This week (September 21-25) is National Small Business Week in the U.S., celebrating entrepreneurs and the 30 million small businesses that account for 99.7 percent of firms nationally. Deferred from May due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, it's no surprise that the 2020 virtual activities focus on recovery, adaptation and innovation.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has been highlighting the impact of entrepreneurs and small businesses this way since 1963 and is hosting a variety of online activities as part of the National Small Business Week Virtual Conference through this Thursday. You can still register here:
Being a 100% remote workplace for more than seven years, InspireHUB began sharing resources in March to help small businesses faced with making the digital transition overnight. We had the good fortune of a long runway to grow into the challenges and opportunities of working remotely and knew that some of the tools and best practices we've adopted would be useful to others facing this change with very little time to adapt.
Here are a few FREE resources to help your small business pivot and recover, from our team to yours...
Small business guides to help you transition, fast!
The Ultimate Small Business Survival Guide is Here
We've been helping InspireHUB clients not just survive during this time but THRIVE! We collected all of our advice and made it available for FREE as our great big give-back during this difficult time. Included in this FREE Guide:
- Transformation Readiness Assessment
- Practical Marketing Help
- Proven Strategies to Pivot Your Company
Lead an Inspirational Remote Work Culture that Employees Love!
At InspireHUB, we get it. We've been a 100% remote workplace for more than 7 years, and are the first to admit we were UN-InspireHUB while we learned to grow into it.
because we saw so many people struggling as they've had to adapt to this new way of working overnight.
Here's how you can use it to grow YOUR small business too ...
Included in this FREE Guide:
- Why your remote team is experiencing fatigue.
- Understanding how leaders and employees have vastly different remote experiences.
- The lines you cannot cross with employee privacy when working remote.
- How to gamify your remote workforce.
- The rules of virtual engagement when it comes to working remotely.
- How the rules of meeting etiquette change in virtual meetings and why you must understand the difference!
Big Sales for Small Wineries
The Ultimate Do-It-Yourself Growth Guide
This FREE eBook is specifically designed for established boutique wineries (those producing less than 10,000 cases) as a step-by-step guide to achieving your best year in sales yet. It is packed with practical advice on everything from questions to ask the person who is managing your marketing, to insights into what consumers actually want in a Wine Club, and even a list of creative ideas to help generate additional revenue streams. Included in this FREE Guide:
- Transformation Readiness Assessment
- Successful Sales Strategies
- Trusted and Proven Advice
Simple, powerful, FREE tools to get you started.
Top 5 FREE small business tools to find new market opportunities FAST!
With a drastically changed economy, many businesses are finding the need to pivot to embrace new products and services quickly. Being agile means survival.
There are a handful of simple, FREE tools that will help you understand the opportunities emerging within your market in real-time. It’s like having a team of virtual assistants whose job is to gather market insights and competitive intelligence and drop them on your doorstep, allowing you to find the right resources and ideas to adapt quickly.
The differentiation strategy that helps you not only survive but thrive is only a click away!
Here are 5 FREE tools that make it easy to find what you need to quickly pivot your small business...
Top 5 FREE small business tools to help you grow.
Lockdowns turned many businesses into “virtual workplaces” overnight, requiring new ways of doing business with even tighter constraints. Some of the very best tools to help you power up and grow your small business are simple to use and don’t cost a dime.
Here are 5 FREE software tools that will help you connect, collaborate and create compelling marketing campaigns to boost your sales and your bottom line.
Add these 5 free software tools to your small business kit first...
3 ways for your small business to use LinkedIn hashtags as discovery channels during lockdown.
Small businesses have to adapt quickly as they learn to navigate the challenges of the economic crisis created by the pandemic. That means wading through a sea of noise to find the best crisis management and business continuity resources, implement work from home strategies, tap into emergency funding and be champions for employees when faced with the hard decision to cut back staff.
Chances are you're already using LinkedIn to help with some of those things, but you might not have thought about "hashtags" as "discovery channels" to help you quickly tune into real-time lifelines.
Here's how small businesses can use LinkedIn to tune in to crisis management and work continuity resources with just a click...
5 management consultants small businesses should follow on LinkedIn.
When it comes to running a small business, crowdsourcing the wisdom of giants through FREE trusted management consultant resource hubs could be one of the best ways to grow your "team" without adding to your budget.
