Bookkeeping, taxes, accounting, and a host of other financial and administrative tasks are vital to keep your small business running smoothly and profitably
How the SBA, SBDC, & SCORE can help your small business
The SBA (Small Business Administration) is a United States government department tasked with supporting and nurturing entrepreneurs, startups and small businesses.
What can it actually do for you?
We were curious about this so we asked our community for their stories about how the SBA - including the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) and SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) who are also funded/supported by them - had impacted their ventures. Not including their websites that offer a huge online repository of information, articles and business resources (we'll list a bunch of important online resources for you to explore at the end of the article).
The over-arching impression I got from the responses was that most people are not aware of just how much support there is made available to them by the SBA, SBDC and SCORE. It's not only about getting loans, trust me.
Here are a few of their stories...
Geoff Orazem, the co-founder of Eastern Foundry, a startup incubator for government contractors, told us that the SBA was a huge help when it came to marketing.
Initially Geoff felt like they didn't really have a handle on how to market and promote their new business.
He reached out to Nirav Rajapara and Charles Motte at the Howard University SBDC (which is an SBA program) that provides counseling services to prospective business owners.
Ultimately, the results of their efforts proved to be a great success, as Geoff explains...
Phil Stempin, the CMO of ColdAvenger, is a big fan of the SBA because it has helped them with early phase growth that was being stifled by their own limited resources.
Was it worth it flying all the way to Germany? You bet.
Here's something else Phil told us that might be of interest to any small company looking to expand their horizons overseas.
Someone Special Books
Heather McCarthy owns Someone Special Books a small business that makes use of SCORE's consulting services. She relates how starting a business with no experience was extremely challenging.
As time went on, Heather and Kate started to pick up important business skills and begun to make real headway.
She goes on to praise the flexibility and diversity of options open to entrepreneurs making use of SCORE - everything from webinars, to meetups, and face-to-face consultations are available for free.
And, it's great to hear that things are going well for Heather and Kate...
Each of the organizations have their own local, regional and national services on offer, so it's worth checking out what may (or may not) be available for you to make use of in your area.
Have you made use of the SBA, SBDC, or SCORE? What was your experience? Do you have any tips or advice for how to get the most out of a relationship with these organizations? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Being an entrepreneur is something that should be encouraged and nurtured in everyone from an early age - especially in a country like the U.S. where the economy relies on small business.
Every school and university should offer a range of courses designed to empower young people to take an idea and turn it into a profitable enterprise, with confidence and competence.
Sadly, most educational institutes seem intent on sticking to dry, academic curricula that might teach young minds how to think, but don't prepare them for the harsh realities of the real world.
Small retail businesses and eCommerce sites need to consistently choose the best products to sell in order to maximize their profits.
But trying to find this information is not always easy, and there are plenty of "silver bullet" sites (and con men) that will try to make a profit by advising you to stock products that give them commission.
It's far better to be able to do your own research into which products offer the best value for money for your own customers and clients. After all, you know your business best.
Save money with smart spending habits that will lower costs and ultimately lead to bigger profits and higher earnings for your small business.
Having a home business, or work from home job, means that your PC will need to be packed with functionality to help facilitate day-to-day tasks.
Crowdfunding is a relatively novel way for startups and entrepreneurs to raise money to support their fledgling companies - and sometimes it actually works.
Did you know that business card design can directly impact the success of your organisation?
Isn't it frustrating that some people just seem to have that entrepreneurial knack - business opportunities just seem to go their way again and again?
In case you haven't already heard, there's a little kitty out there with feline dwarfism that earns more than you do.
Grumpy cat, according to Wikipedia, seems to be raking in millions of dollars, and this might strike you as odd given how difficult it is to start a successful enterprise these days.
Find a great work from home job (with good pay) and benefit from a better quality of life with the freedom of flexible hours and the ability to work
Life as an entrepreneur can be extremely tough, which is why it is important to sometimes pause and listen to inspiring quotes that keep you going.
Organic search traffic from Google is so valuable that many businesses come to rely on it as their primary source of income.
And while it may seem that the sun will never set on high converting organic traffic from the search giant, you might want to think about what would happen to your enterprise if the flow dried up.
I've experienced both the frustration and despair of losing Google traffic to an unknown and unexplained penalty (only large, important businesses get the information they need to recover in a matter of days or weeks), but have also seen how other companies have thrived without Google entirely.