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To celebrate the 10th year of RISE, we shared 10 reasons to start a business, 10 useful tips for business owners, and now, we are sharing 10 great resources for business owners.


There are more than ten resources that are valuable to business owners, but we thought we could share a few we knew would make a difference for most businesses. If you haven't seen our 10 Reasons or our 10 Tips, be sure to give them a read!


10 Great Resources for Business Owners


Bank

A good banker can help you find opportunities to grow your business. The right bank for your business could serve as a knowledgable and trusted advisor! You should have a relationship with your banker where you can share your goals and ask for guidance. It's also good practice to open a separate bank account for your business. The Small Business Administration shares the benefits of having a business bank account on their website.


Lawyer

You may need a lawyer when you are trying to understand incorporating your business, writing contracts, protecting your intellectual property, and liability. A good business attorney should be a valuable asset to your business. It's good to have someone in your corner before you need them. Read more about How to Hire an Attorney in this Entrepreneur article.


Accountant

Most new entrepreneurs need guidance when it comes to understanding and managing money - cash flow, taxes, accounts payable or receivable. Check out this Forbes article, When and Why Your Small Business Needs an Accountant.


Insurance Agent

It's a good idea to investigate business insurance. You never know what kind of issue will arise when running your business, so it's best to be protected. It's important to find an insurance agent you trust and who will be the best fit for your business model. More information on why and what type of business insurance you could need can be found on the SBA website.


Marketing Consultants

These experts can help you determine what your brand is and what marketing strategies you should use to promote it. Hiring a marketing consultant can actually save time and money. You can prevent costly mistakes and pushing away potential clientele. Research and explore different marketing consultants in your area!


Online Services

It's important to have an online presence in this day and age, and there are many options to do so. You can create a Google Business Profile, utilize social media, and create your own website. You want to be accessible and easily found when someone googles your type of service or product.


Printers & Designers

It's always good to utilize your local printers and designers. Do you need help coming up with a logo? Need business cards? How about a flyer to promote your opening day? These experts can help you make these items perfect for you and aid in promoting your business.


Local Organizations

Get to know people in the community. Join an organization whether its your local Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, Kiwanis Club, Young Professionals Group, or any other group. The important part is to get connected and find support in your community.


Systems Experts

As a small business owner, there may be different systems you need to maintain. You could need a point of sale system or a good customer relationship management platform. You might just need a system to help you manage your time or inventory. There are experts and services out there who can help.


Assistance Programs & Centers

Ask the questions. There are people available to help in your community, state, and nationally! Check out your closest Small Business Development Center, the Small Business Administration, Procurement Technical Assistance Center, Ohio Department of Development and many more!


RISE can help you get connected with any of these resources. We want to see your business succeed and thrive in our community. Give us a call!


Alissa Fisher

RISE Coordinator

RISE LinkedIn

LinkedIn


Updated: May 20

What is a small business? This can seem like a straightforward question. It’s that mom-and-pop shop down the street from my house I have been going to for years. But to better study and understand small businesses, which is what we do at ECEDC, it is important to use a consistent description of what a small business is.


The SBA (Small Business Administration) stipulates that a small business is measured by two key factors, the number of employees, and its’ annual gross receipts. However, the definition of small is different for every industry. To better help us understand what we are referencing when citing data, we will use this general rule for classifying what is a small business. We will say that a firm with fewer than 500 employees is considered a small business. Now let’s look at the data.


The SBA reported in 2021 that there are 32.5 million small businesses in the United States. Of these companies, 1.5 million jobs are created annually. This makes up 64% of new job growth created in the United States. Lastly, 49.2% of our nation’s workforce is employed by small businesses. By fostering an environment where new and small businesses can succeed, communities will experience greater job creation.


In my work as Business Development Coordinator, we hear all the time how great it would be to bring new companies to our community and the new jobs it would create. But the data doesn’t back up that claim. Supporting local businesses with their current challenges and assisting them in their expansion plans leads to far more job creation than constantly searching for a new business to open their doors in our community. This, along with a pipeline of entrepreneurs, coming up with innovative ideas and creating new jobs is still the best recipe to create a growing local economy. As I continue to support existing businesses with their challenges and opportunities, it is now the time to introduce RISE, our new and small business program.


