A List of Five Small Business Resources You’ll Want to Know About

The Internet is Full of Resources for Small Businesses

As a small business owner, you are never alone, especially if you’re partnering with a successful franchise opportunity. Personal networking, mentorship, and the Internet’s abundance of small business resources are easily accessible. The business world is not as cut-throat as lawyers and your MBA faculty romanticized it to be. There are guides, tools, and resources omnipresent to help address any snags you find yourself in. You might just need to know where to look.

This article will discuss five of the best sources of business knowledge covering topics like tax information, hiring guidelines, and back-office systems.

Filing Taxes as New Small Business Owner

A common mistake many neophyte business owners make is believing that the IRS will overlook their business before profiting. This is far from true. The IRS takes huge bounds to audit small business and start-ups even before they enter the black. Hiring a CPA or tax preparation service is one of the major small business resources that will pay for itself. Organized books and accounting will not only make tax season less of a headache, it will help you find your business’ strengths when time to expand comes.

For support in filing taxes enlist the help of SCORE. This organization is a group of retired executives who have the expertise to mentor you through the toughest business challenges. Local SCORE chapters provide valuable practical advice, tools, and education you will need as you start out.

Finding a mentor is simple through SCORE’s network of experienced entrepreneurs.  You can visit a local chapter or access their information online. The SCORE website can be used as a manual. You can find instruction on all relevant business inquiries. Information like how to structure your business for legal and tax purposes, proper deductions, and steps to partnering with a tax preparation agency are a few clicks away.

Where and How to Hire Employees

The internet is an extensive and far-reaching tool for collecting and retaining talented members of your team. Every position, skill-set, and congruous personality can be found for your business. First, you’ll need to narrow down the employees you’re looking for by job title. Then, you’ll need to post job openings throughout various internet forums. There are a variety of credible small business resources where you can post job openings.

Job Posting Forums

  • Indeed
  • Monster
  • LinkedIn Jobs
  • Craiglist
  • SimplyHired

Post all relevant information on these sites. Include information like credentials, minimum work experience, expected compensation, and summarize the job description. There are also a number of recruitment agencies that you can use if your business is scaling quickly.

The Small Business Administration

The SBA is an independent agency of the federal government whose sole purpose is to assist small business owners. Whether finding a small business loan with advantageous rates or seeking out free education on segments of business like financing, marketing, or managing—the SBA is a widely comprehensive small business resource. Many of the first time tasks of opening a business from the ground up are outlined in the SBA’s literature. Tasks, like writing a business plan, or picking out a point of sales system are outlined in easy step-by-step guides.

The SBA’s mission is: “The SBA helps Americans start, build and grow businesses. Through an extensive network of field offices and partnerships with public and private organizations, SBA delivers its services to people throughout the United States, Puerto Rico, the U. S. Virgin Islands and Guam.”

Free Online Small Business Resources

The convergence of the online world has introduced new dissemination of information that before only experts had access to. Now, small business owners don’t need to attend massive amounts of school or attend conventions to gain the skills needed for success. Training can come in a variety of free online business resources. Business blogs like Small Business Trends and You’re the Boss Blog give insider tips that can give you a competitive edge. Entrepreneur, INC., and Forbes also publish great articles to keep business owners informed.

LinkedIn is another stream of valuable information. This website is the social media of business. LinkedIn helps individuals network with other professionals. Not only does this boost your chances of partnering with other credible professionals, but it can provide a daily rundown of all the news affecting your industry.

Buying a Franchise

Many choose franchising over opening an independent business so that they will also have the support they need. All the organizations like the SBA, SCORE, and your local chamber of commerce will all be there to help, but it’s a little different with a franchisor assisting you.

The difference is that you own your own business within a company that is 100% invested in your success.

When your franchise unit prevails—-generates huge income—the entirety of the franchise company prevails. This mutual investment is a schematic for huge business advancement. A reputable franchise will be a framework of small business resources. For more information on how franchising can make your entrepreneurial pursuits easier, click here.


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The Big 3 of Sustainable Business Growth

There is a myriad of impeding statistics circulating the business world. According to the small business administration, only half of all new establishments survive five years or more. One-third survive 10 years or more. How do you ensure your business is one of the ones that makes it? Established small businesses, startups, and franchise owners alike need to make adjustments to build a company-wide framework for business growth.

Having a tangible course for long-term success can mean the difference between your business tanking or sustaining the momentum necessary for new heights and better views.

Businesses aren’t trees. You can’t stick them in the ground, sprinkle water, and expect them to grow. It takes an adaptive ethos. The same can be applied for the entrepreneurial spirit. Getting oneself geared for vertical mobility takes a systematic approach.

This article will help business owners grasp their inner entrepreneur and become the leader that will take their business through the course of financial ascension.

Establish Your Value

Market Gaps

Sustainability in the marketplace takes exploring uncharted niches. These are called market gaps. This is the starting point for most traditional businesses to determine if their venture premise is capable of withstanding business growth. Typically, determining a market gap is the antecedent of innovation. For instance, before Jaap Haartsen invented Bluetooth capabilities, the inventor most likely asked himself, how can we make headphones better? Thus one of the most prevalent forms of wireless technology emerged into the market.

Market gaps are not always a commodity of invention. Sometimes it is expanding on an idea that is already proven favorable by consumers. Say you are thinking of opening a retail boutique in an up-and-coming neighborhood. Established local small businesses are already accounting for all consumer demands except designer sunglasses—a market gap emerges. With some research, opening a high-end eyewear store could be a profitable enterprise geared for strong business growth.

