Small business capital formation in the USA: How to get started
The US economy has been growing steadily since the end of the recession. While big businesses have seen plenty of opportunities to grow and expand over that time, there are still plenty of viable small business opportunities in the country.
You can start your own small business today with the proper knowledge and capital.
If you are interested in starting up your own business but need help figuring out how to go about it, read on to learn how to get started as a small business owner in the USA.
What is a Small Business Capital Formation?
A Small Business Capital Formation (SBCF) is a form of financing for small businesses that do not fit the criteria for a more traditional loan.
The SBCF program was created by Congress in 2012 as part of the JOBS Act to help small businesses grow, create jobs, and drive economic growth. To be eligible for an SBCF, a company must meet three requirements:
- The company must be engaged in some commercial activity.
- The company can be at most $1 million in gross revenues from all its activities.
- The company cannot have publicly traded securities or equivalents worth over $2 million.
Look for opportunities
The Small Business Administration (SBA) provides several loan programs and services to help small businesses grow. A few of these include:
● Loan Program: The SBA’s flagship loan program, loans are made by participating lenders throughout the country.
● Microloans: Microloans are specifically designed for small businesses with limited financial resources or credit histories.
● SBA Express Financing: SBA Express Financing is a quick, cost-effective financing option that requires less paperwork than other methods. With this method, you can be up and running in just a few days or weeks instead of months.
● Economic Development Loan Guarantees: One of the SBA’s newest products is the Economic Development Loan Guarantee, which helps create jobs in rural communities where job growth has stagnated. It will guarantee up to 85% of the project costs so long as the borrower meets all eligibility criteria. The latest information on government contracting opportunities.
Have a clear business plan
There are several ways you can start your own small business. One way is by securing venture capital funding. This can be done through various sources, but you must have a viable plan and a strong team before approaching investors.
Most VCs will ask for an executive summary, financial projections, and other documentation as part of their due diligence process.
Another way to start a small business is by taking out loans from banks or other lenders. To qualify for these funds, you must prove your ability to repay. You will also need a solid business plan with specific goals and objectives outlined.
Technology has provided small businesses with more opportunities than ever before. The internet has been instrumental in creating new and improved ways for small businesses to operate, innovate, and prosper. But with so much out there, it can take time to figure out where to start.
Luckily, many resources are available on how technology can help your small business needs. Here are a few of them:
● Dropbox allows you to store files online so you can always access them from any device – including PCs, Macs, smartphones or tablets. You will have access to your essential documents if you have an internet connection anywhere in the world.
● Apps like Square make it easy to accept credit card payments on your smartphone.
● Shopify makes building ecommerce stores straightforward.
● Google Drive lets you create presentations that look like they were made by a professional
● Evernote simplifies note-taking by syncing everything across multiple devices.
Another thing you should do is build relationships with people who have experience in what you are trying to do.
If you are an entrepreneur or want to start a small business, you must talk with as many experts and entrepreneurs as possible.
The more connections and meetings you go to, the more knowledge and resources you will have available when starting your own company.
The next step for building relationships is getting involved in groups and organizations around topics related to entrepreneurship.
Connect with these groups by volunteering or joining one of their boards or committees.
Protect your ideas
Copyrighting a product or service can help protect your idea from being used by someone else. However, there are other ways to protect your vision as well that don’t involve copyright. Thinking about how you want your idea protected before it becomes valuable is crucial.
For example, suppose you create a new type of footwear and have exclusive rights to it for ten years with an invention disclosure document filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). In that case, no one can copy your idea for ten years without compensation.
Remember, though does not give any protection after the ten years have expired.
You will also need to find a manufacturer who wants to produce your idea. If you are still looking for a company interested in creating your vision, it may be worth taking out patents to protect yourself after the ten-year period expires.
You could also use trademarks or copyrights instead of patents because they may offer more protection.
There are many different types of small businesses, and each style has nuances. Whether starting a restaurant or a manufacturing company, you must know what you are getting into before diving in.
Now that you have some ideas about the steps involved with starting your own small business, we hope this information will help you begin your journey as an entrepreneur.