Small businesses form the backbone of the American economy and its financial growth. Recent statistics show that:
- Over a third of the US working population is employed at businesses with fewer than 100 employees.
- Businesses with less than five employees make up 62% of all businesses in the US.
- 66% of small businesses are self-employed individuals.
- 77% of small businesses rely on personal savings for their initial funds.
New business owners face considerable challenges in terms of securing financing, filing documents, and being technology- savvy. Let’s take a look at some resources that can help owners kick- start and boost their business in the competitive market.
Creating a Business Roadmap
SCORE offers downloadable templates for established businesses. Owners can also take advantage of the free mentoring services, where they can have their business plans reviewed and refined.
Right Signature allows contracts, invoices, and estimates to be uploaded, and electronically signed by clients. Owners can also use Right Signature’s iPhone app to have clients sign documents using their finger.
The US Small Business Administration provides many evaluation kits, courses, and business guides. One of these is the Cyber Resilience Review (CRR) assessment tool which is a no- cost feature that helps small business owners assess their information technology services. The CRR evaluates ten domains including risk management, incident management and service continuity.
Business owners can save both time and money by using technology to analyze Big Data. Google Analytics is a free web monitoring tool from Google that provides all types of data on website visitors and traffic sources. Owners can understand their customers from acquisition to purchase.
Outright is an accounting software that helps small business owners with online bookkeeping needs, such as preparing end- of- year tax documents and estimated quarterly tax filing. Outright is completely free, and connects with Freshbooks, Expensify, Paypal as well as credit cards.
Business USA has an online questionnaire that analyzes a business structure, such as if an owner as invented something or if products are going to be sold online. Based on the information provided and the owner’s zipcode, Business USA locates nearby resources and networks for the business.
The State Small Business Credit Initiative (SBCCI)
Part of the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, SBCCI‘s goal is to stimulate small business growth. With over 1.5 billion dollars in federal funding, programs like the Downtown Development Revolving Loan Fund (DDRLF) are providing below- market financing to new business owners.
The future for new business owners looks stable and certain in the 2017 financial market. In the words of Carla Freberg, Director of Sales, Vendor Services Group, Balboa Capital,
“In 2017, increased confidence among small business owners regarding the economy and their overall performance could lead to trends in business investment. Both the economy and stock market have shown signs of strength during the final weeks of 2016, and this helps increase business owner optimism.”