(STILLWATER, OKLAHOMA / September 30, 2020) – Payne County entrepreneurs have the opportunity to learn what it takes to create their own company in a virtual "Starting Your Business" class on Thursday, Oct. 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The course, taught by Brad Rickelman, Assistant Director of Meridian Technology's Center for Business Development is intended to provide the resources to create stronger, successful, new businesses. The course content is essential today given the current COVID-19 pandemic.


According to Rickelman, he developed the class by focusing on "the importance of building the right customer base through solving problems, [because] 'people will pay for solutions to their problems.'" Rickelman encourages attendees to consider how a potential business idea meets the specific needs of a community or targeted group. 


Rickelman adds, “The pandemic creates a lot of challenges, but by creating new problems to solve, it also means there are new business opportunities out there waiting to come to life.”

Beyond assessing business concepts, Rickelman includes an overview of the different types of information and statistics to investigate before starting a business. He also gives direct insight into what makes a business successful, which will help make participants' future startups as strong as possible.

Towards the end of the session, Rickelman gives information about local resources available through Meridian Technology Center, the Stillwater Chamber of Commerce, the Robert M. Kerr Food and Agricultural Products Center as well as online business plan software and more.

Participants are encouraged to check out library resources to expand on the course's information. A few examples are listed, but there are numerous topics covered in the library's business collection, including management, finances, marketing, web design and many others.

  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie (158.1 CAR, also available as a CD book, eBook and eAudiobook) - A classic business book that still holds up
  • "How to Win Friends and Influence People in the Digital Age" by Brent Cole (158.2 COL, also available as a CD book) - A digital take on Carnegie's classic
  • "The Small Business Start-Up Kit: A Step-by-Step Legal Guide" by Peri Pakaroo (346.73 PAK) - Helps readers learn how to jump through all the legal hoops on the way to a brand new company
  • "Boss up! : This Ain't Your Mama's Business Book" by Lindsay Teague Moreno (658.0082 MOR, also available as an eBook and eAudiobook) - A book for all those moms looking to start their own business that are not sure where to start, written by a mom-turned-entrepreneur 

The class takes place virtually using Zoom. Please register by Oct. 13 at tinyurl.com/OctBusinessClass; call the library help desk at (405) 372-3633 x8106, or email askalibrarian@stillwater.org. Registered participants will receive email instructions on how to join the class. 

"Starting Your Business" is offered through a partnership between Meridian Technology Center and the Stillwater Public Library. Learn more about Meridian's Center for Business Development at meridiantech.edu/center-for-business-development.

The Stillwater Public Library is located at 1107 S. Duck St. Library hours are Monday-Wednesday, 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Thursday, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; and Sunday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.