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A Wealth of International Resources for the American Small Business

By Dario Gomez, Former SBA Official
Published: June 21, 2013 Updated: June 21, 2013

One of the biggest challenges to both current and potential exporters is access to accurate, reliable information about the markets they want to tap. One of the most common ways large exporters address this issue is by contracting “expert” help in each country or region where they do business, that is, a local representative or source in position to provide both information and market analysis. This type of service can be -and usually is- costly. If you happen to be a large exporter, cost may not be a major issue, but for small exporters this challenge can be daunting.

Enter Direct Line. The State Department’s Direct Line to American Business program allows small businesses direct access to U.S. Ambassadors, mission teams and foreign government officials to explore market opportunities in their respective countries. Through one-on-one conference calls with U.S. officials abroad, Direct Line provides important and timely information to interested American exporters about how to do business in any particular country. Discussions range from what the best investment opportunities are in the current climate, to analysis of subsector activities in your business area. After a brief overview and guided discussion, participants ask questions to get further insights from experts in the field and the foreign government officials directly responsible for planning and procurement in specific areas. Whatever your focus, Direct Line has the answers to your questions. 

Exporting is increasingly becoming one of the most important factors in the U.S economic recovery, as clearly reflected by the priority given the National Export Initiative. It is in that context that the U.S. government, through several agencies, provides a wealth of information, resources, counseling and many other services to help U.S. exporters expand their share of the international market.

One such resource is the new Business Tab found at the top of every U.S. Embassy and Consulate homepage, which offers further support to U.S. small businesses interested in expanding their international portfolio. Business Tab provides a wealth of country-specific information, from key financial reports to news on other agency programs, such as what the International Trade Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture  are doing to assist U.S. businesses overseas. Explore where your business fits in by visiting http://www.state.gov for links to all embassy and consulate websites.

Also, be sure to watch out for the launch of a new interactive platform known as the Business Information Database System (BIDS), which is likely to rollout in the next six months. BIDS will internally manage and deliver information on foreign government business and procurement opportunities to U.S. companies, expediting and informing your business decisions.

As always, visit http://www.sba.gov/about-offices-content/1/2889 to learn more about the SBA Office of International Trade and see the various types of export assistance that are available to your small business. 

About the Author:

Dario Gomez

Former SBA Official

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White House Rural Council Growing Rural Economies, Creating Jobs

By Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
Published: June 19, 2013 Updated: June 19, 2013

Note: This blog is jointly authored by SBA Administrator Karen Mills and Tom Vilsack, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.  It first appeared on Whitehouse.gov on June 19.

This week is National Small Business Week. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), along with agencies across the Obama Administration, are hosting events in five cities. These events provide expert advice, mentoring and explore topics ranging from access to capital to exporting. Small businesses across the country can tune into these events via livestream at sba.gov.

America’s small businesses create two out of three net new private sector jobs in our economy. And today more than half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business. Our goal is to ensure that the positive economic benefits of entrepreneurship can reach every corner of the country.

That’s why today the White House Rural Council is announcing new commitments to increase access to capital and to provide additional training and counseling services to rural small businesses and entrepreneurs.

For Fiscal Years 2013 and 2014, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) have committed to support a combined $175 million in microloans to small businesses in rural areas, in addition to new business training and counseling opportunities. To date, in FY13, we have already supported nearly $85 million to rural small businesses. Since 2009, USDA and SBA have provided over 19,000 loans and grants, helping more than 60,000 rural small businesses through programs like USDA-Rural Development's Intermediary Relending Program and SBA's Microloan Program.

Twenty-five percent of SBA's microloans go to rural entrepreneurs. And the SBA provides nearly 30 percent of its in-person training and counseling sessions in USDA-designated rural communities. Our goal, at SBA, USDA and across the Obama Administration, is to continue to fill the gaps for loans in underserved rural communities and to ensure that rural entrepreneurs have the resources and training they need to turn a great business idea into a viable and growing business.

As President Obama wrote in his proclamation announcing National Small Business Week, “America's small businesses reflect the best of who we are as a Nation — daring and innovative, courageous and hopeful, always working hard and looking ahead for that next great idea. They are our economy's engine and our biggest source of new jobs.”

By taking an inclusive view of entrepreneurship, one that expands access and opportunity to more rural communities, we can spur new business formation, innovation, job creation and build strong regional economies across Rural America.

Karen Mills is the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Association.

Tom Vilsack is the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

About the Author:

Karen Mills

Former SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.

