The business world is a highly competitive arena. Small business owners face insurmountable challenges every day. They must find new ways to compete in an increasingly crowded marketplace, where profit margins are shrinking and losses are increasing at alarming rates. Entrepreneurs and business owners everywhere know that they must stay ahead of the economic downturn if they want to survive. The question remains, how can they do it?
Fortunately, there are numerous options open to business owners today. They offer a five-step guide for small to medium-sized businesses navigating a troubled economic future: Avoid the “get rich quick” schemes; invest in your employees and their skills; implement a solid business plan; get a handle on your cash flow problems; develop financial management tools; and, keep your business organized. None of these solutions will provide businesses with instant wealth, but they will allow businesses to weather a storm of economic instability. They will help business owners weather a storm before it wrecks their business.
The most promising option for small to mid-size businesses facing an uncertain economy is to take advantage of business planning tools offered by the small business administration (SBA). The SBA is responsible for helping small businesses maintain and grow their businesses. Among the many services the SBA offers are assistance with grant writing, business planning, counseling on debt and banking issues, and information on small business finance options such as debt and equity financing.
A business can greatly benefit from the advice the small business administration offers. In addition to offering professional business advice, the SBA can also refer business owners to appropriate federal agencies for assistance in solving local budget concerns. This service alone saves small businesses money and time. In addition, the SBA is an effective resource because its staff has been trained in economics and in local business law. Furthermore, the SBA’s non-profit state programs support many aspects of small business economics and they have programs that target the economically disadvantaged.
In the past, small business owners were forced to get creative in finding venture capital. Venture capital can be very helpful, but it can be difficult to find, and finding venture capital can often require entrepreneurs to act outside of their personal business interests. The SBA has made it easier for small business owners to raise venture capital. Because the SBA does not invest in small business enterprises, it does not have a conflict of interest in helping small business owners find venture capital. This makes venture capital investment more likely to succeed.
Another resource for assisting entrepreneurs in the area of economics is the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). The NAB’s mission is “to help builders acquire and construct affordable, quality home loans for homebuyers and homeowners.” The association’s website contains plenty of information about entrepreneurship and small business financing. Homeowners in the association can register for free to attend seminars, take courses, and earn credits for having a good credit history. In addition, the association holds a variety of entrepreneurial events, which are held across the country.
The Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Consumer Credit Counseling Program is another great way for starting-up business to get assistance from professional financial advisers. The SBA helps small businesses in need of debt counseling by providing credit counseling and developing a program for paying off unsecured credit card debt. For some, there are other problems, such as bankruptcy, foreclosure, or default. In these cases, the SBA offers credit counseling and other resources that help the small business owner through these difficult times. Because the SBA was founded to provide counseling and financial services to small businesses, it provides credit counseling services to help these businesses through these difficult times.
The economic crisis has resulted in a growing need for pandemic preparation. According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, the number of reported cases of seasonal flu has doubled in the past year. With the recent swine flu outbreak, it is imperative that small business owners to stock up on supplies of basic flu antibodies, especially since many small businesses directly employ and depend on seasonal employees. pandemic preparedness is a simple way to avoid financial disaster for a struggling business. As well as flu shots and other supplies, it is also important to have a list of basic emergency supplies, such as blank business cards, copies of business contracts, and copies of insurance policies.