You are probably already aware that the Small Business Administration has loan programs for small businesses. But you may not be aware of the many resources the SBA provides to help small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs manage and grow successful businesses. A quick and easy way to learn more about these resources is to go to the SBA’s Web site: http://www.sba.gov/.
One resource you will find on the site is SBA Podcasting. These are broadcast feeds that cover a variety of small-business topics. You can listen to these audio broadcasts on your computer or there are transcripts of the podcasts available for you to read and print out, if desired.
The site offers a series of videos called “Delivering Success.” In these video interviews, successful small-business owners share what they have learned about owning a business.
SBA conducts monthly Web chats, and you can access the transcripts through their site. During the most recent chat, the President of Taxation for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants answered questions concerning “Year-end Tax Essentials for Small Business Owners.”
Free online courses are available through the site. Topics related to surviving in a down economy, finance and accounting, government contracting, marketing and international trade can be found. These courses, and the entire site, are also available in Spanish.
The “Counseling & Training” section includes a tremendous amount of information and tools presented in four major categories:
- Starting a Business
- Managing a Business
- Financing a Business
You will find topics such as writing a business plan, financing your business, franchises, human resources, utilizing technology and selling your business. The Government Contracting Publications include topics related to finding contracting opportunities and assistance for women-owned businesses and service-disabled veterans.
Through the site, you can subscribe to free SBA e-newsletters that offer information and business opportunities. This includes the SBA Advocacy Newsletter and the Georgia Newsletter.
The SBA offers counseling and assistance to small-business owners through resource partners such as Women’s Business Centers, SCORE and Small Business Development Centers such as our office here in Savannah.
I encourage small-business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs to go to the SBA’s Web site and take advantage of these resources and other tools available. You will find the site to be very valuable as you work to build a successful business.