It is often said that most new businesses will fail within their first two years of business. This could be for a variety of reasons. Most of these failures aren’t as a result of the economy or other factors that are out of the business owners’ control.
Most issues that cause a business to fail are actually problems that could have been avoided if the owner had more access to education and better advice. The most common issues include underestimating the competition, poor planning, poor management, and a lack of experience. When you know how to access good information, you are more likely to succeed.
Here are six ways that you can find business advice to ensure that you don’t make the same mistakes as countless others.
ManagementHelp.org has been helping people access business-related information since 1995. An important quality that ManagementHelp.org has always tried to uphold is that it strives to provide free, easy-to-access, high-quality information to help professionals grow.
They have one of the world’s biggest collections of professional articles and resources to help businesses with any issues they may be facing now, or in the future. Millions of users flock to the site to gain free access and to look for high-quality information they can use to successfully run their business
Like ManagementHelp.org, SCORE has been around for many, many years. They offer free mentoring from volunteers who have real-world business experience. You can also opt for paid educational programs, but even these are quite inexpensive, so they are quite worth it.
The platform’s mentors are all from a wide variety of different industries and backgrounds, which means you are quite likely to find someone who is familiar with your sort of business. The platform allows you to request a suitable mentor based on your expertise, experience, industry, location, etc and if you are having a hard time choosing, SCORE can assign the one it thinks is best for you.
You have the option to meet virtually, or at one of SCORE’s physical offices. You would of course have to see if there was one in your area, but the online meeting option is fantastic. They can help you problem-solve and even help you with the small things, like setting realistic and achievable business goals.
3. Small Business Development Centers
If you don’t like the idea of meeting online and there isn’t a physical location for SCORE meet-ups in your area, consider going to a small business development center. These are located all across the US and offer free advice to people who want to start a business, as well as people who have started a small business and want it to succeed.
If you want a little more, they offer an array of low-cost training programs that can teach you about marketing, developing a business plan, managing finances, and all of the nitty-gritty details of running a successful business.
4. Trade Groups in Your Industry
Trade groups and associations exist for almost every kind of business. This stands true whether you are running a brick-and-mortar store or you run a small business online. These groups often offer free resources on their websites, including everything from how-to guides to templates for commonly used documents in the industry.
If you sign up and invest in an annual membership you will have access to even more information. You could potentially gain access to seminars, online forums, educational information, and even people who run businesses like yours. The trade group could have a local office in your area, in which case, you can even meet with other professionals in person.
5. The U.S. Small Business Administration
The U.S. Small Business Administration has offices in all 50 states. These offices can connect you with a variety of different resources, especially financing programs for minority-owned businesses. They are a great resource for empowering people who doubt their ability to start a business and keep it afloat.
6. Your Local Public Library
Libraries are unfortunately closing down all across the world, but this doesn’t make them any less valuable a resource. Your local library is packed with information and if it has a good collection, you could have access to some of the best business books at a fraction of their cost.
These books can help you adapt your mindset and can make complex concepts seem a lot easier to understand. Many libraries have computers with internet access and have free access to other online libraries and online journals. This way you can access these resources that might otherwise be too expensive.
Running a business is not easy, but it doesn’t have to fail. There are plenty of resources out there that can give you the advice you need for success. Take advantage where you can and make sure that you have the best shot at success.