Starting a business requires more than a good idea and capital to be successful. Many entrepreneurs have passion, drive and determination but lack critical business resources, core competency skills or market know-how needed to grow their businesses. One option for these firms is to hire outside consultants in the appropriate area of need, if that type of assistance is available and affordable.
As an alternative, technical assistance programs can educate entrepreneurs and help them develop necessary skills themselves. Technical assistance means assisting small business owners with guidance on vital business operations such as how to write a business plan, ways to use marketing to gain customers and understanding financials to position the company for growth.
A start-up business must have a business plan because it states business goals, describes your background experience and demonstrates your strategic readiness to make the transactions necessary to grow your business.
Local community based lenders offer various options for technical assistance. Training may be offered by the lender program management or staff, or by outside organizations.
Business owners need to check the SBA Resource Guide for the community based lender in their area. The resource guide can be found online at: http://www.smallbusiness3.com. Be sure to search through the resource guide looking for County Economic Development Organizations in your city.
[Keith Rogers is the Executive Director of Pasadena Development Corporation, a non-profit community based lending and technical assistance organization. www.pdcloans.org.]