Take the Next Step With Your Business

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 Tips and resources that can help you get started Did you know that women business owners are a growing force? Here are some powerful facts from the Census on women-owned businesses:
  • 7.8 million US businesses are owned by women. This represents a 44 percent increase from 1997-2007, and is twice the growth rate of men-owned businesses!
  • Women-owned businesses generate $1.2 trillion a year and employ 7.6 million people.
Along with the chance to achieve financial success and be your own boss, owning a business can bring new opportunities and give you flexibility and independence. The following checklist and resources can help you take the first steps and assess your needs.
  • Do you plan to purchase or expand your business? As an alternative to a conventional bank loan, a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan can help meet your financial needs. The SBA provides short and long-term working capital loans for local businesses up to $5 million. Whether you’re refinancing, acquiring or expanding, your local community banker can walk you through this process seamlessly.
  • Do you receive payments through the mail? Then lockbox services are perfect for your business. Customers’ payments are collected and processed by the bank’s designated agent, allowing your business to improve the availability of funds.
  • Do you need to deposit checks from your home or office? Remote deposit capture allows you to deposit checks day or night. You just scan the checks and then securely transmit the check images for deposit. It saves on trips to the bank!
Business resources
  • Michigan Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC): As part of a national network, the SBTDC provides services to growing businesses such as strategic needs assessment (SNA) and market analysis, as well as ongoing strategy development and more. To contact the Capitol area Business Resource Center or to learn more, visit misbtdc.org.
  • SCORE: SCORE is a national network of volunteer professionals who advise small businesses and provide free training. There are chapters in Michigan, as well as online classes available. To learn more, visit www.score.org.
  • Entreprenuer.com: You’ll find tons of helpful business tips at Entreprenuer.com. An economical way to market your business is to create a LinkedIn group for free. By providing your professional network with helpful information, you can build visits to your website. Visit www.entrepreneur.com to find more ways to market your business.
As you make plans for your business, remember to contact your local community bank. When you work with your community banker, you have the advantage of working with someone who can provide you with a program that’s based on your needs.
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Tags: advice, Financial Facts, Independent Bank, tips, Women-owned businesses

Denise Wheaton

Denise Wheaton has served as a senior vice president with Independent Bank since 1987. In her service at Independent Bank, Wheaton helps manage the bank’s assets and network of full-service banking and loan offices. Regionally, Wheaton offers community banking leadership to 22 markets, and directs branch and retail administration.