We’ve heard the legends of successful businesses starting in people’s garages, but the truth is, a well-managed good idea can be successful no matter where it starts. So that leaves the question: how do you start your small business? Consider your resources as you figure out how to get your passion off the ground.
The Small Business Association
Our federal government can be a great stop for information and assistance. The Small Business Association is a prime example. Not just a source of SBA loans, the SBA also has a series step-by-step instructions with guidelines and resources to help your small business be successful. Think about it. The whole purpose of the SBA is to help small businesses get off the ground, meet a need in their communities and make a profit. Why wouldn’t you check out what they have available to help you? You’ve already paid for that help in the form of your taxes. From helping you with a business plan to funding to even choosing a name, the SBA should be one of your first stops in planning the success of your small business.
Your Local Association of Business Owners
This may be an informal group of business owners that get together periodically to talk about local trends, gossip and resources, but whatever it’s called, you can get help here. If there’s no such thing as a formal Chamber of Commerce in your area, speak to some of the local business owners to find out if any of them get together to help each other. A local bank, for example, may set aside a small table in their lobby to feature a local company who uses them for their banking needs. A local clothing shop may host an event where they invite crafters or other complimentary stores to join together to attract a larger clientele to all of their businesses. There are a multitude of ways locals can help each other.
You’re not going to find a mentor in your exact business in your municipality unless where you plan to do business is large enough to support multiple types of the same company. If you’re planning on an auto parts shop, you may want to find mentors among the auto mechanics and body repair shop owners locally. Your clothing boutique could use the expert eye of a jewelry store owner for merchandising and window arrangements. Alternatively, you could seek out the help of a business owner far away in your exact field.
Exploit your resources and do your homework to give your small business the best chance for success.