7 ways we can support your Rhode Island small business

Small businesses are the beat in the heart of the American economy. They put a spotlight on the creative spirit of local entrepreneurs, make space for meaningful jobs, and truly foster the health of communities by reinvesting their ingenuity. Without small businesses, the diversity of business ideas has a limit.

“The key to helping entrepreneurs is connecting and developing a personal relationship with them,” said Manuel Batlle, Associate Director of the RISBDC. By establishing a trusted connection, the organization is able to help hundreds of business owners grow and prosper, contributing to a more stable community.

We know it is intimidating or overwhelming to stand out among bigger businesses, but we’re here to reassure you this dream you have is more than possible. Here are seven unique ways we can help your Rhode Island small business succeed.

1.   Get your business idea off the ground

If you spend all daydreaming about owning your own small business, it’s time to let those ideas come out of your mind and onto paper. Our RISBDC business counselors compiled several key questions to answer before you bring your small business dreams to life. Another way to get started is with our “The Right Foot” webinars. We’ll help you vet your business idea and teach you how to set up your business.

2.   Create a solid business plan

Taking your small business idea seriously means you’re willing to put in the work to build a business plan. Developing a plan for your Rhode Island small business is a critical step, and one we have helped scores of entrepreneurs accomplish. Your business plan will help you deeply understand your strengths, competition, customers, challenges, financial needs, and long-term goals. Save time by avoiding these common business plan mistakes.

3.   Help secure funding opportunities

If limited funding feels like a barrier to entry, don’t let that stop you. There are many ways we can help you gain the capital you need to finance your small business. We can also guide you through financial literacy so you feel confident understanding whether your company is on the right track or if red flags are on the horizon.

4.   Expand into other domestic and international markets

With expanding into new domestic or international markets, there are a common set of qualities that small businesses need to have. We can help you articulate the benefits of selling abroad and outline the initial steps towards this goal for your Rhode Island small business.

5.   Connect you with industry-specific resources

While we have the training and expertise to help you get your small business off the ground, sometimes you need the perspective or advice of other professionals. Our work as Rhode Island small business counselors means we are very connected to other experts who can weigh in on your business plans. Not only that, we have developed deep relationships with other small business owners who can tell you all about their success stories and keep you inspired. 

6.   Develop a robust marketing strategy

A well-developed marketing strategy fuels your business plan. It’s what will amplify the products or services for your small business. As you develop this plan, it’s important to consider your business goals, market research, target audience, budget, and resources to name a few. If you have little marketing experience, need strategy guidance, or are looking for growth tips, our experts can assist.

7.   Be your business sounding board

The psychological barriers you face when starting a small business can be more daunting than the logistical ones. Building a small business is a journey with many adventures along the way. Some will be exciting, others may feel defeating, but no matter where you are, you can lean on our experts for your concerns, challenges, or questions.

Get support for your Rhode Island small business today

The Rhode Island Small Business Development Center employs a dedicated, experienced, and knowledgeable staff of business counselors and administrators who can assist you in growing your business. Register now for free, confidential business advice from our advisors here, call (401) 874-7232 to make a counseling appointment, or attend one of our free webinars