Owning your own business is an exciting, convoluted, rewarding journey. However, like any journey, it helps to have a map of where you’re going and where you should stop along the way. We’re immensely proud of Secure Shredding & Recycling and its growth (we now have two, not one, off-site shredding locations), but we started off like everyone else: from scratch.
We know from our own experience that a little bit of help can make a huge difference. That’s why we’ve rounded up some of our favorite resources for small businesses or entrepreneurs in the Lake Charles area.
Read on, see if there’s anything useful you can use, and then go seize your moment.
1. SBA Learning Center
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) is set up to help you succeed. This means free online courses (ranging from how to market your business through social media to attracting and winning over investors) as well as follow-up courses once you’re ready to expand your business to a second location.
If you want to take the next step, the SBA also has a mentorship program that you can apply for as well as free business counseling.
2. Louisiana geauxBIZ
Don’t underestimate how helpful this website truly is. In one place, you can make a checklist of to-dos, reserve your new business name, officially register your business, and, once it’s up and running, file amendments online. Basically, geauxBIZ is there to take all the hassle out of paperwork and make it easy to find out what you need to know when you’re filing it.
With over 10,000 volunteers in 300 chapters across the United States, SCORE is the place to go for free business mentoring. They regularly host educational webinars and local workshops (and no sweat if you miss a webinar; they’re recorded and made available online). The main draw, of course, is the ability to find a business mentor, who will help answer your questions and guide you as you establish the main goals for your new business.
They also have an impressive library of business templates, videos, and online courses – all free – that is constantly updated. Once you’re established as a small business owner, you can give back by signing up to mentor someone else.
4. LED Small Business Incentives
The entire Louisiana Economic Development website is a treasure trove of information, but if you’re looking for a little assistance getting your business up and running, start here. From tax credits up to 25%, grants, market research, veteran incentives, and assistance programs, you won’t have to go at it alone.
5. EBRPL Small Business Services
Ever since the first one opened in the early 1700s, public libraries have been an invaluable resource for all members of the community, and entrepreneurs are no different. The East Baton Rouge Parish Library (EBRPL) has an absolutely fantastic array of services and selections for small businesses and startups.
From an Overdrive ebook collection of the latest titles in business education to online business courses and a career center, if you don’t know something, you’ll find the answer here. There’s even an online plan builder for starting, managing, and optimizing your business.
All you need to get started is a library card.
Owning a Business in Lake Charles
Lake Charles is home to one of our off-site shredding dropoff locations, and while we may be slightly biased, we think it’s a pretty fantastic place to work. We hope you’ll get something valuable out of the above resources, and we look forward to seeing you around the area!
If you’re interested in information on how our off-site shredding services can give your new business an additional helping hand, give us a call at (225) 751-8535 or send us a message online.