Business Help and Resources

Business Help and ResourcesStarting a new business or growing an existing one can be a stressful process that requires a lot of know-how. This is because there are a number of things that business owners have to deal with that they never even had to consider before starting their business. The sheer amount of information a business owner needs to have a grasp of when running a business is staggering. Thankfully, there are many different business development resources available to small business owners throughout the Chicago metro area. These resources can make all the difference when it comes to successfully operating even a small company.

Business Development Centers

Business development centers such as the Women's Business Development Center and the MBDA Business Center are organizations that exist specifically to promote business education in the community. They hold seminars, lectures and workshops that you can attend if you want to learn more about specific aspects of running a business. For example, a local business development center may hold a series of workshops on how to plan for your self-employment taxes. They may also hold seminars from local business leaders on how to push your business further. Many of these development centers also put business owners in contact with insurance companies and other necessary service providers at a premium rate.

Low Cost Premises

The cost of renting office or retail space can be daunting, especially for companies that haven't yet gotten them selves up and running. Talking to your local business development center is a good place to start. You can also find fully equipped, flexible space to rent on easy in-easy out terms on, saving you the extra cost of fit outs, furniture, equipment and legal fees.

Credit Services

The term "credit services" is a fairly broad one that encompasses both credit counseling and the disbursement of business credit. Since the development of operating capital is so important to any business, these credit services are vital to a strong economy.

Credit counseling services help business owners to understand how they can make their company more attractive to lenders and investors. This includes helping business owners understand how their company's credit is impacted by various factors and how to build business credit.

On the other side of this coin are the actual lenders who extend the business credit to small business owners. There are some professional organizations in Chicago that offer discounted rates on business loans. Organizations like the Women's Business Development Center and the Duman Entrepreneurship Center offer excellent rates on small business loans.

Procurement Centers in Chicago

The role of procurement centers is to connect producers and suppliers with point-of-sale businesses. For example, imagine that an engineering firm has developed a new type of light bulb. That company's focus is on the development of that product, but not really on the actual marketing of it. They produce the product and have no means of selling it for a profit using their currently existing infrastructure. Procurement centers place those producers in contact with stores and other point-of-sale businesses that are equipped to sell the product. This saves producers from having to handle the entire life cycle of their product and it can make the process of distribution much simpler.

Legal Services for Small Business Owners

Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of running a business is having access to adequate legal services. Depending on the type of business you run, you may need more help in the start-up phase than you will in the ongoing development of your company. Having access to legal services to help understand business structures, liability and the various legal obligations of your business is very important. There can be a lot of information to wade through when you're starting a business. Making the wrong decisions early on due to an ignorance of the law can end up having very real legal ramifications for you in the future. Taking advantage of the low cost or free legal resources available through business development centers can be a good way to move forward.

City of Chicago Resources

There are two major city-based resources available to business owners in the Chicago metro area. The first is the Chicago Department of Business Affairs. The second is the Office of the City Treasurer for the City of Chicago. Both of these departments of the city government have different roles to play for different types of businesses.

The Department of Business Affairs provides a wealth of resources when it comes to learning about running a business in Chicago. The department connects business owners with entrepreneurship classes, management classes, seminars and other educational resources.

The Office of the City Treasurer focuses on connecting business owners with the capital they need to get their company on the right track. This includes grants, loans and other financial resources.

Use What's Available

There are going to be business development resources available to business owners in almost any city you can think of. The benefit of being in Chicago is that the city takes its role as a leading center for business very seriously. Due to this, the city invests quite a lot of resources into helping businesses develop within its borders. All you have to do is identify the resources and take advantage of what they're offering.