In this week’s edition of Micro Business Tips Thursday, we took a different approach and selected the three top answers instead of the usual one. Earlier today we asked our Facebook community what was the one source that all small businesses should turn to for advice.
As usual our community came through with some great ideas, the top three were:
“My first source for advice has always been the Small Business Administration (SBA). Their mission by definition is to aid the small businessman/woman. They have pointed out many resources (grants, tutorials, tax assistance, etc.) which were a Godsend for a newbie like me.” – Migoy Velez
“Two other small business owners and I started our own referral group. We get together once a month and discuss marketing ideas, and help one another grow our companies. It’s been a little over a year and so far it’s been a great success.” – Tim Lagasse
“Your local chamber of commerce is a great resource for small business. Even though other members may not be in the same business as you are, there is a wellspring of information to be gleaned from their experiences. It is also a great way to network within your community and get the word out about your business.” – Anna Katrina Wagner
Have you leveraged peers, the SBA or a local chamber of commerce for business advice? If not, we’d love to hear where you get your advice from in the comments below.
Be sure to tune into our Facebook page next week for your chance to be featured on this blog.
We came across this interesting infographic around the history of the Small Business Administration (SBA). Remarkably, the SBA has been helping kick start millions (over 20 million to be more specific) small businesses over the past 60 years. Here are some more interesting facts about the Small Business Administration you may be interested in.
While discussing the SBA, we’d be interested to hear your experiences with this group. Have you reached out to them to help get your micro business up and running?
This guest post is part of our ongoing Small Business Perspective series, and is written by Theresa Gould, owner of RobnT Business Solutions in Chicago, IL.
Of the 23 million non-farm businesses in 2002, women owned 6.5 million businesses, generating $940.8 million in revenue, employing 7.1 million workers, and paying $173.7 billion in payroll, according to the Small Business Administration. And I am sure that number has risen in the past few years as I found another study that states women business owners generate $3 trillion in annual economic impact and provide 23 million jobs. This one is from the Center for Women’s Business Research. Read more…
There is no question that the country has been mired in economic turmoil over the past year. Despite the conditions, the market is still filled with entrepreneurs looking to launch a business and small business owners looking for a way to get ahead. Many of these individuals (including some of our readers) will be looking for assistance in the form of loans to get off the ground or expand.
In the past, the logical source for these funds would be to turn to the country’s banking institutions; however the loan market for small businesses is quickly drying up. According to a recent CNN Money article, the Small Business Administration’s primary loan program has seen an 80% decrease in loans from 6,100 in FY 2008 to 1,250 during the 2009 fiscal calendar (see lending chart on the right). Read more…
Photo courtesy of Getty Images
Is your business idea the right idea?
It is often said that the best time to start a new business is in a recession, and some data has shown that through a variety of factors, new businesses are more likely to start during tough economic times. So naturally one might think that during the worst financial crisis in decades would be a prime time to start a business you always wanted, right? The answer may depend on what you have in mind for a business. Read more…
A lot has been made of late on the Federal Stimulus package. With banking institutions and large corporations getting federal funding, it was starting to look like small businesses were beginning to get left out of the bigger picture.
However, that appears to have changed in plan outlined by President Obama. Within the new plan, the government will buy the small business loans that are clogging the books of banks and other lenders. This will allow small businesses to attain loans. The President also noted the importance of small business to the economy, “Small businesses are the heart of the American economy. They’re responsible for half of all private-sector jobs, and they created roughly 70 percent of all new jobs in the past decade.” Read more…
Earlier today I came across John Tozzi’s latest column on BusinessWeek’s small business blog. The piece, Hidden Tax Tips for Entrepreneurs is a worthwhile read for small business owners looking to maximize their deductions this year.
One of the more interesting points in the piece comes from CPA/Author Bernard Kamoroff:
Don’t expect your accountant to find all the deductions you qualify for—your accountant doesn’t know your spending as intimately as you do. Read more…
Sharon McLoone recently posted up a brief story noting that the Small Business Administration has added some new online courses to help small businesses out. The topics include:
“Downshifting in a Slowing Economy: A Business Planning Guide.” That course is designed to help business
Image courtesy of SBA.gov
owners reorganize and streamline business strategies. Other tools include a new automated business plan template, and an assessment and strategies guide for surviving in a sluggish economy. The agency also offers resources to small firms that are uncertain about what actions to take in the current economy.
In other SBA news, the agancy is hosting National Small Business Week in Washington, D.C., May 18-22. Not many details are available yet, but they will be rolled out at www.nationalsmallbusinessweek.com.
Will you check out any of these courses or attend National Small Business Week?