Daniel Holdeman 3m 720
The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Planning, organizing and sustaining a small business is a tremendous amount of work, insight and foresight; and getting professional help along the way can be a welcomed opportunity. There are a number of free resources available for any small business owner, and here are a few.
The U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration offers a host of free resources for not only start-up businesses but for businesses that are already established.
Any business owner needs a business plan and the Small Business Administration can help a prospective business owner craft a business plan via templates that can be personalized. The Small Business Administration is designed to offer tips on how to find one’s specific niche market as well as provide useful insight on financing options for expansion as well as providing ongoing technical and management training. Through the SBA, webinars and local seminars are made available on a myriad of business topics, giving small business owners opportunities to consult with experts who can provide invaluable information.
NOLO—Know The Law
When thinking through how to start a small business, being clearly aware of one’s legal rights and obligations is crucial. NOLO provides a website where consumers and business owners can glean valuable legal information on a variety of topics. Specific information pertaining to business ownership structures is provided so a business owner can be more equipped to make a decision on what business ownership structure would best suit one’s own situation. Ownership structures include sole proprietorship, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability company, corporation for profit, nonprofit corporation and cooperative. Cooperatives like Tarrant Small Business Development Center are great resources on this front as well.
The IRS: Though many cringe at the mere sound of “IRS”, this entity has an abundance of free resources for business owners regarding business start-up and business-specific tax obligations. A variety of free publications can be requested including everything from a tax calendar to a virtual tax workshop.
This is a resource you won’t want to operate without! Business executives, either still in the workforce or retired, give their time and talents to help small businesses grow. The organization is comprised of more than 13,000 dedicated volunteers covering the gamut of 600 different skills. How cool is that!? For example, Templates and publications are made available to offer assistance with things such as balance sheets, loan amortization schedules, cash-flow worksheets and sales forecasts. Online webinars and seminars, from the local small business administration, provide insight on a slew of business topics and concerns such as marketing your business, managing a virtual office and time-management.
Yes, even social media sites can be of tremendous help! Here, small business owners can communicate with one another and exchange new ideas. One site is geared, specifically, for businesses and it’s called LinkedIn. LinkedIn is a popular website for professionals to network; and college students, also, use it to meet someone in a company they have an interest in working for.
U.S. Chamber of Commerce
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce provides toolkits that can be worth their weight in gold by providing insightful information dealing with sales, marketing, financial planning and online marketing.
James Hill Reference Library
Chances are you haven’t heard of the James Hill Reference Library but if you enjoy gaining insight through audio/visual means, such as videos, you’re in luck. A plethora of business reference information is at your fingertips online and videos are only one venue, by which, the James Hill Reference Library shares their expertise.
National Venture Capital Association
Need help with venture capital information? The National Venture Capital Association, or NVCA, is a trade association comprised of more than 400 venture capital firms that are ready and able to help entrepreneurs.
The resources are out there; and how wonderful that so much information and insight is available at no cost to business owners who appreciate all the help they can get!
As the asst. supervisor for a web marketing firm, Daniel works as a visiting poster in an effort to support the business world based in the U.S.A.. He works in the West Coast, and is loving life with his wonderful bride and 3 rug rats. D. man encourages individuals to survey his Google Plus affiliation when they can.