Another example is when regional demographics allow for a certain product or service to thrive in a specific micro-economy, or shifting incline in consumer trends occurs. For instance, the pet industry has been spiking in the past few years. But research shows rural areas are not the most ideal location for a pet retail franchise while urban based pet businesses are swelling. This business growth is occurring for a variety of reasons, but the simplest one is that more people are purchasing animals for companionship in cities. As demand grows so will business.

Brand Uniqueness

Corporate executives and the Swedish grandma down the street running the meatball restaurant will tell you, it’s all about standing out. This needs to be quantifiable. What does your business provide that distinguishes itself from the competition?

Grocery stores have been around since the early 20th century, but not every grocery store premise has survived. The Whole Foods brand differentiates itself from the Walmart brand. Whole Foods capitalizes off premiumization while Walmart focuses on competitive pricing. Both stores have individualized a brand concept with customer appeal and unique marketing. The trick is to tell a story with your brand that can be summed up in a sentence or less.

Lasting businesses have an established brand that delineates the narrative of the company’s mission, appeals to consumers, and is widely recognized. Branding is integral to business growth.

Revenue Streams

How does your business make money? Your revenue streams are part of the key indicators for business growth—measurable segments that promote growth. What are your current revenue streams? Is it possible to create new forms of revenue? Of your revenue streams, which one is the most sustainable for long term success?

The most advantageous source of revenue is recurring revenue. Usually, this derives from customer membership. This stream is typically for a continued service, but  differ through sectors involved with this exact source of income. Cellular service providers, gyms, and even pet stores have recurring revenue built into their business concept. The reason this is so critical is that recurring revenue maintains earnings not contingent with marketplace factors.

Businesses looking to expand need to establish areas within their concepts where multiple streams of revenue can boost profits and develop the most lucrative means.

Streamline Methods Aiming for Business Growth


This will take two evaluations. The first one is an introspective look into your business. What needs to be tweaked, altered, or removed? This is general maintenance for your business.  A translation and language services company that is using outdated software that wants to reach global participation is not going to last. A company like this will need to invest in purchasing or developing the technology needed to expedite services and leverage online language education. Tons of failing businesses get caught up the in this process.  Trial-and-error business growth tactics hinder business growth. You will want to make measurable changes timely to avoid wasting time and resources.

The second analysis you will need to complete is monitoring the competition. Chances are competing businesses in your industry segment are excelling in areas where you’re falling short. Take the time to see what other businesses are doing that you should be aware of. This will guide your growth strategy. Some retail stores will send in secret shoppers to rival stores to clue them in on the way competitors are merchandising their store. Have the choices your competitors helped them find success that you failed to see?

Retain Talent

Turnover is one of the biggest snags of business growth. Replacing an employee that makes 10/hour costs the company 16% of an annual salary, according to a CAP study. The same study found that replacing an executive making $100k will cost up to 213% of their annual salary or $213,000. The trick is to find talent and keep them.

Benchmark your employee retention rate with proven strategies. Hire a few ambitious and suited employees and pay them well. The payroll for a half dozen well-equipped and motivated employees that are compensated fairly will offset potential mediocre employee productivity and costs of turnover. For a thriving pet franchise, this means finding a salesperson that can educate customers and drive sales.

Employees are an investment; treat them as such.

Focus on Strengths

The best way to optimize your business is to explore what’s working. Scouring through your overhead is smart, but don’t waste too much time playing accountant. Sometimes developing the strong points of your business will be more beneficial than cutting costs, or improving weaknesses. Overhaul your recent successes and systematize them for business growth.

Skillful Leadership

Business change happens from the top down.

Proverbs like ‘football teams are only as good as it’s quarterback’ or ‘don’t be a captain of a sinking ship’ might appear callow, but there is truth in these aphorisms. If you want to be the Steve Jobs of your business you need to adopt this ideology. You will need to lead your team and employees through the intended business growth agenda. Whether you are local microbrewery, or a drone rental business, you will need to harness the leadership skills to thrive.

Even grassroots startups will need a comprehensive vision to focus the efforts of the company. Great leaders need to be immune to pressure. Roadblocks and obstacles should be viewed as a welcomed challenge, not a pitfall. Business takes finesse and intuition to forecast and implement a wise plan of action to grow dreams into reality.

Imaginative Decision Making

The ability to work through a problem sequentially is the sign of great leadership—problem-solving. The lack of simple problem solving has become so rampant in business, many outsource, or hire special project managers to handle risk minimization. The fewer problems occurring, the easier business growth becomes. The best way to avoid issues is to be predictive. If you can see problems happening in the future, you can take the necessary steps to evade them.

After hits like “The Avengers” and “Guardians of the Galaxy,” many are surprised that the Marvel company filed for bankruptcy in 1996. At the time, the company only dealt in print comic books. But thanks to some clever merging and financial agreements, the company was able to partner in making some of the top grossing films of the past decade. Don’t give up! Failure is not an inevitability.

Do not Fear business Growth; Embrace it!

Many aspects of business are a calculated risk. Just the sheer fact that you are operating a business shows that you have taken the first step in the gamble of entrepreneurialism. This requires a certain amount of open-mindedness. When employees from bottom to top feel marginalized or too discouraged to innovate—this is not good. Employees need to collaborate on ideas and feel camaraderie within the company culture.

Sustaining growth is a communal momentum. Make sure your company culture is an encouraging atmosphere that invites creativity. The brainstorming sessions it will take to get your business into a more lucrative place will be demanding. Model for employees and colleagues how diversity, respect, and ambition are the attributes for pioneering the business realm and how overcoming challenges is the kindling to the fire of business growth.

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