Finances can be a touchy subject and easy to hide from, but if you do the work to tackle them upfront you can strip away the intimidation factor and set your business up for success.
Work with Your Banker
From getting a loan to having another eye on your accounts, working closely with your banker can be the difference between financial stability and struggling to stay afloat.
Having a clear understanding of your taxes, financial statements, loan statuses, and your lines of credit give you a much better basis for operating. Take all of that info to your banker, get their expertise, and work with them to stay the course.
Not every bank will work for you. Where possible before you get started, it’s important to do your research on multiple banks and set up meetings to determine fit. Whatever you do, do not hide from your banker. If you’re hiding from your banker then you desperately need to change some things. They’re there to help you, not judge you.
Utilize the Small Business Association
Even determining who you should be working with in regards to financing your business can be difficult. The Small Business Association is a free tool you can utilize who will give you unbiased and confidential advice.
Because the SBA is made of locally based chapters, advisors like Jill can connect you to local resources and they understand the community you’re part of. Not only that but they can help you connect to other similar organizations that you might qualify to receive help from.
The Toledo Area Small Business Development Center is well versed in financial advising in particular. They are able to help businesses create financial projections, assess your current resources, and begin to get to understand their business community.
Some Additional Resources
SCORE (local chapters across the US) – Powered by the SBA as well, SCORE utilizes a mentorship program to help experienced business leaders build up new entrepreneurs and provide educational opportunities. They are also a free resource that is easy to access and beneficial for strengthening your community connection.
Minority Business Assistance Center (MBAC)(Ohio) – This is an additional resource to support minority-owned small businesses in particular, including technical and professional assistance, access to capital, surety bonding, and connection to business opportunities. Different states normally have their own version of their resource.
Jumpstart (Northwest Ohio) – This is a startup business tool great for new entrepreneurs. They offer multiple resources and events to help aspiring business leaders get started, including a pitch competition with an opportunity to win up to $2,500 for their business idea.
Public Library Database (example provided is the Toledo Public Library) – This resource differs from library to library, but many public libraries offer many free databases for local businesses and they’re free to use. These are great to help connect to local businesses for their services, as a potential customer or partner, or to just do market research.
Diversified Contractors Accelerator Program (Toledo | Lucas County, Ohio) – If you’re a woman or minority contradictory, the Lucas County Port Authority launched the Diversified Contractors Accelerator Program in 2010 to offer financial support. They also work with a multitude of other minority business and contractor programs to help you get started. Most of these types of organizations, no matter your city, will have connections to each other and can help you utilize all your available resources.
Keep Listening to Learn More
Jill and I had a great conversion about the resources available and services the SBA in particular provide. We even talk about how to balance increased costs with inflation and your customers’ satisfaction.
Listen to our podcast episode to get the most information and feel free to message us with any questions at Marketing@DoubleASolutions.net. You can also message Jill directly at Jill.Badger@toledochamber.com or let us introduce you to get started.
If you have a particular topic you want us to broach, let us know. We have several great episodes coming up as we move into the summer! We made this podcast for you, after all.
About Our Guest:
Interim Director of the Toledo Area Small Business Development Center
Jill Badger is the Interim Director of the Toledo Area Small Business Development Center. The Small Business Association is a national organization, free for any small business to utilize as a resource without having to become a member.
The Toledo Area section has been a part of the Toledo Chamber of Commerce since its founding, contributing to an expansion of resources and knowledge available without small businesses being required to join the Chamber itself.
Jill has been working with the Chamber and Center for almost 7 years and stepped into the Director position back in September, though she has long had an active hand in managing the center. Jill herself specializes in financial advising and utilizes a diverse team and network to bring her clients the best advice possible.
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