Doesn't everyone like getting something for free? How about free advice? Helpful links? Tips and tricks? Here you go!
Free Initial Business Consultation.
I understand that you may want to test drive the car, so to speak. You may want to know what would be involved in helping you get your business off the ground, ask questions about how a coaching process operates, or how we could work together to get your existing business operating more profitably. That's why I offer the ability to schedule an initial consultation with me. It's easy, and there's no obligation to move forward. If you do want to move forward, we can certainly get started right away to jump start your success quickly and efficiently. To schedule an appointment with me, please either call me at (715) 833-9666 or click here:
Almost every organization for which you apply will require a well-thought out, well-written business plan including financial projections, market research and competitive analysis. Stumped? Hate writing but can speak your plan instead? Just want someone to review your plan and let you know if there are any holes before you submit it? Contact me, giving me a little time to review your plan or work with you before the deadlines and we can assure we've presented you in the best possible light to win!
The USDA Rural Business Enterprise Grant Program This is a grant for the development or expansion of small businesses in rural areas — minority-owned or not. To qualify, you’ll need to have 50 or fewer employees, less than $1 million in revenue and be located in an eligible rural area. Grants typically range from $10,000 to $500,000, and can be used for a variety of purposes, including training and technical assistance, acquisition or development of land and long-term business planning. Applications are accepted through the USDA’s Rural Development’s state offices once per year. http://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/rural-business-development-grants
Minority Business Development Agency This agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce promotes the growth of minority-run small businesses by connecting owners to financing resources, federal contracts and market opportunities. You can contact a local MBDA business center for more information. http://www.mbda.gov/
Small Grants for Women. WomensNet.Net is an organization that started the Amber Foundation Grant program. Since 1998, every month the Amber Grant program has provided funding to assist women who are interested in opening small businesses. These include primarily home-based businesses and online businesses. The grants are usually $500, with a new one granted every month. At the end of the year, one of those winners wins an additional $2500. Here's where to go for more information: https://ambergrantsforwomen.com/get-an-amber-grant/
Red Letter Grant. Red's Mercantile offers two $2,000 grants in the Spring and Fall of each year to budding women entrepreneurs in the Chippewa Valley of Wisconsin. You must be either starting up a new business or expanding an existing one, although start-ups are given preference. In order to apply you need to have a completed, thorough business plan to submit. https://redsmercantile.com/pages/the-red-letter
The Eileen Fisher Women-Owned Business Grant Program. Five grants are awarded annually. The businesses must be 100 percent women-owned and have founding principles of social consciousness, sustainability and innovation, plus be ready to move to the next phase of development. FedEx Opportunity Knocks Small Business Grant Contest. Applicants are encouraged to share their visions to receive a portion of the $100,000 awarded in grants. Part of the judging involves the general public voting for the finalists, so participants may promote their businesses while garnering votes.
Idea Café Small Business Grant. The Idea Café is a free gateway that hosts different grants on its site. One grant is the Small Business Grant, which awards one $1,000 grand prize to a business with the most innovative idea. Visitors to the site vote for the winner. InnovateHER: Innovating for Women Business Challenge. This business challenge is sponsored by the SBA’s Office of Women’s Business Ownership. The top three finalists split $70,000 in prize money for submitting ideas that have an impact on the lives of women. Small Business Innovation Research. Eleven different federal agencies participate in this awards-based program, which incentivizes and enables small businesses to explore their technological potential. Small Business Technology Transfer Program. The STTR program reserves a specific percentage of federal research and development funding to provide funding opportunities to small businesses. Zions Bank -- Smart Women Grants. This Utah-based bank’s grant annually awards $3,000 across six different categories, including business. More information about grants for women. Some of the grants listed here are for specific types of businesses, such as a journalism business or jewelry business. Others may wish to reach a particular audience, such as African-American women. Grants range up to $50,000 on this site. http://www.scholarshipsforwomen.net/entrepreneurship/
BUYER BEWARE. There are many lenders out there who advertise they are willing to offer low- or no- interest loans to businesses, and advertise they offer Small Business Administration loans as well. Please read the fine print of ANY loan documents before you sign them! Some offer low interest rates for a short term, but then the rates stair-step upward over the course of the loan; some have balloon payments; some require collateral to secure them, and many require a personal guarantee that if your company defaults in any way, that you guarantee immediate payment in full of the entire balance. Understand that if you default on an SBA-guaranteed loan, it does NOT mean the SBA pays all of the loan taken, and you're off the hook. Seek advice from your legal counsel and accountant before committing to any loan if you have questions about the terms and conditions of the agreement you are signing.
For the Do-It-Yourselfers.
Small Business Administration - The Small Business Administration offers lots of information for budding entrepreneurs and small business owners, such as information on how to write business plans, how to contract with the federal government and sources for funding. For more information, go to: www.sba.gov
Small Business Launch: A Start-Up Guide for Aspiring Entrepreneurs - Coming in 2018. I'm a contributing author to this book, with chapters on the nuts and bolts of startups, sales and marketing. Like and Follow the Facebook page for updates and ongoing helpful tips for budding entrepreneurs. https://www.facebook.com/SmallBusinessLaunch/ You can pre-order copies on the "Contact Me" tab above.
Legitimate Email or Spam? We all hate spam. Even spammers hate receiving spam. That's why the Federal Trade Commission established the CAN-SPAM Act. Do you know what's required of you before you hit the send button on your latest newsletter/email blast? https://www.ftc.gov/…/can-spam-act-compliance-guide-business
Regular Column Written by Ronnie Roll - I write a tips, tricks and hints column for Mingle702, a bi-weekly magazine for entrepreneurs, small business owners and career professionals in the Las Vegas Valley area. Here's one of my columns. You can also subscribe to Mingle 702 for free for ongoing tips, tricks, etc.
Copy and paste the following for the latest issue: (note: image on the left is from a previous issue)
Ronnie Roll Business Services Based in Eau Claire, Wisconsin 715.833.9666 or 763.234.5554