In my blog last week I talked about the power of small businesses. It is no secret running a business is hard, most of us are not qualified to manage people, handle finances or function as an HR department. If you are like me, you didn’t take all of that into consideration when starting your business. Your decision was fueled by passion and excitement, in my defense I was in my mid-twenties and that is how you most twenty-five year olds make decisions.
There are multiple resources and organizations available to assist small businesses as they start, grow and become established. Here come the acronyms.
- SBAM – The Small Business Association of Michigan is the only statewide and state-based association that focuses solely on serving the needs of Michigan’s small business community. Their mission is to help Michigan small businesses succeed by promoting entrepreneurship, leveraging buying power and engaging in political advocacy. When small businesses band together through the Small Business Association of Michigan, they achieve more than they could on their own.
- SBDC – The Michigan Small Business Development Center (SBDC) enhances Michigan’s economic wellbeing by providing counseling, training and research for new ventures, existing small businesses and advanced technology companies.
- GROW – Grand Rapids Opportunities for Women (GROW) is a service focused on women at various stages of business ownership. We are the entrepreneurial resource to help women take the next step, empowering and supporting them with professional expertise for a lifetime.
- WISE – WISE fosters an environment of growth and support where businesswomen connect with each other. WISE women take their business to the next stage and contribute to each other’s successful growth.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list. If there are others that you have experience with, please drop it in the comments below.
My most important source of assistance came from other small business owners. By communicating openly with each other we were able to deal with surprises or issues before they truly became a huge problem.