Starting a business takes courage and dedication, and you should be proud of your initiative and ideas. Once you get started, it can be difficult to keep up the momentum in order to grow your business. You have to remember that you aren’t alone. As a small business owner, you can take advantage of a number of resources dedicated to helping you succeed. Read on to find out about the six can’t-miss resources that can help you get the support you need as a small business owner.
1. Tax Credits and Incentives
One of the most intimidating aspects of being a business owner is filing taxes, which is why you need to find out about the tax credits and incentives you may qualify for. Tax credits and other incentives can reduce your tax burden and help your business keep hard-earned money flowing.
Tax credits are rare, so it isn’t difficult to get a quick understanding of what’s available and find out if you qualify. Different categories include:
- Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)
- Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
- Employee Retention Credit (ERC)
If you opened your business before the Covid-19 pandemic and retained your employees throughout 2020 to the present, then you may be eligible for the ERC, which the federal government introduced as part of the pandemic relief program.
Other types of government incentives may include things such as expansion and job creation incentives or unique tax deductions for improving your business’s environmental sustainability.
2. State and Federal Grants
Another resource you can explore is government financial support in the form of state and federal grants. The government has many programs in place to help small business owners succeed, stay in business, and expand operations. You may be able to find grants to facilitate employee training, expansion, or research and development. While many federal and local grants cater to non-profits and industries such as education, there may still be good opportunities for your business.
3. Professional Mentorship Programs
Depending on your industry, you might be able to take advantage of free professional mentoring for your small business. In trades such as exports and tech, you can often link up with seasoned professionals who volunteer a portion of their time at your local Small Business Association. These professionals are great sources of knowledge and an important node in your growing network of business contacts.
If you’re breaking into an industry in which you have no existing network, you can reach out to your local SBA or regional chapter for ideas on where to get started to connect with other business owners.
4. Local Chambers of Commerce
Your local chamber of commerce is another strong resource that you should become familiar with. Whether you decide to pay membership fees or not, you should keep up to date with the events that your local chamber holds. Some introductory or networking events might even be free. But the best way to take advantage of your local chamber of commerce is to pay yearly membership fees.
Once you’re a member of your local chamber, you’ll have access to discounts, member events, marketing opportunities, and more. With the backing of your local chamber, you’ll also have more legitimacy behind your business that can attract customers and clients.
5. Conferences and Exhibitions
Businesses from every corner of the country participate in industry conferences and exhibitions on a yearly basis. From tech to education and hospitality to healthcare, these events offer extensive opportunities for networking and advancing your knowledge. Alongside conferences, exhibitions are great for meeting new vendors, discovering cutting-edge products, and creating important business relationships.
Don’t let the costs of business travel and entry fees intimidate you. Not only can you deduct these business expenses from your taxes, but you may be able to find sponsorship or small grants to cover some of the costs of participating.
6. Free Financial Tracking Software
Financial tracking software is an absolute must for new business owners. Business finances and expenditures can become increasingly complex year after year, and you don’t have to keep your records in physical books or spreadsheets you create by hand. There are countless options for financial software to help you keep track of what you spend and what you earn, and many have a budget-friendly or free subscription option.
Celebrate your ingenuity and determination by using these small business-friendly resources to reach the next level of success.
An author of Namaste UI, published several articles focused on blogging, business, web design & development, e-commerce, finance, health, lifestyle, marketing, social media, SEO, travel.
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