The SBA is a U.S. government agency that supports small businesses and entrepreneurs. It offers educational material and training to small business owners while matching those in need of finance with SBA-approved lenders.
The SBA supports small business growth in four main ways. These include:
- SBA loans
The SBA can help you access small business financing options whose lending requirements you probably wouldn’t otherwise satisfy. Options include SBA-backed loans with more flexible eligibility criteria.
- Business education
You can take advantage of SBA online courses and in-person consultations to manage and drive business growth. The agency provides technical training and education programs that help entrepreneurs master best practices for small business success.
- Government contracts
By law, the federal government aims at awarding 23% of federal contract dollars to small businesses. The SBA can link you up with government contract opportunities and advise you on successful bidding strategies.
- Small business advocacy
The SBA set up the Office of Advocacy to lobby and advocate for small business interests in Congress and before other policymakers.
How Can the SBA Help You Start a Business?
With the host of online and personal consulting services that the SBA provides, you can learn how to develop and execute smart business ideas.
- Creating a business plan
You’ll need a proper business plan with a clear marketing and financial strategy to secure funding for your startup.
- Industry/market research
Statistics and market research will help you invest from an informed perspective. Leveraging these SBA resources can give you a crucial competitive advantage.
- Business classification and funding
You may be eligible for exclusive funding opportunities based on your business structure. The SBA can help you understand how various structures work and connect you with unique financing opportunities. Categories that can benefit immensely from SBA financing insights include veterans, women, and minority-owned businesses.
- Tax information
To succeed in business, you’ll have to pay your fair share of state and federal taxes at some point. This makes it vital to familiarize yourself with relevant tax regimes or treatments for your business structure. If you have no idea where to get started on your tax obligations, you can count on the SBA for appropriate guidance and information.
How to Grow Your Company with the SBA
Congratulations on making it past the market entry and startup phases of business. Your focus now is on consistent growth. The SBA has many valuable resources to help you take your business to a greater level of success. Here are a few examples:
- Free courses
Head on over to the SBA learning center for free courses on topics such as:
- Accessing overseas markets
- Writing government contract proposals
- Reading your customers’ minds
- Business analytics
It’s difficult to move your business forward without first understanding how it stacks up against your direct competition. Start crafting a long-term winning strategy with the SBA’s Analyze Your Business resource. The tool is excellent for benchmarking your business and mapping your customers, competitors, and vendors. It can help you discover opportunities to grow your company.
Uncover effective strategies for reaching out to your target customers with SBA’s online marketing resources. Also, the learning center has practical training manuals to improve your marketing skills.
- Local programs
Stay on the lookout for training and networking opportunities available through local SBA initiatives. The agency financially supports Small Business Development Centers that uplift local entrepreneurs in crucial ways.
Ready to get started? The Economic Development Collaborative hosts the region’s Small Business Development Center. Our team of over 50 business advisors is ready to help your business start up and grow. Contact us today to learn more!