Things to celebrate in December:
- Giving Tuesday
- And the most gripping of all – National Write a Business Plan Month!
Small businesses have been particularly hard hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite the many challenges, there are still approximately 30 million small businesses in the U.S., representing 99.9 percent of all U.S. businesses, and employing almost half of the United States workforce. With a wide diversity of ownership and industries that span from manufacturing to construction to health care, they all have one thing in common. It began with a plan.
A thoroughly researched, well documented, and compelling business plan can help launch your company, accelerate its growth, and propel you to the success you envisioned. And you don’t have to go it alone. Here are some resources to get you started:
In partnership with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), nearly 1000 SBDCs are located throughout the country hosted by academic institutions, state and local economic development agencies, and private sector partners. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have access to the no-cost services provided by SBDCs including market research, business plan development, and international trade assistance. SBDCs have resources to support minority, woman, veteran, and disabled business owners, and business development in rural communities.
The SBA has a wealth of resources to help business owners at all stages of the company’s lifecycle. Click on the link above to access information on:
- Writing a business plan
- Launching your company
- Managing day-to-day operations
- Growing your revenues
In addition, SCORE, a nonprofit association of volunteer business counselors located nationwide, is another of the SBA’s many resources for small businesses. With over 13,000 counselors across the country, seasoned executives are there to help maximize your success.
Thinking about going global?
Included in the U.S. community of 30 million small businesses are the approximately 300,000 small businesses that sell their products internationally, exporting U.S. goods and services worldwide. The International Trade Administration’s Top Market Series is a free, online series of reports that ranks export opportunities within industry sectors. The reports provide a detailed assessment of market factors including the competitive landscape within a sector as well as the opportunities and challenges U.S. exporters can expect to face. From aircraft parts, to cloud computing to pharmaceuticals and renewable energy, the 27 sector specific reports are packed with valuable market intelligence.
Finally, when you’ve found that first international buyer, talk with your local Export-Import Bank (EXIM) representative to learn about the role export credit insurance plays in protecting small businesses from the risk of nonpayment by international buyers. During free consultations, EXIM Bank educates small business exporters on the top three reasons to have export credit insurance:
- Sales tool – offer competitive open account credit terms to foreign buyers and win the deal
- Risk Protection - protect receivables from nonpayment by international buyers due to political or commercial reasons
- Financing Aid – insured receivables may be added to your borrowing base by assignment of policy proceeds to a lender
In FY 20, almost 89 percent of EXIM transactions supported small businesses. No company and no deal are too small!
So put down that glass of eggnog, forget the Elf on the Shelf, and take a few minutes to fulfill a new resolution. Your local EXIM representative is ready to discuss your exporting needs. Reach out for your free consultation today!