Small Business Administration is an organization funded by the American government which provides loans to entrepreneurs and businessmen to set up their small businesses. In addition to that the organization also provides some grants and training for the efficient running of business. Another important feature is that they provide legal and administrative help in establishing a business to entrepreneurs who are likely to get entangled in the web of laws and taxes if they do not have proper guidance along the way.
They conduct various training for different sets of audiences like entrepreneurs, women business ownership and international trade.
The most used and availed service however is one of obtaining loans and grants for doing business. Apart from giving loans out themselves, Small Business Administration will also stand as surety for people and help them get loans from elsewhere. In the case of natural disasters the organization also provides members with grants so that they can 'get going' again and are able to face troubled times.
Small Business Administration also helps businesses in contracting and it ranges from Business Development, HUB Zone and Government contracting to name a few.
The organization also helps businesses to deal with Advocacy and law related matters.
How do I get in touch with the Small Business Administration?
You can get in touch with them by visiting their website and calling up their number and speaking with an associate their. Apart from this the site has also got a local office locater which you can use to track down the office that is closest to you and then call them up, make an appointment and meet them in person.
I need helping in understanding business better?
While Small Business Administration takes care of loans and helps out people who have been turned down at other places for money, they also deal with a whole host of educational material and training programs. These training programs are aimed at people who want to learn more about the different functions of business.
What can I learn using SBA:
You will find resources that will help you to learn about the basics in starting up your business, such as understanding what are the various forms of ownership, checklists, understanding how franchise works and also knowledge about product basics.
Planning is an important aspect and you will be guided on things like writing a business plan, understanding what business you are in and the ways in which you are going to use this plan.
Financing is probably the most important part for without it the business will not take off. You will need to know where to look for capital, how to estimate costs and understand financial statements.
Small Business Administration also deals with education about marketing and the various forms of keeping your customers happy, conducting research and doing competitive analysis.
Employees will make or break your company and any help on finding the right people, what to pay them and what is needed to retain them is welcome.
Legal aspects like licenses and permits and business laws need the understanding of an expert and you would definitely seek some guidance in this area.
Taxes like State Tax, local tax, Sales and Use tax not only form a big part of your cost structure. If not handled carefully, it could get you on the wrong side of the law as well. It is therefore imperative to seek the utmost clarity here.
As is seen above when you are going to do your own business there is a host of things that you need to take care of and Small Business Administration can help you there, over and above getting the money for you to start off. What is important to keep in mind is that most entrepreneurs and business men are most of the times busy just scampering for funds that they lose track of most of the other things that happen and because of that, one thing or the other will go wrong and they will unfortunately have to repent later.
If you are managing a small business chances are that it's a one man show and apart from planning and strategizing you have to do the running around after suppliers and authorities to get the necessary approvals etc. In such cases it is best to leverage on the experience of an organization like the Small Business Administration.
by Bill Darken