Entrepreneurs can take advantage of new, free online training and other resources offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration to assist them during this period of economic recovery.
The SBA offers a variety of online courses to assist small businesses in more effectively managing their firms in the current economy. The new course topics, available directly at www.sba.gov/services/training/onlinecourses, include revising business plans to reposition with current conditions, winning customers in a slowing economy, restructuring existing debt, and diversifying your customer base with federal contracts.
The most recently added course is "Downshifting in a Slowing Economy: A Business Planning Guide." This course is designed to help business owners reorganize and streamline their business strategies. Other related business tools include a new automated business plan template, and an assessment and strategies guide for surviving in a slowing economy.
"The SBA is helping small businesses with the resources and tools they need in the current business cycle," said Jeff Andrade, Associate Administrator for Entrepreneurial Development. "In addition, SBA offers a variety of resources and referrals to small businesses uncertain about what to do in the current economy on its Web page on Economic Recovery at www.sba.gov/helpingmainstreet."
Each free course is self-paced, and provides practical guidance on how to stay on top of economic conditions. These and other courses can be accessed from the SBA's website at www.sba.gov/training. To access them, click on "Free Online Courses," then make a selection under the header "Surviving in a Down Economy."
The SBA can also help to find local agency offices and lenders. Business owners can: talk with an SBA representative about financing options and identify local, participating SBA lenders; learn about SBA's Loan Guaranty Program using an electronic guide with audio and many targeted links; and train with expert counseling and mentoring services by talking with an SBA representative or resource partner about management assistance.
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