Charlotte’s Got Your Back with these Resources for Small Businesses
Starting a business is like having a newborn baby: you love it, nurture it, and hope that all of your hard work will make it grow into a productive member of society—but in the beginning, it can be terrifying.
It’s totally normal to feel like you don’t quite know what you’re doing or where to start, which is why the numerous small business resources available to Charlotteans are such a boon. Here are a few ways to take advantage:
Consider joining a local accelerator or incubator
Want to bounce ideas off like-minded people facing similar challenges as you launch or expand your business? An accelerator or incubator is a great way to get connected with local entrepreneurs.
Here are a few to check out in Charlotte:
Take a workshop with Charlotte SCORE
Ask five different people for business advice, and you’re likely to receive five very different answers, which can be both a blessing and a curse. That’s why we love Charlotte SCORE, a network of business mentors that provides counseling and beneficial workshops—and you can choose the best options to suit you and your business. The Charlotte chapter of SCORE has been around since 1965 and currently has over 75 certified mentors available to help you increase your business value, solve problems, and even find funding.
Whether you’re interested in free, one-on-one mentorship or want to take an online workshop, Charlotte SCORE can hook you up with people and resources that can help you as you build or grow your business.
Here’s a sneak peek at some of their upcoming workshops:
- The State of Search 2017
- Budgeting 101: Planning for Profit & Success
- Build An Online Reputation That Drives More Clicks, Calls and Sales
Get the demographics you need at—surprise—the library
With constant access to information through our devices, it’s easy to forget that there are entire buildings of folks dedicated to helping us weed through all of that data to find exactly what we need. Yes, we’re talking libraries—and Charlotteans have access to an incredible system in Mecklenburg County.
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library system provides business owners with the key to a large amount of data; you just have to know how to tap into it! In addition to business directories and demographic information available through their website, the twenty branches also offer computer classes and programs covering a variety of needs.
Bonus: free WiFi and a wealth of information at your fingertips mean you can settle in for a productive, quiet afternoon of work.
Get a direct line to your community by joining the Chamber of Commerce
Although we’ve become a digital society, nothing can quite replace the value of networking in your community—both for relationship building with fellow entrepreneurs and learning how to build rapport with potential customers.
When you join the Charlotte Chamber of Commerce, you’ll have access to other business owners through special events and networking. Finding a place within your local business community is a great way to secure a support system, continue learning the ropes, “plug in” to the community, and make lasting relationships with local leaders.
Learn how to start, locate, finance, and grow your business—and more—at CharlotteBusinessResources.com
The internet is home to a crazy amount of information, but what you really want is a trustworthy source—and this site has it all. The City of Charlotte created CharlotteBusinessResources.com specifically to give beginner-level entrepreneurs the support and information they need every step of the way. It is like the Joy of Cooking for business people!
As a small business owner, prepare to dig in; there’s a plethora of free educational resources, in addition to information about the nuts and bolts of licensing and permitting, finding a location, and hiring your team.
We can’t accurately sum up how much of a goldmine CharlotteBusinessResources.com is in just a few paragraphs, so here are just a few areas you’ll want to check out:
- Starting a non-profit? They’ve also got you covered with info about funding, organization, and local initiative that can help.
Minimize risks and avoid pitfalls with a Charlotte small business attorney
You shouldn’t be in business unless you have basic legal protections in place and a good advisor to call when needed. An experienced small business attorney is key to minimizing risk and avoiding pitfalls. Whether you need help filing for an LLC, drafting agreement documents, structuring equity ownership, startup counsel, or more, your attorney can help guide you and ensure you’re making the best choices.
Charlotte business attorney Chris Craig and his team at Craig Associates, PC have helped many local entrepreneurs with legal, financial, tax, and insurance needs so they can focus on what matters: the success of their business. If you’re ready to take the next steps in your entrepreneurial dream, contact us today! We would love to meet for a consultation and go over your business goals.