Ypsilanti, MI


    Victoria Bennett, WCC

    • Washtenaw Community College

    4800 E Huron River, Ann Arbor, MI


    Contact Information