Accessing Small Business Leadership and Development Resources: More for the growing concern
There are a lot of resources available for people who want to start a small business. From business plans to funding websites to guides on entrepreneurship, the available pool of information on starting up and growing a business is huge. So huge, in fact, that many small business owners fail to find the things they really need to help them grow the business, expand operations and hire more employees. While entrepreneurship and starting a business is the first step, the economy grows and flourishes when small businesses grow and flourish. This is why the site SmallBusinessLeadership.com was started in cooperation with the America’s SBDC.
Among the available resources for small business owners is the Association of Small Business Development Centers, or America’s SBDC. These association offices are found throughout the country, and represent a wealth of support for small business which is, as we all know, the fuel powering the American economy. A report authored by James Chrisman, PhD investigated the economic impact of the Small Business Development Center counseling activities in the US in 2010-2011, and found that the centers are indeed instrumental in supporting small business success.
Among the findings is an analysis of the contribution SBDC long-term clients made to the economy, finding that these businesses “added $6.8 billion in incremental sales and 75,166 new jobs to the nation”. The investment in helping startups and entrepreneurs also demonstrates clear success, with “59.2% of all pre-venture clients” starting a business within one year of receiving counseling from the SBDC.
But the success with SBDC isn’t all about starting up and expanding business– it’s about retaining people (jobs) and sustaining revenue, too. With economic challenges facing every business owner, the ability to simply maintain the operation at existing levels often becomes the biggest job of all. In this area the SBDC also performs well for business clients, and estimates that “83,268 jobs were saved and $7.3 billion in sales revenues were maintained as a result of the [SBDC] counseling”.
And talk about fueling the small business economy! Businesses need financing and capital to operate and grow, and as a direct result of the assistance they received from the SBDC “approximately $3.3 billion in capital” was raised by SBDC business clients, according to report estimates. Not too shabby when you consider the difficulties many businesses are having with obtaining financing through commercial banks and other funding sources.
There is no argument with the value the SBDC brings to the small business community. What may be a challenge, however, is finding those resources and getting involved with the information and people who can really make a difference for a business owner in a particular region or area. While there may be SBDC counselors in the area, there is no guarantee that there’s an easily searchable website or method of gaining a little DIY education without making an appointment. SmallBusinessLeadership.com addresses this challenge by providing location-specific access to SBDC and other resources for business owners who wish to find experts and insight relating to their particular locale or situation. Additionally, visitors to the site can explore the varieties of content made available from SBDC offices and small business experts, ranging from success stories and case studies to tips for marketing the business, approaches to improving business process support, or even finding technologies or services to solve specific business problems.
Starting or growing a business isn’t something you do alone. It takes a committed team from the development of the first idea through to the hiring of employees and expansion to new locations. Working with America’s SBDC and leveraging the knowledge and resources available via SmallBusinessLeadership.com, business owners across the country will find new ways to build stronger foundations for the business, and to develop leaner and more sustainable operations than ever before.