The 34 Best Places to Go for Small Business Advice

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Better yet, it’s currently led by Barbara Carson, who herself has 20 years of military experience and who has been an entrepreneur since 2006. She’s someone who’s been there & done that in all aspects of being a military veteran and an entrepreneur, so she’s got your best interests at heart.

Business advice

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Sometimes you just don’t have the skills, experience, or time to figure out how to fix a problem. Or maybe you’ve realized that there’s no point reinventing the wheel each time you encounter an obstacle—because someone else has done most of the heavy lifting for you already.

Take it from us: good small business advice can go a long way to clearing those distractions and unnecessary challenges off your plate. There’s just no need to waste time dealing with problems when the solutions are out there.

Just for you, we’ve compiled the ultimate list of 34 places you can go to seek out the best small business advice around. Whether you’ve got a specific issue in mind or you just want to browse around, it’s worth taking a look at all the small business advice going around.

Best Small Business Advice: Meetups

Whether you’ve got an issue with your industry or are struggling to connect with your community—or you’re facing a more widespread issue, like managing finances or looking for funding —there are always people you could talk to.

That might mean you start attending meetups in your neighborhood or get a group of likeminded entrepreneurs together for Thursday pizza dinners. However you do it, scoring some quality facetime with other small business owners on a regular basis can help you get the small business advice you’re looking for.

1. Meetup.com

Meetup.com makes it easy to find local groups of entrepreneurs, whether they’re operating in your industry or talking through specific issues. Browse topics like Small Biz (over 4 million members and more than 10,000 meetups!) and Small Business Owners to find award-winning meetups near you.

2. Small Business Expo

While informal meetups are great for regular small business advice sessions, conferences are ideal for structured sessions of learning. Some come at a cost, but many are worth the price tag for the networking opportunities as well as the valuable insights from industry pros.

3. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the annual WBENC conference is not a meetup to miss if you’re a female entrepreneur looking for guidance and small business advice. You might have to book a ticket out to Vegas for next June’s show, however.

4. Launch Festival

San Francisco, here we come. Got a startup idea or a small business plan you want help turning into reality? Launch is the conference for you, with 15,000 attendees and 250 speakers converging to support and learn from one another. There’s nothing more energizing than being surrounded by motivated peers, each looking to change the world.

5. America’s Small Business Summit

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, this conference brings small business owners together in our nation’s capital to share their problems, discuss solutions, meet, greet, wine, dine, and learn. (They also give out awards for small business owners—so the trip could be worth your while beyond the potential for great small business advice!)

6. South by Southwest

Pack your sunscreen—Austin, Texas is host to SXSW , the world-renowned conference on business, tech, film, music, and entertainment entrepreneurship. If you’re searching for small business advice in one of these industries, these showcases, panels, advance screenings, and networking events could pay off.

1. SCORE

score

They’ve had incredible successes, experienced crushing mistakes and failures, and have kept going and kept their businesses profitable. And they’ve got a wealth of information, experience, and advice they’re ready to share.

It’s sponsored by the Small Business Administration and a slew of other sponsors like Google, Intuit, Microsoft, Staples, Office Depot, Vistaprint, the Huffington Post, Entrepreneur Magazine, Inc, and The Wall Street Journal, among others.

Since making my first connections with SCORE members, I’ve been asked to speak at some of their events and received a free panel review from a small handful of retired executives to help me spot how to take the next step in my business when I was feeling stuck.

For example, Designing Digitally had been in business for 10 years, and though they were successful, their owner was facing new challenges like process, production, planning, sales, marketing, and managing his own task list. So he got in touch with SCORE for some advice.

BusinessAdvising.org

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But I think we can all agree that meeting with an advisor (for free!) via Skype is almost as good (if not equally as good) as meeting with one in person—especially when that advisor is hand-picked for your specific situation.

And according to their home page, small businesses who work with an advisor via their program grow their revenues by 26% and create jobs 11 times higher than the national rate—which is not an opportunity to ignore, if you ask me.

The requirements are that you’ve got to have been in business for at least two years, have at least $150,000 in annual revenue, have a minimum of at least two full-time employees, and either be focused around creating jobs economically underserved communities or have a compelling social mission.

