A Quick-Start Resource Guide to Help You Start Your New Business

A Quick-Start Resource Guide to Help You Start Your New Business
A Quick-Start Resource Guide to Help You Start Your New Business

I recently posted about the hurdles you will likely encounter in opening a new lemonade stand (or other business, if lemon futures don’t behave and you need to change direction). Let’s take it the next step. Where can you go to get the foundational knowledge, i.e., the fundamentals you will need to grasp to be successful — without devoting months or years to acquiring that knowledge? How can you dig in, and dig in quickly?

Well, as an entrepreneurial spirit in today’s world, you are in luck, resource-wise. There are thousands upon thousands of resources for you to use. Here are four you can re-view right now to get a quick grasp on what might lay ahead, and where you will need to turn next.

  1. The U.S, Small Business Administration (SBA)
 has been around since 1953, provides an incredibly broad and deep supply of resources for small businesses. You can get everything from dozens of helpful articles on starting a business to online training to guaranteed loans. The basic mission of the SBA is to help Americans “start, build and grow businesses,” and they have enormous resources in place to do just that. 

The SBA is kind of the grand-daddy of them all in this space. Many other programs point back to it and are supported by it. This is the place to start to build your knowledge base.
  2. SCORE
 originally billed itself as the “Service Corps of Retired Executives” but today it is known as “Counselors to America’s Small Business,” and being retired really no longer needs to be part of the equation. SCORE is a nonprofit association (underwritten by SBA), made up of more than 13,000 volunteer business counselors. I am a SCORE volunteer, and I am definitely not retired! 

SCORE mentors are trained to help to aspiring entrepreneurs and business owners. The work is offered as a community service, at no fee, SCORE can help you if you are trying to start a business or if you need some help with your existing business.

Getting advice and help from SCORE is easy. You can go online and choose a mentor, or you can visit your local score office (there are nearly 350 of them around the country). Or check out an online workshop and subscribe to the SCORE e-newsletter. Since SCORE was formed in 1964, almost 10 million Americans have used the service. If you are thinking about starting your own business, you should consider using it, too.
  3. Small Business Development Centers (SBDC)
 gives assistance to small businesses and aspiring business owners. They are typically hosted either by state universities or state development agencies, and they are partially funded by SBA. The free or low-cost services offered are very similar to SCORE’s offerings; one difference is that SBDC counselors are paid, not volunteers. In Georgia, where I live, there are 18 SBDC offices scattered around the state. Topical areas include finance and accounting, procurement for business, managing a business, and international trade, all supported by articles, newsletters, and training classes.



Here’s the bottom line for the prospective entrepreneur: 
No matter where you are in the process of thinking about starting your business, and no matter what kind of business interests you have right now, abundant resources are available to help you find your path. Starting with these three ultra-rich sources of information will put the wind in your sails very quickly. And as always, if your research leads you to believe you’d rather not go it alone, I’ll be glad to help you explore franchising options that might be a better fit for you — to help you go into business for yourself, not by yourself.

Contact me for more information and a discussion about finding the right match while balancing your skills and interests.

 

Thinking of Starting a Business? FranNet Can Help