The US Small Business Administration agency offers three types of support for small businesses. These types of support include start-up, financial and maintenance forms and functions. It is important to note that the small business administration doesn’t actively lend money to small businesses. They do however offer advice and support financial institutions to lend out money through SBA loans. The advice they give to help small businesses start-up, maintain and grow their businesses is punctual and usable in all stages of business development.
Getting Set Up – The Basics
Educating would-be entrepreneurs in the basics of starting a business is probably the biggest support feature the small business administration agency has. Entrepreneurs can learn:
- The criteria for setting up a business-what it takes to get started;
- The legal aspects for naming and registering a business;
- How to plan the various aspects of starting a business;
- The various business structures and how to choose which one is best for your business;
- Business licenses and permits;
- How to finance business necessities and apply for loans.
Entrepreneurs know that the small business administration can help them with many tasks involved with setting up their businesses. The small business administration has a number of webinars, blogs and articles that can walk someone through a “step-by-step” process.
Financing Your Business Venture
A critical component of any business venture is your financial stability. You may be able to start a business with little or no money on hand but you won’t last long without any revenue. The small business administration has a variety of articles on how to budget your estimated expenses. Before you start your business venture you will need to know if you will have enough seed money.
Seed money is that money you’ll need to start the business and run it successfully for at least the first couple of months. Having a good estimate of your costs will also help determine whether or not you’ll need a loan. The small business administration can provide you with information to determine whether or not you are eligible for a SBA loan.
SBA loans are loans that are guaranteed by the small business administration as they have no direct link to the borrowers. The small business administration pays the lender a portion of the loan thereby making it safer to lend money. There are several types of loans that you may be eligible to get. The small business administration provides resources that help you with financial options, preparing loan applications and checklists.
The typical loans that most entrepreneurs apply for are:
- SBA Advantage Loans-7(a) geared toward businesses with special requirements;
- SBA Microloans-small, short term loans;
- Real Estate & Equipment Loans;
- Disaster Loans.
Understanding your finances is an important consideration when starting, growing and maintaining your business. The small business administration provides a variety of articles that you can use to:
- Develop a cash flow analysis;
- Determine a breakeven point when your business will start to show a profit;
- Determine how fiscally fit your business is now;
- Prepare financial statements.
It will take some time and effort to determine cash flow issues.
Growing and Maintaining Your Business
The advice and help you receive from the small business administration can provide you with the means to grow and maintain your business. Tips, online tools and other resources are available through the links the small business administration has set up. Entrepreneurs can take advantage of one-on-one mentoring programs, online support groups and support organizations that hold local meetings.
The small business administration offers a wide variety of webinars, seminars and training tools to help entrepreneurs with maintaining their businesses. Forms for every type of business need are also available.
The most popular topics that business owners ask for are:
- Leadership and Mentoring;
- The Basics of Running a Business-Sales and Human Resources;
- Business Plans and Forecasting;
- Cyber security;
- Small Business Healthcare;
- Legal issues;
The information that an entrepreneur can receive either through the website or by other means is invaluable. Would-be entrepreneurs can get connected to a variety of resources that can help them make important decisions with their businesses.
SCORE-Personal and Professional Help for Small Business Owners
A good resource that new and prospective small business owners can take advantage of is SCORE. The SCORE organization is a non-profit organization that provides volunteer counselors for small business owners throughout the United States. The counselors are trained to help small businesses with financial, start-up, and maintenance issues.
SCORE offers online workshops, one-on-one mentoring, business workshops and advice for small businesses on a variety of topics including:
- Business Taxes and Withholding;
- Managing Your Employees;
- Crime Prevention;
- Marketing and Public Relations.
Their wide selection of online courses provides entrepreneurs opportunities to discover revenue streams, target audiences and plan a budget. The “course on demand” modules really are great for small business owners that want to learn new concepts at their own pace.
The small business administration offers three types of support for business owners. These are: online resources, one-on-one resources, and local workshops. The online resources are the most popular with a variety of webinars on topics ranging from starting a business to terminating a business.
Growing your business still takes a lot of diligence on your part. It is good to know that there is support for anyone looking to start a business, grow a business and maintain a business. There are some important considerations to mull when planning to open a business. The small business administration can help you take the guesswork out of it.