RISE stands for Regional Incubator for Sustainability and Growth. Essentially, RISE assists new and small businesses across the business continuum from laying out plans from the startup stage to tackling growth. Through RISE, individuals can connect with experienced advisors and receive one on one counseling to overcome challenges and achieve their goals. RISE is headed up by Alissa Fisher. She brings an abundance of knowledge with her background in organizational management.


We at ECEDC see the importance of small businesses in our community and will continue to provide the support they need to be successful in Erie County. To learn more, contact our office and contact Alissa or myself to assist you in the development of your business.



Nico Samaniego, Business Development Coordinator

ECEDC LinkedIn

LinkedIn


We are continuing the celebration of the 10-year anniversary of RISE, the Regional Incubator for Sustainability & Entrepreneurship, by sharing ten useful tips for business owners. Especially those who are just taking those first steps to starting their business. If you haven't had the chance to read our previous blog, 10 Reasons to Start a Business, be sure to check it out, too!


RISE supports entrepreneurs and small business owners in Erie and Huron Counties. We provide 1-on-1 business advising sessions, host an array of events through out the year, and can help you access the resources you need to grow. To stay up-to-date on our events, follow the RISE Facebook page.


10 Tips for Business Owners:


1. Make a Plan

Put the pen to the paper and write it down. What do you want to do? How are you going to get there? Who will help you? Many people have great ideas, but the ones who write their plans down are a step ahead of the rest.


2. Ask For Help

You know your product or services and that's why you started a business. You like inventing, creating, cleaning, repairing, providing, but you may not know how to actually run a business. That's okay! You can ask for help. There are resources who want to help. Just ask! You can't know something until you've been taught it.


3. Research

Do your research. It's essential when starting a business that you know the value of your product or service, who your competition is, and what you'll need to market your product. Find this information and incorporate it into your plan.


4. Use a Mentor

Mentors people who support your business, but are also people who aren't afraid to challenge you. You'll need someone in your circle who can make you think critically about your actions and goals. Sometimes, you need to see things from a different perspective to figure out how it will work best.


5. Find Support

Network! Meet new people and create relationships with those who are rooting for your success. Having people you can lean on for encouragement and inspiration is key for entrepreneurs and small business owners.


6. Fail fast

You'll need to "Fail Fast" or "Fail Forward" as a new business owner. If you make a mistake, learn from it. If you fall, pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and move on. You don't have time to keep making the same mistakes. It's your time and your money you've put into your business. How you react to failure will determine your success.


7. Think Big, Start Small

Or, the popular phrase, "it's a marathon, not a sprint." Building a business takes time. Time to learn what works well and what does not. Entrepreneurs are the dreamers. They often don't have just one great idea. You'll have to decide what to start with first and then grow. Of course, dream big, but take it one step at a time.


8. Communication is Key

You can sell a great product and provide a great service, but if you aren't communicating with your customers or suppliers, you won't make it far. You should be accessible, willing to listen, and able to share a clear message with those who will make your business successful.


9. Value Feedback

Communication is key, right? Good communication includes being able to listen. Listen to those who interact with your business. Without them, you would not be in business. We aren't talking about the one customer who posted a rage-filled rant online about how you took 5 minutes to restock your donuts one time on the busiest day of the week. We are talking about when multiple customers say your website isn't accessible or when a customer complains that you've consistently been out-of-stock on donuts multiple days in a row. Use that feedback to rethink and restructure how you are doing business.


10. Sit on a 4-Legged Stool

Our advisor, Jim, loves to share this piece of advice. The four legs include your Banker, Lawyer, Insurance Agent, and Accountant. These professionals are essential to making your business successful and you should be people you trust. Start building relationships early with them because when you need them is not when you should be reaching out to them.


If you still have questions, that's okay! Contact RISE for a free 1-on-1 advising appointment. We want you to succeed because we know how important your business is to you and to our community.


Alissa Fisher

RISE Coordinator

RISE LinkedInLinkedIn

LinkedIn