The Top 5 Hidden Financial Tools Small Business Owners Need
Let’s assume you know how to run your specific business, and that you, of course, have an accountant or accounting software, and ways to manage your inventory, invoices, payroll and the like. You might think your greatest need is a small business loan for your Brevard County business. While we at Fidelity Bank of Florida are happy to talk to you about that, here we list three resources that you may not be aware of, and two that you’re probably familiar with but may not realize their importance.
- Your Local Small Business Development Center: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), which was created by Congress in 1953, administers loans and provides advice and resources to small businesses nationwide. Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are “partnerships primarily between the government and colleges/universities aimed at providing education services to small business owners.” You can access free business consulting and low-cost instruction in many aspects of running a business, such as business plan development, health care benefits, and market research. Brevard County’s SBDC is in partnership with Eastern Florida State College in Melbourne.
- The SCORE Association: Previously known as the Service Core of Retired Executives, SCORE is a nonprofit organization with the mission of helping small businesses start and succeed. Available SCORE assets include: volunteer mentors online tools, tips and other digital resources free (and confidential) business counseling face to face or by email free or inexpensive webinars and local workshops. The Space Coast SCORE chapter has served Brevard County for more than two decades.
- AICPA’s 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy: The 360 Degrees of Financial Literacy program is a volunteer effort by American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) members nationwide. The advice and tools primarily focus on personal finances, but there are some resources related to owning a business, such as information on cost-effective ways to offer employee benefits, as well as a break-even analysis tool and a cash-flow calculator.
- Social Media Company Pages: If you own a business, then it’s important to have a LinkedIn company page and, in many cases, a Facebook and Google+ company page. These pages are not only for free advertising, but also help you connect with suppliers, manufacturers, like-minded businesses, and potential employees. It’s important to set up these pages properly – don’t create your business page as a personal profile (e.g., first name: XYZ and last name: Company). Some of these social media platforms make it difficult to correct mistakes down the road, and while it may be relatively easy to change others, you might lose your SEO momentum in doing so.
- Business Credit Cards: You may wonder why you should have a business credit card when you already have a personal credit card. A dedicated business credit card often comes with business-specific benefits, and as your business grows, it becomes increasingly important to separate your personal and business income and expenses. What’s more, using only a business credit card for business expenses will make doing your taxes a lot simpler.
We hope you can use these resources and tips to start or grow your small business. And if you need a small business loan for your Brevard County business, contact Fidelity Bank of Florida today at 321-452-0011.