Owning a small business has its perks and rewards, but let’s face it: there are also very real challenges that many Michigan business owners face. Whether it be start-up challenges and cybersecurity, or human resources management and executing a robust business plan, the Michigan Small Business Development Center (Michigan SBDC) is here to help with your biggest challenges, get your feet on the ground and give you practical solutions.

Challenge: Starting Strong

How you choose to start your business is one of the most critical steps in creating a successful small business. While this can seem overwhelming, having the right information and properly preparing to start your small business can help set you up for success.

Solution: Start-up Guides, Assessments & Events 

Launching a business can be intimidating because knowing when you’re ready and fully prepared for entrepreneurship is hard. Before you take the next step, it’s important to understand operation necessities and successful business models. Learn how to execute the first steps to building a strong foundation for your business with our guides.

Read more about starting your small business with the Michigan SBDC’s Guide to Starting and Operating a Small Business to feel confident about a successful launch. Plus, attend the Michigan SBDC’s training and events to learn from small business experts while connecting and exploring a range of available resources to help prepare you for your small business journey. 

You can also request the Michigan SBDC’s Business Consulting services to get started with one-on-one attention and guidance that will put your small business on the road to success, no matter what your small business’ stage of growth. 

Challenge: Understanding the Market 

Growing a small business means understanding your consumers. Who is your target audience? What products or services do they seek? What challenges do they face? Understanding what market you serve and how to reach them successfully is a challenge commonly faced when it comes to growing a small business. 

Solution: Market Research 

No-cost market research from the Michigan SBDC provides valuable secondary insights to help you understand the market your business targets, and how you can better reach relevant audiences. From industry reports and audience demographics to observing traffic for your specific location and comparing your competitors, the Michigan SBDC gives small businesses the support and insight they need to improve their market presence and performance. 

  • Search engine optimization (SEO) reports can help you improve your business’s visibility and ranking online in search engine results pages. Your online content is crucial to your small business’s profile and growth. Explore local citations and SEO reports to find what might work for you and your business.
  • Social media is a great way to expand your marketing and visibility for your business and brand. Starting a following on social media platforms from zero is no easy feat, but the Michigan SBDC has resources to help. Build an audience and promote your business with our social media strategies and suggestions to create a successful presence.  Get connected with the Michigan SBDC to help get you started. 

Challenge: Budget and Financial Outlook 

Financial budgeting is one of the most challenging aspects of owning a small business. From finding the finances to start a business to ensuring you’re continuing to meet a bottom line, there are challenges presented at every budgeting stage.

Solution: Financial Spreadsheets & Plans

Whether you’re in need of financial support for a new business or looking to manage cash flow better for your current one, the Michigan SBDC is here to help. 

Download and use the Michigan SBDC’s budget and financial forecasting spreadsheet found in the Michigan SBDC’s Tools and Resources to optimize your financial planning and see exactly what you’re spending and where. You can also explore the Michigan SBDC’s Focus Four plan to grow your small business and increase performance. With a focus on vision, strategy, execution and cash flow, this structured program will help guide your small business’ financial growth onto the right track. 

Challenge: Executing Your Business Plan 

[body] Executing a successful business plan and following each step properly is a challenge many small businesses face. Without an effective business plan and dedicated process to follow, you risk the chance of missing crucial steps or making mistakes that set you back from running a successful and manageable business. 

Solution: Business Plan Template

Use the Michigan SBDC’s business plan executive summary to strategize and re-evaluate your small business needs, values, proposed solutions and team responsibilities to grow your business and reach your goals. 

Challenge: Effective Management 

Maintaining effective management is one of the most challenging aspects of owning a small business. As a small business owner, you bear a lot of responsibility on your shoulders, and at times it can feel overwhelming, but the Michigan SBDC is here to help. 

Solution: Management Webinars & Trainings

Getting the right training and learning how you can better support yourself, your business, and potential employees is key to meeting your business’ needs. Check out the Michigan SBDC small business webinars to learn more ways you can improve your management and business skill set. 

Challenge: Cybersecurity Threats 

Your small business could potentially fall victim to significant cybersecurity threats such as phishing and malware. Cyberattacks are one of the top ways that small businesses can be potentially compromised, and taking action against these attacks is a step that can be easily overlooked if not carefully taken into consideration. 

Solution: Cybersecurity Resources

Cybersecurity should be a top priority for your small business and safety. The Michigan SBDC provides no-cost cybersecurity resources to strengthen your defense and protection against cyber threats. Attend training and test your cyber threat knowledge through our available resources. Learn more through the Michigan SBDC’s cybersecurity blog posts to stay informed and up-to-date about all things cybersecurity. 

Connect with the Michigan SBDC and find a Michigan location near you for all your small business needs, consulting and training. 

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