Last month, the U.S. Small Business Administration celebrated National Small Business Week. There were many press conferences, events with high profile speakers, and announcements of positive juju economic stats from small business in America.
But behind all the glam and glitz was the simple fact that small business is the backbone of our economy. Large conglomerations were not born large. They started in someone’s backyard or during a party or, as famously so-American, in someone’s garage. It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to build up those huge companies – the same blood, sweat and tears that small business owners experience every day.
So, what resources are out there for small business owners who don’t have millions of dollars of capital to spend on research and development and education? While I’m a huge proponent of investing in your knowledge, self-improvement and business, there are a few ways to get information without breaking the bank when you’re first starting out.
Check with your local:
City government – Many offer free consultations. The information can be basic, but you need to start somewhere.
Colleges and universities – Quite a few campuses offer small business outreach.
SBA office – The Small Business Administration offers a slew of free and low-cost consultations and courses.
You can figure out your strengths and weaknesses during these low-cost classes and consults, then invest in more in-depth private consulting and coaching from experts to address what you need the most help with.
You can of course scour the Internet, but by making human connections, you’ll be networking at the same time. (You know me – I love efficiency!)
If you’re just starting out – Congratulations! Welcome to a world of opportunities!
If you’ve been a business owner for a few years or longer – Congratulations! You’re living the dream!