The COVID-19 pandemic has had devastating impacts on many businesses. Despite the hardships, the entrepreneurship spirit is very much alive. New businesses are emerging, while others are recovering, as most economic sectors gradually open up.
Background of National Entrepreneurship Month
Each year since 2011, the month of November has been celebrated as National Entrepreneurship Month. The event is a celebration of the millions of talented individuals and innovators who solve problems and, in the process, create employment for hundreds of millions of others. Entrepreneurs play a critical role in economic growth and foster the prosperity of their communities.
Who Is an Entrepreneur?
An entrepreneur is a problem solver. Statistics show that anyone can succeed in entrepreneurship regardless of their ethnic or educational background. According to the Small Business Administration (SBA), there are 31.7 million businesses in the U.S. They employ 60.6 million people, and about 5.2 million of these businesses are owned by minorities.
How to Finance Your Entrepreneurial Dreams
After identifying a market need that you’re capable of meeting, look for funding to bring your idea to fruition. You can go to a bank for assistance or consider non-traditional financing options, including organizations like the SBA. You can also look to personal savings, crowdfunding, bootstrapping, or loans from family members or friends to get your ideas off to a healthy start.
Tips to Jumpstart Your Small Business
As you look forward to the upcoming entrepreneur month, here are some tips to help your small business thrive.
Research Your Target Market
Thorough market research determines whether or not you should get into business in the first place. Have you identified a need for your product? Have you studied existing competitors and prospective customers? Your chances of success are higher when you have these key market insights beforehand instead of taking a blind plunge into business.
Create a Business Plan
A plan is vital to the fruition of your business ideas. It’s a roadmap for the steps you need to take to succeed and the resources necessary to implement them. Be sure to detail each phase of growth from day one and clearly define your market entry and execution strategy.
Work out Your Finances
You’ll need capital to run your business from day one, and this requires prior planning. Before you can request loans or seek other financial help, work out your startup costs. These include operating expenses like salaries, rent, office equipment, and inventory. It’s also essential that you have your cash flow projections for several months accurately figured out. Then, with your precise startup cost estimates, you can start exploring financing options like small business loans in Ventura County, CA.
When you start a new business, it’s always a good idea to seek advice from experienced peers. Larger and established companies or successful corporate executives do provide useful mentorship to startup owners. For example, about 71% of Fortune 500 corporations have mentoring programs. Under the guidance of a mentor, you can receive practical guidance to smoothly navigate the potentially murky business territory you just entered.
Leverage Free Resources
It takes planning and resources to bring your viable entrepreneurial ideas to success. Fortunately, not everything you need to succeed in business is for sale. There are many organizations out there offering free tools, advice, and other resources to small businesses. For example, you can take advantage of our educational materials and business advice free of cost. We provide practical insights and guidance in a broad spectrum of business management areas, including:
- Finding loans for small businesses, including women-owned and minority-owned enterprises
- Human Resources
Looking for no-cost financial consulting? Contact the professionals at Economic Development Collaborative. Our qualified business advisors are here to help your small business grow at all times.