Top 5 features on SBA.gov that help Americans start, build, and grow their business.
Finding sound advice and realistic steps to start a business can be daunting. With thousands of websites with millions of pieces of information, sifting through the knowledge is exhausting.
But what if there was a site that will give you actionable steps and the knowledge you need to successfully start a business?
What is the U.S. Small Business Administration?
The U.S. Small Business Administration, or SBA, is dedicated to helping Americans start, build, and grow businesses. Their website, SBA.gov, is a comprehensive site full of resources and guides for all types of businesses, from new entrepreneurs to seasoned business owners.
Top 5 Things You Can Do On SBA.Gov
If you need capital to help start your business or pay for equipment, then SBA is a fantastic place to start. The two main loans types are the 7(a) Loan (general small business loan) and Certified Development Company/504 loan (financing for major fixed assets, such as equipment or real estate). In 2016, the SBA awarded over 49,000 of these loans to small businesses like you, totaling more than $29 million.
If these loan types aren’t a good fit for you, the SBA also has microloans. The microloan program provides loans up to $50,000 to help small businesses and certain not-for-profit childcare centers start up and expand. The average microloan is about $13,000.
More so, the SBA offers disaster loans – low-interest loans to businesses of all sizes, private non-profit organizations, homeowners, and renters. SBA disaster loans can be used to repair or replace items damaged or destroyed in a declared disaster, such as real estate, personal property, machinery and equipment, and inventory and business assets. A perfect example: the SBA created pages dedicated for hurricane Harvey, Irma, and Maria disaster assistance.
SBA.gov has created a comprehensive business guide. Some helpful features in the guide: calculating startup costs, writing your business plan, choosing your name, registering your business, hiring staff, paying taxes, expanding to new locations, and a vast amount more.
One of our favorite features in the guide is Starting Your Business In 10 Steps – it’s a monumental time saver for new businesses.
So, you have the business name and you know what product/services you want to offer. But where should your business be located? Some factors you want to account for: unemployment rate, business turnover, employment by industry, demographics, and more. The SBA has created a detailed guide for each state covering all these questions, allowing you to make an informed decision about where to start or grow your business.
Another big factor to consider: competition. If you’re starting a coffee shop and there’s 10 other java shops within a mile radius, chances are you’re going to have a difficult, uphill battle. To help, the SBA has created SizeUp – a tool to help you manage and grow your business by benchmarking it against competitors, mapping your customers, finding suppliers, and locating the best places to advertise.
Every business owner needs smart advice and helpful local resources. To meet this need, the SBA offers local networking and learning events for business owners to share knowledge and meet other owners. Likewise, the SBA has business counselors to assist in starting another location, selling your business or acquiring a competitor.
What ways has the SBA assisted you? Tweet at us – We’d love to hear how the SBA has helped you start and grow your business.
About the Author
Jeffrey Wisard is the Channel Content Marketing Manager at Worldpay. With deep experience in SEO, Content and Process Driven Digital Marketing, he’s able to help businesses segment their ideas to channel specific messages, realizing conversions and engagements that help SMBs grow. He’s also founded lifestyle specific festivals and created ROI driven digital communities, so he understands the needs of new and current businesses owners. When he’s not segmenting marketing messages, you can find him on his bike, run commuting and/or spending time with his awesome wife and super cool baby girl.