Running a business all on your own is no easy task, and while it’s practically the only real way to be your own boss, the costs can quickly become overwhelming even for a more seasoned entrepreneur.
From rental costs to your employee wages, you’ll have to take every single dollar into consideration, and the last thing you need is to run out of cash flow at the worst time possible.
Data shows that 50% of all small businesses fail within the first year, and we’re here to change that, as we’ll give you some inside info on how government assistance programs can help you avoid that fate.
Through the Small Business Association, Americans running their own businesses can receive grants, loans, and financial incentives to keep their business running, which in turn strengthens the economy of the area the business is run from.
Keep reading to learn more about this assistance and what you’ll have to do in order to benefit from it.
How does it work?
Of course, you can’t just expect the government to give you handouts without meeting any sort of criteria first, and as a business owner, you’ll have to do a lot to secure this government assistance opportunity.
In general, grants don’t have to be paid back, as they’re considered to be a gift from the federal government or the entity handing them out, whereas loans have to be repaid within an agreed-upon period, with interest rates being the incentive to pay the loan off as quickly as possible.
The average loan size is around $13k although some businesses will definitely be able to get more as they meet the criteria for a bigger loan, provided that they actually need it in order to expand their business.
Apart from this, the SBA also offers business owners the opportunity to meet investors that may be able to change the course of their business.
With help from the government, small business owners can ensure that their cash flow remains steady, which is done with the help of grants.
However, you should keep in mind that SBA grants cannot be awarded to businesses that are looking to expand their operations or those that are in their early stages.
These grants, instead, are given out to businesses as a means of promoting their research and development of the technologies they’re working on.
Other times, the money can be used to cover the expenses of management and the tech assistance that may be necessary to keep things running smoothly.
Finally, some grants can be used to help the business branch out into a broader market, giving it the opportunity to export its product and take its spot in the international market.
Local small business assistance
It’s not all about the highly-competitive grants though, as the SBA also helps small businesses obtain the capital necessary to expand operations and build on an already successful idea.
With the Lender Match program, the association can ensure that small businesses will have no difficulties finding a lender who will approve them for a loan.
On top of this, the SBA works with non-profits, commonly referred to as CDCs (Certified Development Companies) which are devoted to helping small business owners obtain a 504 loan.
This loan can be used for a number of different things, including purchasing real estate for your business, office equipment and supplies, and sometimes even materials your business may need for the production process.
Finally, there are surety bonds, which are one of the few ways some small businesses can win federal contracts.
These bonds are a form of guarantee that the contractor will abide by the many laws that were put in place to make sure that the work is done properly.
Is self-employment for you
Before diving into the world of entrepreneurship, you should first ask yourself if you’re capable of running a business all by yourself.
That being said, this doesn’t mean you can’t include a friend or a family member in the business as well, although you should keep in mind that the actual burden will be on your shoulders.
The first few years are the hardest, and you’ll have to go through weeks, sometimes even months of neverending stress in order to turn your dream into a reality, and if you think you can’t handle that, then you should probably consider another employment option.
At the end of the day, self-employment isn’t for everyone, and the sooner you come to terms with it, the better.
The federal government is well aware of the difficulties small business owners face, and it’s why the SBA has been working so hard to make entrepreneurship easier for rookies in the industry.
With help from the government, you can make the first few years easier and even expand your business at a fraction of the cost, all for the sake of bettering the economy.
Do your part and start making the world a better place with your business.