Free or Low Cost Assistance For Your Small Business
Whether you have been a small business owner for several years or you are just starting out, you do not need to go it alone. There is lots of expertise and assistance available for free or at a very modest cost. Government-run business development centers offer some excellent counseling and workshops.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) sponsors small business development centers (SBDC”S) in every State. (For examplte, there are 14 centers covering the state of Colorado and more in the more populous states). Workshops about writing a business plan, financing your business, start-up basics are offered periodically throughout the year. They offer a 13-week series called NxLevel for either the new or intermediate level business leading to the completion of a business plan.
The Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE), a volunteer arm under the SBA also offers advice. More of a mentoring arrangement, SCORE will match a new business owner to an advisor who has appropriate expertise. SCORE volunteers will meet with their assigned business owners on a regular basis to ensure they stay on track.
There may be other nonprofit organizations that will assist the small business owner. In the Denver Metro area, we also have Mi Casa that aids both job seekers and new entrepreneurs. Aurora Busines Development Center provides services similar to the SBDC’s but offers some customized workshops. Organizations that aid in small business financing may also offer assistance as well. An example in Colorado is the Rocky Mountain Micro Finance Institute.
If you need help, take advantage of such excellent resources. Anything you can do to increase your chances to succeed has got to be worth the time.