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Celebrating 2013's SCORE Chapter of the Year for National Small Business Week

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: June 18, 2013 Updated: June 18, 2013

This week is my absolute favorite of the year because National Small Business Week marks the biggest celebration of small business the whole year long. It feels almost like the week of Christmas, with Friday being the big day of celebration taking place right here in our own backyard of Washington DC. Small businesses from around the country will be recognized for their hard work and I couldn’t be more proud and excited.

Across the country, all year long, SCORE chapters work to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. Tomorrow we get to showcase a prime example of the wonderful work of our volunteers and the small business success they help create by honoring the 2013 SCORE Chapter of the Year. This year, the award goes to SCORE Lancaster located in Pennsylvania – a chapter that is truly innovative when it comes to educating and mentoring small business owners.

You need only witness the success of SCORE Lancaster’s clients to understand the great work this chapter is doing. Clients like USA Gypsum that, under the guidance of SCORE Lancaster mentor Lou Davenport, completely reworked their financial structure, resulting in incredible gains in profitability, a significant decrease in reliance on debt and overall, a sustainable new business model. President and General Manager of USA Gypsum, Terry Weaver, has worked hand in hand with his mentor for more than five years, continuously improving operations and has seen increased profits in each of those years. As mentor Lou Davenport says, USA Gypsum “is a great example of how a good business idea, combined with a fine work ethic and continuous business process improvement can all combine into a successful business that serves both market and community needs.”

Small business is certainly an important servant of local communities, but communities also help sustain small businesses. With this in mind, the volunteers at SCORE Lancaster pioneered a new method of client interaction called the Business Roundtable. Local small business owners meet to discuss issues they are facing and offer help to one another. It is a highly effective and popular event that is now utilized by chapters across the country to help small businesses interact, network and solve problems in a collaborative environment.

All year long, we are proud of the work SCORE volunteers across the country are doing. But this week, and especially tomorrow, is our chance to really put faces to those successes and give recognition to those who deserve it. Congratulations to all of the 2013 National Small Business Week Award Winners and to our Chapter of the Year, SCORE Lancaster. These small businesses and the mentors who serve them certainly have profound effects on their local communities and our country as a whole.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.

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Creative Summer Marketing Ideas

By Rieva Lesonsky, Guest Blogger
Published: June 18, 2013

Summer is here and it’s time to take to the streets. In the summer, your customers feel festive and spend more time outdoors. So, it’s the perfect time to get outside and get creative with your marketing efforts. Here are some ideas to try.

Take part in a community event. Summer in most towns is packed with fun runs, street fairs, music festivals, outdoor movie nights, concerts in the park…you get the idea. Contact your chamber of commerce and your city’s parks and recreation department to find out what events are planned for the upcoming few months. Decide which events are likely to attract your target customers, whether that’s health-minded seniors, parents with toddlers in tow or Millennial music fans. Once you’ve chosen some events with potential, you could:

·         Sponsor the event in return for your name on flyers, programs or banners at the event

·         Host a booth at the event and give out free samples or sell your product. (Be sure to collect contact information with a signup sheet or fishbowl to collect business cards).

·         Donate product to the event (a health food store could donate healthy snacks for refreshments at a fun run, for example)

Host an event for your customers. Get creative with a barbecue or beach party for your best clients and prospects. Or consider springing for something more adventurous like a Duffy boat rental or a wine tasting afternoon at a local winery. This can be a way to reward your best customers, learn more about their needs and provide them with networking opportunities that will lead to more referrals and more business. You don’t have to be a B2B business to make this work. If you own a retail store or restaurant, host a summer-themed event for your most loyal customers, like a special shopping night where they get to shop after the store is closed, or a special five-course dinner and wine tasting on a night your restaurant is usually not open.

Join with other business owners. If your business is in an area with lots of foot traffic, consider joining with the other business owners to hold a sidewalk sale or other outdoor event. Get with your chamber of commerce and plan how local businesses can attract foot traffic to the area. This could include:

·         Having a sidewalk sale where each store puts specials out on the sidewalk and offers deals to draw customers inside the store as well

·         Hosting a “stroll and savor” event where local eateries sell small samples of their menu items outside on the sidewalk

·         Hosting a music night where local musicians play inside restaurants or shops and “busk” out on the sidewalk to attract passersby

There are many other ideas, from closing off the street to cars and hosting an arts fair or classic car show, that can bring foot traffic into your shopping area. Brainstorm with other business owners to generate the best strategies for your area, and work with your city to be sure you get all the appropriate permits.

How will you market creatively this summer?