How do you build resilience during a pandemic, and what do you do next? Whether your looking for guidance on crisis management, transforming to a remote workplace, business continuity or pivot strategies, it can be hard to filter through the flood of resources and conversations happening, so it's handy to have a handful of the best on digital speed-dial.
Many of the top consulting firms share daily content on LinkedIn from their comprehensive resource centres, making it a quick central dashboard to tap into new insights in one place. We've included links to their own sites as well so you can do a deeper dive into their libraries.
Here are 5 of the top management consultants you should be following on LinkedIn to grow your business...
FREE Mentors to guide your small business.
80% of entrepreneurs with a mentor are still in business after a year. With 30% of small businesses failing within the first two years, having access to the right resources and advice is critical. A study by SCORE showed just how big a game-changer mentors can be.
Small businesses (less than 100 paid employees) account for 99.9% of all U.S. businesses and 97.9% of all Canadian businesses, with micro-businesses (less than 10 employees) accounting for 75.3% of private-sector employers. Small businesses are the lifeblood of our communities and our economy, and with the current economic crisis, they’re fighting for their lives.
Since the declaration of national emergency was issued because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) estimated total private employment to have fallen by 19.6 million between March and April alone, a historic decline.
Now more than ever, having access to a mentor can be a critical lifeline for a small business. But at a time when resources are so tight, how can you find someone to help you navigate the unique challenges of your industry, guide you through crisis management and assist your creation of a business continuity plan that helps you and your employees not only survive but thrive?
Finding the best FREE mentors for your small business. | Part 1: LinkedIn
This is part one of a five-part series designed to help you access the mentors that are exactly right for your small business without spending a dime.
The series will help you discover and tap into:
- global mentor resources on LinkedIn;
- federal government programs connecting small businesses to mentors;
- NGO and collaborative business mentoring resources;
- mentoring services supporting minority small business owners; and,
- mentoring services supporting women small business owners.
In this first installment, we’ll explore some of the best resources on LinkedIn.
Finding the best FREE mentors for your small business. | Part 2: Federal Government Resources
These FREE federal government resources (and a few non-government collaborators) help match small business owners with the best mentors to help you grow your business. They’ll help you navigate the unique challenges of your industry. They’ll guide you through crisis management. They’ll also help you create a business continuity plan that not only carries you safely through pandemic pivots but sets you up to thrive sustainably long after the current economic crisis is over.
This is part two of a five-part series designed to help you access the mentors that are exactly right for your small business without spending a dime.
In this second installment, we’ll explore some of the best FREE federal government programs to match you with the right mentors to help your small business grow.
Finding the best FREE mentors for your small business. | Part 3: NGO and Collaborative Resources
Mentored entrepreneurs create twice as many new jobs as solo entrepreneurs. 75% of them increase their revenue. These are just 2 of the advantages the 2019 annual MicroMentor Impact Report shares when it comes to the impact of mentoring. If you’re looking for someone to help you create a business continuity plan that not only carries you safely through pandemic pivots but sets you up to thrive sustainably long after the current economic crisis is over, there are a handful of trusted, expert resources to turn to.
This is part three of a five-part series designed to help you access the mentors that are exactly right for your small business without spending a dime.
In the first two installments, we looked at how small businesses are using LinkedIn and governmental programs to find the perfect mentor to guide you through crisis management and more comprehensive, long term growth strategies.
In this third share, we’ll be exploring some of the non-governmental organizations, and a handful of creative collaborations between large for-profit companies, to mentor the small businesses that make up 99.9% of all businesses in the U.S. and 97.9% of all Canadian businesses to help them survive and grow.
Finding the best FREE mentors for your small business. | Part 4: Minority-Owned Business Resources
Minority-owned businesses don’t just power economic growth. A report from the Center for Global Policy Solutions shows they were the key drivers digging the economy out of the Great Recession, a severe U.S. economic downturn following the housing bubble burst in 2007. They added more than a million jobs to the economy between 2007 and 2012 and increased the number of businesses with paid jobs at a rate many times that of white-owned firms.
Between 2007 and 2017, the number of minority-owned SMBs grew by 79%, reaching 11.1 million. That’s 10 times faster than the 7.6% overall growth rate for U.S. small businesses during that period. Yet, a recent survey showed that of those that requested Coronavirus relief funding from the SBA Administered Paycheck Protection Program, just 12% received the full assistance they requested, with two-thirds reporting that they did not receive any.
