Startup Tuesday: 5 Resources for Starting Your Business in March
Posted by Megan Webb-Morgan on March 5, 2013 in Startups [ 0 Comments ]
If you’ve been hemming and hawing about starting your new business – now is the time to stop. March is National Start Your Business Month, making it the perfect time to take advantage of the many resources available to aspiring business owners.
Not sure where to start? Check out these 5 top resources.
Related: Startups Tuesday: Securing Funding
Business.com connects businesses with the vendors and services they need in order to run their businesses effectively. Their many vendors and content resources can help your startup in a variety of ways – from finding you the best deal on a business phone system, to setting up your online PPC campaign.
- Business.com has over 30,000 pages of valuable guides; you access to specialized buyer’s guides and informational articles about a variety of business topics. Confused as to what kind of business structure is best for you? Wondering how to optimize your website for search? The guides, articles, and blog can provide you with answers to all your startup questions.
- Check out their blog, guides & articles.
2. The U.S. Small Business Administration
The SBA is a government agency specifically geared towards assisting small businesses, entrepreneurs, and startups. The SBA runs a special loan program that guarantees small business loans made through banks, credit unions, and other lenders. The administration also leads efforts to enable small businesses to bid on and receive federal work contracts.
- The SBA website has information, resources, and advice on a variety of topics geared toward small business owners, including laws, regulations, taxes, funding, employees, and more.
3. Your Bank’s Small Business Department
When starting your new business, you will need to open a business checking account, apply for a business credit card, and apply for financing. Your bank may assign a specific banker to your account or have it managed by their small business department.
Arrange a meeting to introduce yourself, check in with them regularly, and maintain an open line of communication throughout the process of starting your business. When you and your business banker trust each other, they benefit from your business and you benefit from their assistance and expertise.
Your business banker can:
- Give you expert advice on your business plan, finances, and loan applications.
- Be a source of business networking contacts.
- Facilitate lower fees, better financing, and access to loans for your business.
- Positively influence your business credit report.
4. A Business Mentor
When it comes to starting a new business, nothing is better than experience. Gain access to industry-specific knowledge and understanding by finding yourself a business mentor. This should be someone who is familiar with your business type, sector, and industry, who can offer you expert guidance and quality answers to your questions. If you are unsure who to ask, check with your previous employers, vendors, and business partners.
5. Your Friends and Family
According to the US Small Business Administration, one-third of startups rely entirely on owner investments and non-bank sources of funds, and the largest percentage of all startup funding comes from the personal capital of the entrepreneur and their friends and family.
- If you receive funding from family and friends, protect your relationships by writing out a contract in writing that lays out the terms and stipulations of the loan.
- Your friends and family offer more than financial support. They offer emotional support, give professional advice, and volunteer their time and expertise while you work to get your business off the ground.
The resources you need to start your own business are available now. Look to the Resource Nation and SBA websites, your banker, your business mentor, and your friends and family for the information and support you need to start your business today.