Running a small business is no easy task. That’s because, as the head of your own company, everything — funding, marketing, hiring and, of course, growing — falls squarely on your shoulders. Fortunately, there are resources available that can help lighten your load — and your stress levels — considerably.
Unfortunately, many new small business owners don’t know these resources exist.
To make sure you don’t miss out, we’ve compiled this list of the six best business resources for small business owners.
The United States Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is an independent agency of the U.S. government dedicated solely to aiding, counseling, assisting and protecting the interests of small businesses.
Originally founded in 1953, today the SBA offers access to expertise, guidance and, perhaps most importantly, capital. The agency provides millions of dollars in financial assistance to small businesses every year, making it a great source of funding for a new business or franchise.
Many of the SBA’s tools and forms can be found online, but you can also speak with a local representative at an SBA district office in your area, should you prefer more personalized and direct guidance.
Canada Business Network
Similar to the SBA in the U.S., the Canada Business Network is a central hub of knowledge, guidance and support for Canadian businesses.The online resource provides detailed advice to help you start, plan, finance, manage and grow your business, all while maintaining compliance with government rules and regulations. The site can even help you find a lender.
Insufficient capital is one of the biggest challenges facing first-time small business owners and franchisees. If you need quick access to cash and can’t get approval from a bank, Kabbage may be right for you.
Kabbage provides an immediate line of credit that you can borrow against continuously, as you don’t need to take all of the loan at once. Fees are presented upfront, so there are no surprises.
However, unlike traditional bank loans which have longer repayment periods, Kabbage loans must be paid back within a maximum of just six months.
If you fail to repay, you could face heavy fines and penalties, and they will automatically withdraw money from your PayPal account. On the other hand, if you pay back the loan in advance, your fees are typically reduced.
That makes Kabbage a great option for smaller investments or for companies with good cash flow but without enough reserves to obtain loans from a bank. The service has a 9.3 rating (out of 10) on Trustpilot and a 3 ½ star rating (out of five stars) on Credit Karma.
You probably already use LinkedIn to connect with colleagues, but you should also be using it to connect with knowledge! LinkedIn groups provide online forums for small business owners to share experiences, insights and suggestions with one another.
You can get real-time feedback from people who have real-world experience with the same challenges you are facing.
While there are literally thousands of LinkedIn Groups available (and new ones are being started every day), we suggest perusing this list of the 20 best LinkedIn groups for small businesses to get you started.
Startup Professionals Musings
It may not look pretty or flashy, but Martin Zwilling’s blog is full of valuable information for small business owners and leaders.
Zwilling, the founder of his own startup consulting firm and a widely published expert who has been featured in Forbes, the Harvard Business Review and The Huffington Post, routinely updates his blog with insights into a wide range of timely and critical topics, including boosting innovation, scaling your business, funding challenges and many others.
A Great Franchise Team
All small businesses require a substantial amount of time and effort from their founders in order to be successful. However, as the owner of a franchise operation, you can be the head of your own company without all of the headaches associated with running an independent business.
That’s because, as a franchise operator, you will be in business for yourself — not by yourself. For example, when you join the Bin There Dump That franchise system, you become part of a team that is as committed to your success as you are. We provide a proven, repeatable franchise operational model, hands-on training and ongoing support. In short, we provide all the resources you need to succeed.
To learn more about how we can be a resource to you and your future, download a free franchise kit.