Small businesses are the economic engine that drives the U.S. economy, with more than 27 million small firms providing 60 to 80 percent of the new jobs in our country. New survey data from Constant Contact®, Inc. found that 59 percent of small businesses believe it’s harder to run a business today than five years ago. Why?
Small business owners lack many of the resources large companies have at their fingertips. We’ve encountered many struggles and spent a significant amount of time getting these resources in order to move our startup, Chatalog, to the next level. Below are the most basic needs we had to acquire to get our business going. These should be no surprise to most small businesses, but it’s the creativity in getting access to them without having to pay the high fees that hopefully is helpful:
In starting a business there are frequent questions, ideas and opinions needing to get answered. Find mentors you can go to and get honest advice and feedback.
But when first starting out, where do you go? Spend time looking through your network to find who has the expertise in the areas that are lacking. Go outside your comfort zone and reach out to those individuals, whether through friend introductions or approaching them at conferences and events.
The most important element in starting a business and probably the number one resource small business owners lack. Access to capital can be challenging to say the least. It’s hard work and almost a full time job to get access to external capital.
Although stressful, we bootstrapped the company for as long as possible while having conversations with potential investors. It’s important to understand what needs to get accomplished before a company can reasonably ask for outside investment. Set goals, reach them and then reach out to outside investors with results in hand.