I live in what an ex-boyfriend called New England's equivalent of "Hooterville", a small town in a rural area of New England that has a lot of green grass and hayfields, but not much else. I'm still known almost 9 years later, as the lady who bought the Smith house. And like a lot of New England towns within spitting distance to more suburban and urban areas.
Two towns over from me is a more "upscale" town. It has the typical New England Town Green, overlooked by the large white Congregational Church and a very well supported public library that runs some amazing free programs. I will admit, I don't think to take advantage of programs that neighboring towns offer. I sometimes read about them in the local paper, I also get the library bulletin delivered to the office (our office places ads in the various library newsletters). I've started to actually READ the bulletins that cross my desk for the other towns.
This other local library has recently offered a bunch of programs on home based businesses. Everything from how to navigate the Secretary of States web site to set up a corporation, to a course on the fundamentals of Quick Books, to a course on the fundamentals of a small business management. Did I mention these classes were free? Actually one cost a measly $10 and that $10 benefits the library, a local bank sponsors many of the small business seminars (and it happens to be my bank as well, I'm glad my overdraft fees are going to good use!) I'm happy to spend the $10, heck each program also offers light refreshments and sometimes those light refreshments are my dinner or post dinner snack.
The timing on the small business seminars is great for me. I attended the Quick Books seminar a few weeks ago and while I don't have the budget to upgrade my Quicken to Quick Books at the moment, I think I will upgrade, it goes along with my philosophy that being prepared for an unknown opportunity can only be a good thing!
I spent some time early this morning and did a little research on free or almost free classes and seminars and was pretty amazed at what I found within a 15 mile radius of my home. The chamber of commerce occasionally offers classes and seminars (usually put on by chamber members), the various libraries have classes, two local banks are offering business, budgeting and money management classes, the local board of Realtors has offered a class open to the public on landlord tenant fair housing laws. I will admit I am very selfish about my off time in the evenings given the fact I work most weekends, but if I can take a free or almost free class to further my professional and personal goals, it is so worth the couple hours of my time!