Whether you’re a budding startup, a growing business or a seasoned entrepreneur, access to resources to help expand your venture is essential to your success. Fortunately, there is a wealth of opportunity at your fingertips if you just know where to look. Here are a few of Fetch’s favorites for just about any stage of business.
Business owners often bemoan the many taxes and regulations imposed by the government, but there are plenty of resources offered to help small- and locally-owned startups get off the ground and on the road to success. Illinois Small Business Development Centers can be found across the city and beyond, offering one-on-one business advice, including financial planning, tech training and marketing plan development. You’ll also find a variety of services and workshops offered through SBDC partners like Women’s Business Development Center or the Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.
Partnerships for Growth
Ongoing networking is crucial to maintaining the success of your business. Joining your local chamber of commerce is a great way to connect with other business owners, but you’ll need to dig a little deeper to expand your network. Groups like Business Leadership Council or Business Network Chicago (BNC) are excellent groups that create valuable connections with other like-minded entrepreneurs. The Small Business Advocacy Council Illinois even provides shared office space opportunities.
Investing in Your Brand
Even the very best business concepts can be hampered by a substandard website or poor online reviews. If online marketing isn’t one of your strengths, there are experts who want to help. Chicago’s 1871 is a tech center that teaches design and technology skills, as well as hosts regular networking and support events. If you’re still not comfortable building and managing a killer website, remember to build the cost of outside assistance into your marketing budget. It’s more than worth it.
Click here to listen to more advice for business owners from Fetch’s own Lina Khalil.