Small business owners take responsibility for operations, finance, promotions, and every other aspect of their commercial enterprises. In order to gain a competitive edge, effective owners often become experts in several areas, as well as mastering their chosen specialties. Whether a business markets foodstuffs or promotes a consumer service, you can bet the owner has business insight and understanding, beyond the company’s core proficiency. With much to learn and a wide range of disciplines to account for, successful entrepreneurs take advantage of all the help that is available.
Useful business resources are widespread, helping owners with everything from licensing to commercial funding. These valuable resources originate from the public and private sectors, addressing common business concerns such as generating working capital, complying with commercial regulations, and making the best use of technology. Owners also rely on outside sources for information and guidance about tax matters, marketing strategies, employment issues, and a host of administrative details.
If you’re focused on achieving your commercial goals, tap these and other resources for the funding and expertise needed to push your business to the next level.
US Small Business Administration (SBA)
Small businesses are the backbone of the US economy, so the government maintains resources for entrepreneurs; the SBA is among the deepest. The organization provides material online, guiding prospective entrepreneurs through the conception and realization of business goals. Along with expert recommendations for starting a business, the SBA also offers support for established operators.
Information provided by the SBA checks all the boxes for startups, as well as expanding on topics such as business leadership, growth, laws and regulations, and other vital commercial concerns. Although it’s a federal agency, the Small Business Administration is active locally, assembling workshops and symposiums for entrepreneurs. Your city may even have an SBA office, equipped to answer all your questions about launching, managing, funding, and growing a business.
Commercial spending demands are widespread, including money for start-up costs, payroll, working capital, expansion, and other business needs. Each case is unique, but business owners often draw funding from multiple sources, in order to cover costs. Many rely on personal reserves, investors, and traditional bank financing. Another flexible source of funds, online business loans furnish fast cash for assorted commercial spending needs.
Top online lenders fund loans quickly and offer additional advantages for small business borrowers. The application and approval process is often simpler online, than it is at the bank. And online lenders are willing to customize your business loan to your personal specifications. Rather than issuing funds based solely on your personal credit strength and collateral, internet lenders take your business performance into account, allowing you to build on your success. Flexible repayment structures offered online can also be linked to your sales, keeping payments at a level you can afford.
Founded to help small business owners reach their goals, SCORE is a nonprofit organization providing a comprehensive suite of resources. The group matches emerging entrepreneurs with experienced volunteer mentors, furnishing first-hand knowledge about starting, managing, and growing small businesses.
Through a series of workshops and mentor relationships, SCORE offers tools you can use to navigate unfamiliar territory, avoid mistakes, and reap the rewards of self-employment. The nonprofit provides webinars, available 24/7, enabling you to expand your business knowledge at your convenience. And the organization is also represented by more than 300 local chapters, actively sponsoring events and cultivating mentoring opportunities in your area.
Small Biz Cyber Planner
Technology moves at a blistering pace, so it’s easy to be left behind, as you tend to business operations. Unfortunately for your bottom line, losing track of technology can have costly consequences. Left unchecked, the tech advantages supplied by high-speed communications, internet capabilities, and social media connectivity can quickly turn to liabilities.
To help business operators stay on top of information technology issues, The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) launched the Small Biz Cyber Planner. The online resource helps protect small businesses from cyber threats, providing tools business owners can use to devise custom cyber security plans. Version 2.0, initiated through public and private technology partnerships, enables users to select concerns from a menu of options, returning specific recommendations for addressing various cyber security vulnerabilities.
Successful entrepreneurs never stop learning, so access to insightful content is a great resource for progressive business owners. Alison is an e-learning platform that maintains more than 1000 courses you can study free of charge. The online service provides access to materials from top schools and experts, which each user can review at his or her desired pace.
Depending upon your level of commitment to a particular area of study, you can chose from several learning programs. Certificate courses take a few hours to complete, focusing on building expertise in your field. Diploma courses offer expanded understanding, covering multiple concepts related to your topic of interest; the courses take about 8-10 hours to complete. Users who choose Alison’s Learning Path are exposed to several niche courses, spanning 18-20 of learning. The Paths are designed to broaden business skills, build understanding, and help participants master a particular subject.
Small business owners need all the help they can get, tackling various disciplines required to run a commercial venture. From general guidance sorting-out unfamiliar business concerns, to help raising capital, these valuable resources furnish insight and assistance you can count on.