Part of my platform for my candidacy for SC House District 10 is to help small businesses open, sustain, and grow their businesses. As a small business owner, I face many daily decisions. Pricing, supplier choice, new product additions, marketing, and sales are just part of the process. But a rather large part. That doesn’t touch accounting, quoting your customer, covering all costs before your mark ups, and deciding if you are going to offer terms or only take credit cards. Then you must get the order entered into your software, either produce it or send a PO to your supplier, make sure it ships on time, create an invoice, and get paid. The decisions with any of the above can make or break your company. We are an E-commerce company, which means we only take credit cards (with the exception of a few large clients). The good news is there is a lot of help for you. You will still be the one running the organization, negotiating costs and prices, hiring and firing, but you have help.
In SC, there are organizations that will offer you a lot of FREE assistance. The first is the SBA, with offices in most of our major cities. They also offer free training classes on almost anything you need to know to get your business started.
Within the SBA, there is even more assistance for women owned businesses, which is what the ownership style of my company (https://scbos.sc.gov/news/Pages/Women-Owned-Business-News!.aspx). Women owned businesses are growing exponentially, and if this is something that appeals to you, visit the website, and do some research. Additionally, if you have a service or product you can sell to the government, there is a percentage that they must buy from minority owned businesses. We just submitted our paperwork to become part of GSA, a federal catalog of products and services the government and military buys from established vendors.
Another organization, SCORE, can be your best friend. SCORE is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring services to prospective and established small business owners in the United States. With SCORE, you will be matched to a consultant who is retired from a similar business as yours.
If you have an entrepreneurial spirit, you like to work, and you have a passion for a product (or being your own boss), I encourage you to check out these organizations. Use them to their fullest (all before buying a very expensive ad or purchasing new equipment – partner with them fully) and you may find your dream job.