Running a small business is no easy feat. It takes a lot of hard work, dedication, and perseverance. Not to mention the occasional calculated risk. Therefore, it’s common for small business owners to become overwhelmed and at times feel alone. Fortunately, there are several free resources for finding help with your business.
You’re probably familiar with The Small Business Administration (SBA). This government agency was formed in 1953 as a means of supporting small businesses in the U.S. and to fuel economic growth.
Their website contains a cornucopia of helpful information on topics like:
- Strategic business planning
- Starting a business
- Business laws
- Policy and regulations
The SBA Learning Center contains several free courses. The bottom line is that the success of small businesses translates into the economic growth of America, so the SBA is more than willing to lend a helping hand.
SCORE is a non-profit organization that’s a resource partner of The SBA. SCORE’s mission is to “Foster vibrant small business communities through mentoring and education.” Their website contains “pre-start resources” where you can learn which steps to take prior to launching a business.
There are workshops and webinars that provide instruction on everything from product design and branding to cyber security and handling taxes. There are media resources with downloadable PDFs. You can even use SCORE to find your own personal mentor. They have a vast network of mentors from all over the country.
Managing and filing your taxes correctly is incredibly important. Of course this can be an arduous task for many small business owners and is a common area where they find themselves in trouble. Even errors made unwittingly can result in costly penalties or legal troubles.
The IRS makes a significant effort to help small business owners prepare and file their taxes correctly to avoid these types of complications. In fact, the Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center on their website is completely devoted to helping small business owners with their taxes.
Here are just a few of the topics that are covered:
- Employee taxes
- Record keeping
- Business tax credits
- Deduction expenses
- Filing past due tax returns
You can even find an IRS video portal and other free online tools.
Here’s one last tip. Type “small business help [your city and state]” in any search engine. You’ll instantly find numerous helpful resources that are specifically geared toward small business owners in your locale. For instance, you can find a guide for reporting taxes in your state or tools for emerging businesses in your area.
It’s also recommended to check with your local chamber of commerce. Most chamber of commerce websites contain a business support section. This too can provide you with assistance.
With “U.S. small businesses employing 56.8 million people, or 48% of the private workforce in 2013,” small business is arguably the backbone of the American economy. As a result, there’s a genuine desire to offer support. Help with your business isn’t far away.