Business Advice from GROW Staff for National Small Business Week
It’s National Small Business Week, where the US Small Business Administration (SBA) highlights the contributions of outstanding entrepreneurs and small business owners.
As an SBA Women’s Business Center, the GROW team works with entrepreneurs and small business owners like you right here in West Michigan, and we plan to celebrate you all week long!
Having worked with so many local entrepreneurs through our training programs, business counseling, and microloan initiative, our staff has plenty of advice for small business owners. Here are our top tips for prospective business owners:
- Research your business idea. Learn about possible competitors, industry trends, and opportunities for your business.
- Know your target audience. Understanding who will buy from you—and why–is critical to your success.
- Do not fear the first step. While starting your own business is scary, it can also be very rewarding.
- Learn the important financial aspects of the business. Document how you will make money, what expenses you will incur, and how you will track everything. Ask other business owners what surprises they might have encountered along their journey.
- Build strong relationships and connections with those who will support and work with you. This includes vendors, media sources, community members, even mentors and customers. These people will become a strong support network for you as your business grows.
- As an entrepreneur, you can’t do everything yourself. Learning to delegate to others can help you focus on what you do best.
- Get involved in your community. Take an active role in area events or organizations where your business will be visible to your potential customers. People always prefer to do business with someone they know.
- Pace yourself. There will be many people willing to give you advice on what you should (or should not) do and how you should do it. Plus, we are in an age where information overload is one Google search away. Be sure to seek out advice from some trusted sources, but do not drown in that advice.
Entrepreneurs take risks by going out on their own, but you don’t need to do it alone. There are several organizations and resources that can help you along the way. Our mission at GROW is to help you every step of the way. Whether you are developing your business idea, creating a marketing strategy, securing financing, managing growth, or deciding on a succession plan, we are here to help.
Take time this week to celebrate West Michigan’s small businesses and the entrepreneurs who contribute so much to our community and to our economy. Thank you!