About the Author:

Rieva Lesonsky

Guest Blogger

Rieva Lesonsky is CEO and President of GrowBiz Media, a media company that helps entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses. Follow Rieva at Twitter.com/Rieva and visit SmallBizDaily.com to sign up for her free TrendCast reports. She's been covering small business and entrepreneurial issues for more than 30 years, is the author of several books about entrepreneurship and was the editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine for over two decades

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Celebrating The Mentor Magic Behind Small Business Success

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: June 17, 2013 Updated: June 21, 2013

This week is my absolute favorite of the year because National Small Business Week marks the biggest celebration of small business the whole year long. Today, in particular, feels almost like Christmas Eve because tomorrow is the big celebration taking place right here in our own backyard of Washington DC. Small businesses from around the country will be recognized for their hard work and I couldn’t be more proud and excited.

Across the country, all year long, SCORE chapters work to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. Tomorrow we get to showcase a prime example of the wonderful work of our volunteers and the small business success they help create by honoring the 2013 SCORE Chapter of the Year. This year, the award goes to SCORE Lancaster located in Pennsylvania – a chapter that is truly innovative when it comes to educating and mentoring small business owners.

You need only witness the success of SCORE Lancaster’s clients to understand the great work this chapter is doing. Clients like USA Gypsum that, under the guidance of SCORE Lancaster mentor Lou Davenport, completely reworked their financial structure, resulting in incredible gains in profitability, a significant decrease in reliance on debt and overall, a sustainable new business model. President and General Manager of USA Gypsum, Terry Weaver, has worked hand in hand with his mentor for more than five years, continuously improving operations and has seen increased profits in each of those years. As mentor Lou Davenport says, USA Gypsum “is a great example of how a good business idea, combined with a fine work ethic and continuous business process improvement can all combine into a successful business that serves both market and community needs.”

Small business is certainly an important servant of local communities, but communities also help sustain small businesses. With this in mind, the volunteers at SCORE Lancaster pioneered a new method of client interaction called the Business Roundtable. Local small business owners meet to discuss issues they are facing and offer help to one another. It is a highly effective and popular event that is now utilized by chapters across the country to help small businesses interact, network and solve problems in a collaborative environment.

All year long, we are proud of the work SCORE volunteers across the country are doing. But this week, and especially tomorrow, is our chance to really put faces to those successes and give recognition to those who deserve it. Congratulations to all of the 2013 National Small Business Week Award Winners and to our Chapter of the Year, SCORE Lancaster. These small businesses and the mentors who serve them certainly have profound effects on their local communities and our country as a whole.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.

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50 Years of National Small Business Week

By Karen Mills, Former SBA Administrator
Published: June 14, 2013 Updated: June 17, 2013

This year marks the 50th anniversary of National Small Business Week.  Although things have certainly changed since President Kennedy signed the first Presidential Proclamation in 1963, one thing that hasn’t changed is America’s entrepreneurial spirit and the important role that small business owners play in our economy and our communities.

This week, President Obama has continued America’s tradition of honoring the spirit and success of American small business owners by proclaiming June 17 - 21 to be 2013’s National Small Business Week. Small businesses have always been the backbone of our economy, and we know that the success of America’s small businesses is critical to growing our economy and increasing our nation’s global competitiveness.

Small businesses create two out of three net new private sector jobs in our economy.  And today, half of all working Americans either own or work for a small business. Over the past five years, the Obama Administration has worked to rebuild the economy and ensure that small businesses are able to do what they do best: grow and create jobs.

This year, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has revamped and redesigned our efforts to bring more tools, tips and resources to America’s 28 million small businesses, in conjunction with Administration-wide efforts to make government smarter, more responsive and more streamlined.  And throughout National Small Business Week, we’ll be focused on workshops, hands-on assistance, matchmaking and mentoring for small business owners in the following cities: 

  • June 17 - Seattle, Wa.
  • June 18 - Dallas/Ft. Worth, Texas
  • June 19 - St. Louis, Mo.
  • June 20 - Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • June 21 - Washington, D.C.

Throughout the week, we’ll be joined by entrepreneurs and experts including Jack Dorsey (Square and Twitter co-founder), Angie Hicks (founder of Angie’s List), David Steward (founder and chairman of Worldwide Technologies) and Fran Tarkenton (former NFL quarterback and entrepreneur). 

If you don’t live in these cities, you can tune into our events via live stream at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek, and by joining our daily Google + Hangouts with additional business and social media experts. During National Small Business Week, we also encourage you to visit your favorite local small business and tell us about it on Twitter with the official hashtag #SBW2013.