Chapter 14 17 Tips For Online Small Business Owners

how to sell online in 2020

1. Learn from your customers.

Meet Jason Boyce, the co-founder and CEO of Dazadi. In his time leading Dazadi, Jason has learned the in’s and out’s of building a business from the ground up. From raising capital to designing and sourcing private label products worldwide to software development and project management to digital marketing and more, he has found great success in creating meaningful strategies in the ever-changing world of ecommerce.

Also, be sure you are encouraging your customers to communicate with you. Like Jason mentioned, product reviews are a great way to garner feedback. Other ways to connect and receive feedback include social media and documenting customer support communication.

2. Prioritize customer support.

“Our focus is customer service, and fast email and social media response is critical for building brand trust. We try to keep response time to 24 hours or less for all emails from customers and wholesalers…”

In addition, high quality support can often lead to more brand awareness and brand loyalty and trust. Sammy has found that “with brand trust comes social media tagging between groups and good word of mouth.”

3. Stay focused on your niche.

4. Deliver an experience your customers won’t forget.

5. Be time-efficient.

6. Think omnichannel.

“Give customers access to your brand in ways that are convenient for them. Nowadays customers are omnichannel, meaning that they engage with businesses through various channels including different social platforms, text, email, live chat, and others. By providing omnichannel quality support, you show them that you value their business.”

Nick recommends small businesses to “have an omnichannel support strategy in place including a live chat tool. Monitor closely all your major social media channels and respond to clients and potential in a timely manner.”

7. Find a balance.

“Hustle hard — but find balance. You will work harder than you’ve ever worked before and there will be periods of 100-hour work weeks, but those aren’t sustainable, and they will actually decrease your performance if you do that for too long.

8. Don’t fear larger, more established competitors.

David Zimmerman, Director of eCommerce Solutions at Kensium, encourages small business owners to “not be afraid to compete against companies that are bigger or older than you. Many of these older companies are still hesitant or unwilling to shift their businesses online, leaving the door open for small businesses to win their customers and capture market share.”

“With the advancement in technology over the past decade, certain commerce solutions and back-office systems are becoming more modern, user-friendly, and easier to integrate, enabling smaller businesses to scale faster and compete with the big boys at a fraction of the cost.”

9. Take an organized approach.

Scott shares, “if your organization wants to replicate your team knowledge more exactly and practically, create a process to get things out of people’s heads and into objective, reviewable formats. All that glitters is not gold. There’s a clever saying from the construction world that should be plastered on the walls of every small business. ‘We got a dollar waiting on a dime.’ Meaning — let’s not allow the shiny, trivial things overwhelm the vital.”

Now, every idea you write down won’t come to life. You’ll need to figure out which ideas will give you the biggest bang for your buck. As small business owners quickly discover, you must learn how to create a reputable business with little budget.

“Learn how to do a lot with a little. Startups put a constant wall in front of you that only creativity will allow you to figure out how to get around it. Don’t underestimate your resourcefulness. Trust that in any given startup situation, you and your team will figure out how to tame the beast.”

“Acknowledgement is the only cultural currency that matters. Want to boost morale? Create in employees the genuine feeling of being seen for their whole person beyond just their role. Even if it’s a simply shout out during the weekly meeting or leaving a review on their online profile. Think of it as the herd mentality. That’s what makes employees loyal.”

10. Choose your battles wisely.

While you’re still small you don’t have the time, resources, or influence to do everything at once. You need to be careful what you decide to go after, and set achievable goals, especially when it comes to your marketing budget. Each small win will make the next one easier.”

Sources:

https://www.fundera.com/blog/small-business-advice
https://buildfire.com/great-places-free-small-business-advice/
https://www.bigcommerce.com/blog/tips-for-small-business-owners/
The 34 Best Places to Go for Small Business Advice

Many small business owners don’t even see a profit for a few years while they use their revenues to recoup investment costs. This is called being "in the red." When you are profitable and make more than you need to spend to cover debts and payroll, this is called being "in the black."

