5 Reasons to Attend SBA Events
SBA events – while they will take you out of the office – do present real benefits for small business owners. In this post, we’ll share the five reasons that you should select and attend SBA events that are relevant to you and your business.
1. Hear from industry and subject matter experts
As a small business owner with limited resources, there’s only so much you can possibly know. Although self-starters tend to tackle things on their own, learning to leverage the knowledge of specialists is vital. Business development courses and seminars present valuable insights on a wide range of topics including tax issues, marketing strategies and financial plans, to name a few. And because many of these courses feature experts with real-world experience, you get timely, relevant information that you can’t find in textbooks.
One recent event by the Small Business Administration was a webinar that featured a CPA who talked about tax issues for small businesses. The webinar was offered for free and attendees got to hear advice from a fully-qualified CPA. It was high-quality advice which they’d otherwise have to pay for.
2. Helps you look before you leap
If you’re looking to start a business, or are trying to expand an existing business, you’ll need to leverage every resource you have to educate yourself. Events like webinars or SBA events can give you a sneak peek into a line of business before you invest time and money.
Examples of some recent business events (and their descriptions) sponsored by SBA.gov include:
- Doing Business with Genentech: learn from a Genentech presenter about opportunities to sell goods and services to Genentech.
- Funding Sources: webinar presented by industry experts about finance sources for entrepreneurs and small businesses.
- Exploring Business Ownership: the SBA educates prospective business owners about the basics of starting a small business.
Browse the SBA site and other business-related sites. You’ll be amazed at the insights you can learn, even in very specific niches, if you look in the right places.
3. Learn from new perspectives
As a small business owner, you’re likely doing quite a bit by yourself. At most, you might be working with a small team. Attending business events or taking courses gives you the unique opportunity to learn from perspectives other than your own. Even the most customer-focused entrepreneur may fail to see a solution that’s sitting right in front of them, just because they’ve been thinking about the problem for too long.
Hearing people with varied backgrounds talk about your business challenges can stoke the flames of innovation that every business owner needs.
4. Learn New Skills
Business development courses have taken off in recent years. Sites like Lynda and Udemy are a great resource to learn a wide variety of foundational knowledge and skills perfect for entrepreneurs. Obviously, these courses don’t tell you everything you need to know, but they can be instrumental in teaching you skills that will benefit your business
They’re especially well-suited for small business owners because they offer the flexibility to learn on your own time.
Design, web development, software development, marketing, customer service and Excel tips are among the huge number of topics covered by business training sites. Many of SBA’s courses focus on attaining new skills, so be sure to keep an eye out for any course that teaches a skill you’d like to attain.
There’s a common quote that’s become a cliché among entrepreneurs: “Ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money.”
But it holds true. An educational event or seminar is a great place to meet like-minded people who share similar goals. Moreover, you put yourself in a great position to make meaningful connections with people, especially industry experts who make the presentations.
You never know how making these contacts will impact your business down the line – but a group of people who are making a focused effort to improve is never a bad collection of people to surround yourself with.
Ready to Attend SBA Events?
If you’re interested in attending SBA’s events, check out this page.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.