Todd Hoskins chooses and uses tools, products, and practices that could belong in an entrepreneurial business toolkit. He’ll be checking out how useful they are to folks in a business environment.
Cool Tool Review: Business.gov
A Review by Todd Hoskins
The Small Business Administration was created in 1953 with the charter to “aid, counsel, assist and protect, insofar as is possible, the interests of small business concerns.” Most entrepreneurs are familiar with SBA loans, but are unaware of the additional services offered by state and local SBA offices.
Business.gov is a collection of resources, designed to help small businesses (under 500 employees) get the help they need. This includes loan applications, tax information, licensing, and relevant regulations. Contrary to what many people believe, the SBA no longer offers loans directly to citizens. They act as a broker and guarantor for business owners seeking loans (currently numbering more than 240,000). But they do much more than that.
There are approximately 1,000 Small Business Development Centers across the US. The SBDC’s provide one-to-one counseling, educational programs, and financial analysis services. I was surprised when friend Mike Nolan joined the SBDC in South Central Minnesota. Mike is a serial entrepreneur and professor of entrepreneurship. Rather than launching more projects, he has chosen to help others expand and excel.
The site is much better than most governmental agency sites, but the online community could use some nurturing.
There are people who want to help you. And they also have something to gain – small business growth leads to tax revenue and jobs. Whether you are in the planning stage, survival mode, or a growth phase, find your local office and see what is available.
Summing Up â Is it worth it?
Enterprise Value: 2/5 â A great way to inquire where to help serve your local business community
Entrepreneur Value: 5/5 â Why not? Free assistance!
Personal Value: 0/5 – Extraneous government involvement unnecessary
Let me know what you think!
Todd Hoskins helps small and medium sized businesses plan for the future, and execute in the present. With a background in sales, marketing, leadership, psychology, coaching, and technology, he works with executives to help create thriving individuals and organizations through developing and clarifying values, strategies, and tactics. You can learn more at VisualCV, or contact him on Twitter.