• Want to Become Your Own Boss? These Resources Explain Where to Start

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    Countless people dream of becoming their own boss and no longer clocking into a nine-to-five job. However, starting a career in entrepreneurship requires more than a dream. If you want to leave the cubicle behind and start a business of your own, these resources will show you how.

    Where to Learn Small Business Skills

    As an employee, you’re responsible for a relatively narrow set of duties. Business owners, on the other hand, have to oversee a wide range of business functions. Before starting a business, make sure you have the skills to get the job done by investing in training opportunities like these.
    • Learning opportunities can be as close by as your smartphone, monitor or tv screen, thanks to video channels that are business-oriented. 
    • That’s just the tip of the online learning iceberg. You can complete a master of business administration within 24 months, allowing you to rapidly expand your skills in business management, leadership, and strategy.
    • Looking for something that allows you to work while you learn? Consider popping in your earbuds and listening to podcasts.

    How to Find Small Business Funding

    Knowledge is only one part of the equation. It also takes money to start a business. While some business models, like web- and home-based businesses, cost surprisingly little to start, most small businesses require a lot of capital. Here’s where to find it.
    • Most SBA loan programs require at least two years in business, making these loans less startup-friendly. Two loan programs, however, may be available to new businesses: SBA Microloans and SBA Community Advantage loans.
    • Alternatives to traditional business lending include peer-to-peer lending, equipment leasing, business credit cards, and crowdfunding, among others.
    • For many small business owners, the best source of funding is ultimately their own pockets. Many entrepreneurs keep a day job while starting their company.
    • If that won’t work, look to personal savings and loans.

    The Best Business Associations to Join

    No business is an island. Business associations give small business owners a place to network, learn, and get involved in the broader business community. Many of them come with financial perks too. These are the top associations to join as a new entrepreneur.
    • For local businesses, there’s no better resource than the local chamber of commerce. The Wenatchee Valley Chamber of Commerce works to create a strong business community by hosting networking events, promoting local businesses, and advocating for business interests locally and state-wide.
    • The National Federation of Independent Business doesn’t just advocate for business owners in state and national government. Joining the NFIB gives members access to discounts on a wide range of products and services from insurance to shipping.
    • Self-employed people and micro-business owners will find a home in the National Association for the Self-Employed, which focuses on supporting entrepreneurs with expert advice, educational resources, discounts on business services, travel benefits, and more.

    Resources for Veteran Business Owners

    If you’re a veteran, there are even more resources available to you. These are the best resources available to help military veterans achieve their entrepreneurial goals.
    • Offered by the SBA, Boots to Business offers entrepreneurial training to transitioning service members and their spouses. This two-day course introduces participants to the fundamentals of business ownership.
    • Veterans can also access their local Veteran Business Outreach Center. A program of the SBA, VBOCs offer mentorship, workshops, and business development assistance to veteran business owners.
    • After starting a business, veterans should consider registering as a veteran-owned small business or service-disabled veteran-owned small business. VOSB and SDVOSB certifications let veteran-owned businesses secure contracts with the federal government.
     
    Becoming an entrepreneur doesn’t happen overnight. There’s funding to secure, networks to build, and business fundamentals to learn before you can take the plunge into working for yourself. But when you take the right steps before starting your business, you can enter entrepreneurship knowing you’re primed for success.
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