This post was written by Patricia Frame of Strategies for Human Resources, our guest author for our solopreneur blog series.
Whether you are starting your own small business or building an existing one, Small Business Month is a great time to think about what you want and where you need to go.
Even if you have been in business for some time, your ideas and needs may have changed. Start with these questions, and write out your answers:
- What is my vision?
- What is my definition of success?
- What makes me unique?
- What do I need to learn to decide about owning my own business/non-profit?
- What support do I need and from who?
Once you have reviewed where you are against where you want to be, it is time for an action plan. Too often, solopreneurs do not think that the services of the Alexandria Small Business Development Center apply to them. The same is often true for government agencies. Do not overlook these sources of support! The Alexandria SBDC’s monthly Roundtables often have solo practitioners and freelancers attending. Their consulting services – for business planning and social media especially – may be just what you need to achieve a goal or build your business.
While the internet and a decent search engine can answer a lot of your questions, sometimes those lead down many false paths first. When you are seeking help in growing your business or developing your skills, the following resources may be helpful. They also include special programs for women, veterans, and minorities.
- US Small Business Administration
- Veterans Administration – Small Business
- Virginia’s Small, Woman-owned, or Minority-owned Business Certification Program
In addition, there are a number of excellent commercial resources which can help you learn and grow. Here are a few:
- Kauffman Foundation – for policy related national and international news
- Wall Street Journal’s column ‘Startup Journal’
- Entrepreneur Magazine has a wide range of resources on their website
Finally, keep your network active. People you know already may be great resources for your business goals.
You may also be able to help your customers if you can refer them to other solopreneurs and small businesses when they have a need you cannot fulfill.
Take some time this month to review your business and update it as needed. It is an investment you will not regret!