In Washington, D.C., we’ll finish the week by honoring outstanding entrepreneurs from every state and U.S. territory and announcing our 2013 National Small Business Person of the Year.  This year’s winners represent the incredible diversity of small businesses; from technological start-ups and health care providers, to a helicopter pilot training school and an organic vegetable farm.  And they are all inspiring examples of the drive and creativity that makes America’s small businesses the true engine of our economy.

For generations, Americans have pursued the dream of owning their own small business. During National Small Business Week, we recognize the critical role that these small businesses play in America’s economic growth and global competitiveness.

About the Author:

Karen Mills

Former SBA Administrator

Karen Gordon Mills is the Former Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration. The SBA helps both Main Street and high-growth small businesses get access to capital, counseling, federal contracts, disaster assistance and more.

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National Small Business Week Recognizing the Mentors Behind the Magic

By bridgetwpollack, Guest Blogger
Published: June 14, 2013 Updated: June 21, 2013
This week is my absolute favorite of the year because National Small Business Week marks the biggest celebration of small business the whole year long. Today, in particular, feels almost like Christmas Eve because tomorrow is the big celebration taking place right here in our own backyard of Washington DC. Small businesses from around the country will be recognized for their hard work and I couldn’t be more proud and excited. Across the country, all year long, SCORE chapters work to help small businesses start, grow and succeed. Tomorrow we get to showcase a prime example of the wonderful work of our volunteers and the small business success they help create by honoring the 2013 SCORE Chapter of the Year. This year, the award goes to SCORE Lancaster located in Pennsylvania – a chapter that is truly innovative when it comes to educating and mentoring small business owners. You need only witness the success of SCORE Lancaster’s clients to understand the great work this chapter is doing. Clients like USA Gypsum that, under the guidance of SCORE Lancaster mentor Lou Davenport, completely reworked their financial structure, resulting in incredible gains in profitability, a significant decrease in reliance on debt and overall, a sustainable new business model. President and General Manager of USA Gypsum, Terry Weaver, has worked hand in hand with his mentor for more than five years, continuously improving operations and has seen increased profits in each of those years. As mentor Lou Davenport says, USA Gypsum “is a great example of how a good business idea, combined with a fine work ethic and continuous business process improvement can all combine into a successful business that serves both market and community needs.” Small business is certainly an important servant of local communities, but communities also help sustain small businesses. With this in mind, the volunteers at SCORE Lancaster pioneered a new method of client interaction called the Business Roundtable. Local small business owners meet to discuss issues they are facing and offer help to one another. It is a highly effective and popular event that is now utilized by chapters across the country to help small businesses interact, network and solve problems in a collaborative environment. All year long, we are proud of the work SCORE volunteers across the country are doing. But this week, and especially tomorrow, is our chance to really put faces to those successes and give recognition to those who deserve it. Congratulations to all of the 2013 National Small Business Week Award Winners and to our Chapter of the Year, SCORE Lancaster. These small businesses and the mentors who serve them certainly have profound effects on their local communities and our country as a whole.

About the Author:

Bridget Weston Pollack

Guest Blogger

Bridget Weston Pollack is the Vice President of Marketing and Communications at the SCORE Association. She is responsible for all branding, marketing, PR, and communication efforts. She focuses on implementing marketing plans and strategies to facilitate the growth of SCORE’s mentoring and trainings services. She collaborates with SCORE volunteers and develops SCORE’s online marketing strategy.

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8 Smart Techniques for Improving Headlines

By smallbiztrends, Guest Blogger
Published: June 13, 2013

Even the most well-written article or blog post, or the best video, is worthless if it isn’t topped by an appealing headline. The headline is what piques the reader’s attention.

The headline has become uber-important in today’s world of social media sites. For most people, the headline is all they see on a site like Twitter. And on other sites like Google+ and Facebook, it’s a key element of what they see. If the headline isn’t good, chances are the reader won’t bother to click over to read it or view it.

In fact, Copyblogger says 75% of the readers who read the headline don’t bother reading the actual blog post.

Headlines are also important for email marketing. Here again, the subject line (i.e., the “headline” for an email marketing message) has a lot to do with whether people will open the message.

With a little effort and a lot of inspiration, you can improve your headlines and increase the number of people who want to read your articles and view your video or other content.

Read Other Headlines.

The best places for inspiration are popular sites that have many readers. Alltop, BusinessInsider.com, BuzzFeed.com and BizSugar are good places to go to find headlines that get lots of clicks, so take notes.

If you pay attention, you’ll see that the headlines aren’t stuffy, and that they entice you to learn more in the actual post.

Create Mystery and Curiosity.