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How to Grow a Successful Business

Charles is a nationally recognized capital markets specialist and educator with over 30 years of experience developing in-depth training programs for burgeoning financial professionals. Charles has taught at a number of institutions including Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Societe Generale, and many more.

To succeed in business today, you need to be flexible and have good planning and organizational skills. Many people start a business thinking that they’ll turn on their computers or open their doors and start making money, only to find that making money in a business is much more difficult than they thought.

You can avoid this in your business ventures by taking your time and planning out all the necessary steps you need to achieve success. Whatever type of business you want to start, using the following nine tips can help you be successful in your venture.

Key Takeaways

9 Tips For Growing A Successful Business

Analyze Your Competition

Competition breeds the best results. To be successful, you can’t be afraid to study and learn from your competitors. After all, they may be doing something right that you can implement in your business to make more money.

How you analyze competition will vary between sectors. If you’re a restaurant owner, you may simply be able to dine at your competition’s restaurants, ask other customers what they think, and gain information that way. However, you could be a company with much more limited access to your competitors, such as a chemicals company. In that case, you would work with a business professional and accountant to go over not just what the business presents to the world, but any financial information you may be able to get on the company as well.

Best Small Business Advice: Meetups

Whether you’ve got an issue with your industry or are struggling to connect with your community—or you’re facing a more widespread issue, like managing finances or looking for funding —there are always people you could talk to.

That might mean you start attending meetups in your neighborhood or get a group of likeminded entrepreneurs together for Thursday pizza dinners. However you do it, scoring some quality facetime with other small business owners on a regular basis can help you get the small business advice you’re looking for.

1. Meetup.com

Meetup.com makes it easy to find local groups of entrepreneurs, whether they’re operating in your industry or talking through specific issues. Browse topics like Small Biz (over 4 million members and more than 10,000 meetups!) and Small Business Owners to find award-winning meetups near you.

2. Small Business Expo

While informal meetups are great for regular small business advice sessions, conferences are ideal for structured sessions of learning. Some come at a cost, but many are worth the price tag for the networking opportunities as well as the valuable insights from industry pros.

3. Women’s Business Enterprise National Council

The name is a bit of a mouthful, but the annual WBENC conference is not a meetup to miss if you’re a female entrepreneur looking for guidance and small business advice. You might have to book a ticket out to Vegas for next June’s show, however.

4. Launch Festival

San Francisco, here we come. Got a startup idea or a small business plan you want help turning into reality? Launch is the conference for you, with 15,000 attendees and 250 speakers converging to support and learn from one another. There’s nothing more energizing than being surrounded by motivated peers, each looking to change the world.

5. America’s Small Business Summit

Hosted by the Chamber of Commerce, this conference brings small business owners together in our nation’s capital to share their problems, discuss solutions, meet, greet, wine, dine, and learn. (They also give out awards for small business owners—so the trip could be worth your while beyond the potential for great small business advice!)

6. South by Southwest

Pack your sunscreen—Austin, Texas is host to SXSW , the world-renowned conference on business, tech, film, music, and entertainment entrepreneurship. If you’re searching for small business advice in one of these industries, these showcases, panels, advance screenings, and networking events could pay off.

8. Veterans Business Outreach Centers

With 19 different participating centers across the United States, these centers are not as readily available as others, but if you’re a veteran with a small business, they’re definitely something to take advantage of—even if the closest one is two states away.

If you’re just thinking about starting your own business, they offer concept assessments, pre-business plan workshops that address issues of self employment, business plan prep, and feasibility analyses to predict your likelihood of success.

And once you’ve got a business up and running, they offer counseling, training on entrepreneurial skills necessary to keep a business growing, mentorship from experienced individuals, and access to services like international trade, online marketing, accounting, and franchising.

Better yet, it’s currently led by Barbara Carson, who herself has 20 years of military experience and who has been an entrepreneur since 2006. She’s someone who’s been there & done that in all aspects of being a military veteran and an entrepreneur, so she’s got your best interests at heart.

Sources:

https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/08/make-money-in-business.asp
https://www.fundera.com/blog/small-business-advice
https://buildfire.com/great-places-free-small-business-advice/

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