The Small Business Administration or SBA as it is more commonly known, is an organization all new business owners or those thinking about starting a business should familiarize themselves with. While most people think of them as a place to get help with loans for small business, they offer a wealth of information and free services. Even if you are an established business owner, there are many ways you can benefit from their services.
When I opened my first business many years ago, I had a Score counselor look over my business plan. This experienced business man gave me some valuable suggestions. If you a new company and you are looking for business financing, without SBA backing, it is almost impossible to secure a loan. Take a look at some of the services and web sites listed below for more information.
Small Business Administration
The SBA is an independent federal agency works that with entrepreneurs to help them start and build their businesses. They have offices across the country. In these offices you will find experts to help you with virtually any aspect of starting or owning a business. One of the main things they are known for is helping small businesses secure financing. The SBA works with lenders to guarantee these loans. You can also find many publications and courses on marketing and planning as well as other areas of interest.
Women’s Business Center
There are over 100 locations of the Women’s Business Center around the US and a list can be found on the website. Among the many things they offer, these centers assist entrepreneurs in gaining access to capital. When you visit their site, you will find free online training covering every aspect of owning a business, information on contract opportunities for women and a many other topics. Be sure to sign up for their free newsletters.
Small Business Development Centers
The Small Business Development Centers can be found in every state. At last count, there were about 900 offices. Educational institutions such as colleges and universities as well as others in the private sector work together on such things a feasibility studies and organization.
This non profit organization offers free and confidential advice through its volunteer counselors. If you are looking for an experienced business person to act as your mentor or coach, this is the place to begin your search. Currently there are over 12,000 business people that can help with every aspect of starting or growing a business as well as assessing an idea for a small business. Every new business person should take advantage of this wonderful free service.
You can also find information on export assistance, microloans and many other topics. If you are interested in reading stories about successful business people who worked with SBA programs visit www.bizjournals.com/sba2010.