Resources for Small Business Owners
Making the decision to start a small business is a real leap of faith. More than 90 percent of the businesses in San Diego County—or for that matter, in the U.S.—fall into the category of being small.
Being your own boss has many rewards. Most people know Bill Gates started his small business in his parents’ garage. Over the years, it grew into Microsoft®, making Gates one of the wealthiest entrepreneurs in the world.
However, being an entrepreneur means wearing a lot of different hats. Fortunately, there are some wonderful resources available to help small business owners work their way through various challenges. Most of these resources are here in our own backyard, available through government agencies.
Small Business Development Center
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides individual mentoring with business professionals, as well as a wide variety of classes on topics covering accounting, public relations, customer service, financial analysis, merchandising and e-commerce. Best of all, these programs are available at little or no cost.
There are two Small Business Development Centers in San Diego County. One is at Mira Costa College in Carlsbad, and the other is at Southwestern College in Chula Vista. You can learn more at www.sandiegosbdc.org.
SCORE by Small Business Administration
San Diego is fortunate to have a roster of some of the nation’s top executives who have made the smart decision to retire here and want to offer their expertise to those getting started. The SCORE program allows entrepreneurs to meet with these retired business executives to discuss the risks and rewards of owning a business.
Like the Small Business Development Center, this program also offers a wide variety of classes and services. More information is available at www.sandiego.score.org.
These programs also provide something very important: the opportunity for entrepreneurs—many who work in the isolation of their homes—to interact with counselors, mentors and others, going through the same startup jitters. Many of these relationships can turn into friendships, as well as business partnerships.