Having run multiple startups and grown them to become multi-million dollar entities, however, I can tell you that the guidance provided by the SBA just barely scratches the surface of what business owners and entrepreneurs need to know to be successful. To add insult to injury, most small businesses are denied SBA loans, and according to data published earlier this month, the SBA is continuing to cut back on their government-backed loans to small businesses. In other words, the SBA means well, but the resources they provide leave much to be desired.
So how are small business owners and aspiring entrepreneurs like us supposed to carry on? The good news is that there is a wealth of information and lessons to be learned from entrepreneurs that have actually been in the trenches and run their own businesses. Below are five things that the SBA was never able to teach me, but are critical lessons for any entrepreneur:
Most small businesses don’t fail due to lack of money. No, that is not a typo. While it is true that most small businesses fail, it is not true that lack of money is the root cause of most failures. Instead, running out of cash is typically a symptom of deeper problems. I started my last companies with literally $0 down, no business loans, and no outside investors, but I was able to turn it into a company that generates tens of millions of dollars per year. While securing a loan to start up your company would be nice, the reality is that it is more important to develo...
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...ses out there. Even though the SBA provides high-level small business training courses that don’t adequately prepare you for all the things you need to know to run your business, the good news is that there are other options out there. Whether you are looking for small business marketing and sales advice, tips to manage your finance and accounting, or proven methods for managing employees, look for training courses that are proven, practical, and provide an actionable framework that you can apply to your small business right away.
To be fair, the SBA isn’t the only organization that falls short of its goal of helping small business owners. Small business coaches, flavor of the month startup tips, and even mass media magazine articles do little to provide tangible and actionable steps to help people like you to successfully start, manage, and grow your small business.
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