Some food for thought:
- 45% of small businesses are owned by minorities, a dramatic increase from only 15% in 2015, with the number of African American owners growing by over 400% between 2017 and 2018.
- 25% of small business owners are immigrant entrepreneurs, with female ownership being slightly higher in immigrant-owned firms.
- 55% of unicorn startups in the U.S. were founded by immigrants. 50 of the 91 startups valued over $1 billion had at least one immigrant founder.
Data from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency shows that minority-owned businesses face significant financing gaps:
- Minority-owned businesses are less likely than white-owned businesses to secure funding.
- Loans for minority-owned businesses are smaller than for white-owned companies.
- Interest rates often are higher for minority-owned businesses.
There’s a lot of work to do to close these gaps and reform the long-standing systemic and societal biases that continue to fuel this disparity. (See one of the small starts made by lenders signing onto the Small Business Borrowers’ Bill of Rights.)
That kind of remediation can’t come soon enough for minority-owned businesses struggling to survive the current economic crisis at a time when pandemic lockdowns are closing door after door. While mentoring doesn’t close all the gaps, it can offer a bridge to critical support and funding to empower crisis management and shore up business continuity plans.
Minority-owned businesses dug us out of the last recession. Here’s how mentors are helping them survive and grow through this one.
Finding the best FREE mentors for your small business. | Part 5: Women-Owned Business Resources
Small businesses owned by women power a significant portion of the economy, yet women face substantial challenges and receive less funding compared to men according to a report from Senator Jeanne Shaheen, ranking member of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship. The Global State of Women-Owned Small Business Enterprises report issues the same concerns, pointing out that social and cultural stigmas, family and child-rearing responsibilities, maternity needs, educational background, career experience, and community support are at the root of many of the challenges faced by women.
“If women had the same opportunities to be entrepreneurs as men, global GDP could rise by up to $5 trillion.” -- Cherie Blair, Foundation for Women.
It's a disparity that shows up both in the numbers, and in the increasing mentoring resources springing up to help close the gap. How exactly are women defining the current economic landscape? Some food for thought:
- 40% of businesses in the U.S. (12.3 million businesses) are owned by women, having increased 31 times since 1972.
- Women of color own 47% of all women-owned businesses, an increase of 163% in the last decade, generating over $386 billion in revenues, and employ 2,230,600 people.
- 78% of new women-owned businesses are owned by women of color.
- 48% of female business owners are between the ages of 45 and 65. Women business owners work longer.
The Internet and other technologies have made it easy to provide goods and services to clients around the globe. This has leveled the playing field for female business owners. (SOURCE: The Global State of Women-Owned Small Business Enterprises | Business.com)
The pandemic has made this particular advantage -- digital transformation -- a fact of survival, with mentoring offering lifelines to critical resources, know-how and support.
Looking for a few more great ideas to help you grow your business and shore up your post-pandemic business continuity plan? Take a page out of the book from some of our own favourite small business pioneers who forged a trail through turbulent times to create thriving, sustainable enterprises. Listen to their stories on ...
Big on Small: The Official Small Business Podcast
Do you remember where you were when you first had the dream of building your small business? How the mere thought of it sparked an excitement and a future filled with hope? Where were you the first time you sat down and began to take the action to implement your dream?
The journey to launching your own business is unique to every business owner, but we have so much in common. In the early days of creating your business, everything feels fresh and exciting regardless of whether your network of friends and family are supportive and telling you that you are absolutely ‘crazy’.
Deep down, you knew one thing for sure. There was a moment you stepped out in faith and realized there was no going back. The reality is that there is nothing easy about the process of creating and launching a small business. At InspireHUB, we know that 90% of businesses are small and helping YOU become successful has a direct impact on creating a healthy community, town, city, country and economy! That’s why we created the Big on Small Podcast, the official small business podcast that is fully focused on the running of small organizations. Join us and learn more at: bigonsmall.biz
BE ON THE SHOW!
Call us or leave a message in the feedback box below.
If you have a small business question that needs answering or want to show some love to a small business in your life, call and leave a message on the Big On Small Hotline at 1-844-967-CHAT (2428) or visit the contact page here.
Where to Listen to This Podcast