Business Resources Every Entrepreneur Needs to Know

Owning your own business already has many challenges. Learning resources and tips can greatly increase advantages of running your business smoothly.

The idea of starting – and then maintaining – a business can be daunting, especially during these times. There are numerous puzzle pieces that all need to be customized and fitted together to work seamlessly in a way that will help your venture succeed. Luckily, there are a ton of resources available for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.

We at the Elmore County Economic Development Authority have one mission: to help Elmore County businesses reopen and run successfully during such unprecedented times. So, before we head down a rabbit hole of explaining the importance of legitimate resources for our local business, we thought we’d simply provide you with a few of our “can’t miss” favorites.

Helpful Funding Resources

1. Personal Banking by Founder

Financial resources can be obtained from a variety of sources, the easiest being from the personal accounts of the company’s founder. If you have the means to fund the beginning of your business from your personal account, it’s a viable option to consider. That way, you will have to only worry about your personal line of credit and will be able to personally monitor your spending and expense limits exclusively.

2. Loans and Credit Lines

Small/large business loans and lines of credit are most usually offered by and may be granted from all types of financial institutions (banks), private investors, and even the government. Many grants are also offered via private and public sources to entrepreneurs of all demographics and personal situations.

Do your research to uncover the lender or grant program that matches your needs. Be sure to read the fine print before making any kind of decision. For starters, this article from Nerd Wallet rounds up some of the top small business loans for start-up programs in 2020.

Business Resource Websites

1. Small Business Administration

The Small Business Administration website is an amazing resource for facts, information and education on everything that relates to small and entrepreneurial-owned businesses. It’s the only cabinet-level federal agency fully dedicated to small business. And it provides information and guidance on business counseling, capital, and contracting expertise.

2. Live Video Streaming

If you’ve survived 2020 thus far, you’ve probably heard of the live-streaming giant that is Zoom. It’s a real-time meeting, web conferencing, and online chat tool that can help you connect virtually with both your team, customers, and potential clients. A basic account is free and provides access to a number of resources so that you can stay connected with your business’ most valuable resources even when you can’t meet face-to-face.

Another popular platform for webinars and virtual events is GoToWebinar. GoToWebinar allows you to promote your webinar with custom invitations, a registration page, and automated email reminders.

Whether you need to update your employees on company policy, discuss an upcoming event or product launch with your stakeholders or anything in between, these platforms can help keep your business on track and stay connected with your team.

Community Outlets

1. LinkedIn

LinkedIn has an extensive network of business-oriented groups where you can read helpful advice from professional business owners in your community, ask questions, and solve problems. You can garner a brand for your company on LinkedIn while simultaneously learning from professionals who have already experienced the same situation and have seen it through the other side. Tap into LinkedIn groups related to your company’s niche; you’ll thank us later. Another great hub of information offered by LinkedIn is LinkedIn Learning. You can take courses, watch educational videos, and even set goals for yourself and your team.

2. Quora

Quora has a strong entrepreneurial presence and plenty of industry leaders online who can help answer your tough questions. Just keep in mind that some people and business owners use Quora to promote themselves, so the answers you get might not always be 100 percent bias-free. That’s not to say, though, that there are a ton of resources on this outlet and that you can get both insight and support from fellow entrepreneurs.

Educational Podcasts

1. StartUp Podcast for Entrepreneurs

Created by former NPR employee-turned-business-owner Alex Blumberg, StartUp takes advantage of its first season by using it as an opportunity to go through the trials, challenges, and successes of Blumberg’s startup venture. Every episode is full of meaningful, first-hand experience, advice and useful tips for those thinking of launching their own business.

2. Mixergy

Like a lot of the more famous and popular business and entrepreneurial podcasts out there, Mixergy features company founders and industry experts to share their advice.

Mixergy comes in both audio and video formats. You can tune in whenever you want, or you can download the audio and give it a listen instead. Depending on how you focus and learn best, this option could make a big difference.It is the goal of the Elmore County Economic Development Authority and our partners to see each one of you not only survive but thrive. That’s why we want to be your ‘go-to’ for information.

As we move forward in the weeks ahead, ECEDA and our partners will continue to assist our businesses in interpreting the provisions of the Safer At Home Order and any new orders released, so that Elmore County businesses can operate in a compliant manner.

Things WILL go back to normal. We’re here to assist you any step of the way.