Those starting a small business often lack the full knowledge of all the skills required for success. Even those with extensive education or experience in business still need to update their entrepreneurial responsibilities. This includes: employee management, tax issues, business development, accounting, etc.

Fortunately, the range of small-business-oriented learning opportunities and training programs has never been broader for veteran and novice entrepreneurs alike. Seeking help is simply smart. No business owner can be adept at every aspect of operating successfully. Plus, conditions change, so keeping yourself informed is vital to long-term success.

L-A SCORE Chairman Robert Kennelly recommends referencing probably the single most popular program in America, the SBA Small Business Training Network/E-Business Institute. “With nearly a million users each year, the Small Business Training Network is a Web-based conglomerate that can link you to online courses, workshops, publications, learning tools, informational resources and access to electronic counseling and other types of technical help. To reach this program, go to www.sba.gov and click “Training” under the site’s “Services” section.

Free online courses are offered on about 75 topics in areas such as business startup, growing your business, home-based business and re-engineering your skills. Sample titles include: Growth Strategies, Analyzing Profitability, Building Your Brand and Understanding Business Insurance.

The “Tools” section of www.sba.gov gives you access to an extensive library of articles, podcasts, and Web chats on various small business issues.

Kennelly also notes, “Local colleges and training organizations, including SCORE chapters, offer various seminars, workshops and free business assessments. Some business training courses can be taken online as well as the more traditional classroom environments. Most require a fee, and some may also have educational prerequisites.”

To learn more about training opportunities and building your small business, contact SCORE, a nonprofit organization of more than 12,000 volunteer business counselors who provide confidential counseling and training workshops. In the Lewiston-Auburn area, call L-A SCORE at 782-3708 for additional information and an appointment; in Rumford-Mexico call 364-3123; in Oxford Hills call 743-0499. Or contact SCORE at www.SCOREMaine.org.


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