Business Aids & Information
(exerpted from Main Street America "The Point")
(exerpted from Main Street America "The Point")
Is your digital house in order? You must have at least The 2 Things - a claimed, completed, and up-to-date Google Business Profile including correct operating hours (part of what feeds Google Search and Google Maps) and an active Facebook Page. Keep in mind that for young folks, "Facebook is for old people," but many do have accounts there and will check a business Page to see if it is active/if the business is still open.
Need help or advice to start, grow, or maintain your business? The following area groups and individuals are available to help you.
Small Business Development Center - Salisbury MD
The Maryland Small Business Development Center (SBDC) is dedicated to helping establish and expand small businesses all over Maryland's Eastern Shore. Through professional training for start-up/growth ventures and our no-cost confidential business consulting service, will help develop and refine business plans, solve problems, find sources of capital and develop strategies to support growth and profitability.
SCORE - SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer, expert business mentors, is dedicated to helping small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals. Since 1964, they have provided education and mentorship to more than 11 million entrepreneurs.
Main Street America resources (membership is required to get some of the Main Street materials. Talk to a Downtown Snow Hill officer for access to additional materials.)
Destination Development Association
Looking for some easy to implement changes to super-charge your business? Interested in downtown revitalization?
Watch a video by consultant Roger Brooks. We always come away from viewing one saying "We can do that!". A few "must watch" videos include:
"Success Starts with a Plan"
"Increasing Your Retail Sales" Parts 1 and 2
"Creative Ways to Pull Customers into Shops & Eateries"
Video Series include "The Branding Series", "The Marketing Series", "The Advertising Series", "The Website Development Series", "The Public Relations Series", "The Social Media Series", "The Printed Materials Series", "The Funding & Organizational Series", "The Product Development Series: Tourism". "The Product Development Series: Downtowns" and "Potpourri: Trends & New Ideas".
Membership is required to view videos. Talk to a Downtown Snow Hill officer for login information.
Town of Snow Hill, Downtown Snow Hill Main Street organization, Snow Hill Area Chamber of Commerce, and fellow Snow Hill business owners. The best resources are local. Talk to Snow Hill business owners. Talk to local organization leaders. Check in with Economic Development staff at Town Hall by calling (410) 632-2080.
FUNDING YOUR BUSINESS
Ever heard the business saying that startup funding comes from the three F's? (answer: Family, Friends & Fools). Be prepared to put yourself out there financially to start your dream business. Starting a business is hard, and expensive. A few simple words of wisdom from other business owners who have done it...
Have a PLAN. Even if it's on the back of a napkin, answer the important questions. What are you selling, who is your customer, and how much do you need to sell to survive. If you don't know the answers to those questions, you should.
Make more money than you spend. Yes it sounds obvious, but it's important. Especially when you are starting out, concentrate on the sale, not just the dream in your head. If an expensive does not directly result in income, especially in the early days, then think about it very, very hard (more than once). Retain your capital to get you through the long haul.
The Town of Snow Hill offers low interest loans for busines development in town.
Develop a relationship with your bank. Commercial loans are hard to get so you may need to use personal loans or lines of credit.
Credit cards - many a business was started with credit cards. Watch your financial exposure very, very carefully.
A few Small Business Loan resources are listed below:
Town of Snow Hill - Business Development grant Contact Town Hall at (410) 632-2080 for more information.
National Development Council ("the most experienced and comprehensive community and economic development nonprofit in the US. ")
Yes, there are grants available, but they don't take the place of personal investment and loans. They are a supplement. Most business development grants require a match. The grants available at any point in time change, so have the following ready so you can apply when they are made public.
A plan with cost estimates. Be prepared to get quotes (from suppliers and web research) for the grant applications. Have drawings if any construction is included.
A financial statement. Have three years if you are an existing business or a one year financial projection if you are new.
Contact Town Hall at 410-632-2080 for a list of current grants available to Snow Hill businesses.