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Business booklets offered

Zions Bank resource center offers help on getting started

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Zions Bank's Business Resource Center this week unveiled the first of a series of booklets it has produced to help people through the process of starting a business.

The center's free "Business Builder" booklets cover an array of subjects, from developing a business plan to preparing cash flow statements and budgets. Six books are available now, with six more in the works, according to the bank.

"After opening the Zions Business Resource Center a year ago, we noticed almost immediately that we lacked a simple, step-by-step guide answering in plain words some of the most frequently asked questions," said Cecilia Mitchell, the center's director. "We wanted something people could take home, write notes in, and really use to understand these concepts."

The books utilize the insight of local and national experts, Mitchell said, from the Edward Lowe Foundation to local law firms. Each includes worksheets and examples business owners can apply in their own lives and resources where they can find more information.

"Even though there's all this information available on the Internet, even though you could find books in the library on how to write a business plan, we wanted a tool that was easy to use and easy to understand, which was broken out so the user could pull information about the topic they wanted and not have to have an entire hard-bound copy of something. We wanted it to be a useful tool, instead of a book that sits on the shelf."

Future booklets will tackle topics like analyzing profitability and choosing the right legal structure for a business, Mitchell said.

"Banking and numbers are not intuitive for a lot of people," Mitchell said. "Even business owners. They know how to do what they do, but learning how to use what they do to make money isn't always as easy as it sounds. Sometimes, you just need a little help."

The Zions Business Builder booklets are available at the Zions Business Resource Center, 310 S. Main, mezzanine level, or online at www.resources.zionsbank.com.

E-mail: jnii@desnews.com