A good headline leaves the reader wanting more. Take this example from social content site, BuzzFeed: 

“Let’s Hope This Trend Does Not Catch On”

You’re probably at least a little curious about that, aren’t you? It’s hard to resist finding out just which trend they are talking about.

Play on Emotions.

Humans are emotional beings, and we want to feel something. Evoke emotions in the headline, and you can get more clicks. Here’s an example from TheChive.com:

“Homeless Man Tells Heartbreaking Story”

We’re ready for an emotional response to that story.

Use Numbers.

When you use a number in your headline, you’re letting readers know exactly what to expect. When you read the headline to this post, you knew there would be eight tips on improving headlines. No more, no less. Today’s readers are impatient and want to quickly skim content, and numbers let them do so.

Here’s a related point: generally speaking, the bigger the number, the more likely people are to bookmark and save an article. Two tips might not be bookmarkable. But 8, 10 or 12 tips – well, that’s a different story.

Ask a Question.

Consider Chris Brogan’s post, “Do Local Businesses Deserve Your Money?”  It’s a good question.

The reader is forced to ask himself the question, and if he doesn’t have the answer, he’ll be inclined to click. Whether the article answers the question to his satisfaction is a different matter – but the headline at least gets him to click.

Stand Out by Sounding a Bit Over the Top.

Tabloid magazines have mastered the art of the outrageous, but that doesn’t mean your business blog can’t apply the same technique – in moderation. Use words like:

●     Secrets

●     Revealed

●     Superlatives like biggest, the ultimate, best

Just be careful because you don’t want to lose credibility by creating headlines like this all the time or by being too outrageous.

Also, make sure the article delivers on what the headline promises. Don’t claim to bring the reader the “ultimate” guide to whatever or the “best advice” on some topic, only to offer up a mere 150 words stating the obvious. If you’re going to deliver the ultimate guide, then it had better live up to it.

Write for Humans, Not Search Engines.

Your headline shouldn’t sound like a robot wrote it. It should appeal to people first and foremost. That being said, whenever possible you should naturally work in a keyword or keyphrase into your headline. That way people searching for a topic can find your content in search engines. 

However, there’s a difference between working in a keyword in a natural way in an interesting headline, and headlines that read like keyword searches (“Video for small business”). Headlines that read like keyword searches you’d plug into Google are boring. Today’s reader expects more and is not likely to click on a dull title like that. Make it more interesting than that.  

Use the Right Tools and Resources.

If you’re not feeling creative, use tools to come up with a strong headline. Give the tool a noun or verb, and the Tweak Your Biz Title Generator provides dozens of headline possibilities. They will at least get your creative juices flowing, even if you don’t use any of the suggested headlines.

Copyblogger’s How to Write Magnetic Headlines is an 11-part series that will give you headline formulas and templates for your content.

To see if these eight tips work for you, be sure to experiment. Every industry and every audience is different. Not everything may appeal. Once you see which headlines YOUR readers are responding to, you can apply the same techniques to develop new headlines and increase traffic to your blog.

About the Author:

Anita Campbell

Guest Blogger

My name is Anita Campbell. I run online communities and information websites reaching over 6 million small business owners, stakeholders and entrepreneurs annually, including Small Business Trends, a daily publication about small business issues, and BizSugar.com, a small business social media site.

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Credit Literacy Quiz: Test Your Credit Knowledge

By Marco Carbajo, Guest Blogger
Published: June 11, 2013

Despite the massive amounts of resources being assembled in the cause of financial literacy, year after year, surveys uncover that people all over the country are as financially and credit illiterate as ever.

Winning this battle requires us to be diligent and forward thinking. It begins by educating our children on sound credit and financial management principles.

To test your credit literacy, see how well you answer the following questions:

  1. Do you know your current FICO® score? You’re not alone if you answered no. Nearly 70.5 million people are unaware of their current credit scores.
  2. If you know your FICO® score, did you know a 740 or above allows you to save the most money and have the most control over your financial position? Unfortunately, about 43 million people have a 599 credit score or lower. Not to mention the millions of people with scores below 740.
  3. Are you aware that identity theft is the fastest growing crime in our country today? It’s shocking to hear that every 3 seconds, an identity is stolen. By the time you finish reading this post, think about the number of people whose identity has just been stolen.
  4. Do you know one of the ways to protect your credit scores is to keep credit card balances under 30% of the credit limits? Your level of debt, also known as credit utilization, accounts for 30% of your credit scores. A low credit utilization on each account and overall demonstrates that you can responsibly use credit.
  5. Did you know your credit score impacts what you’ll pay not only on mortgages, auto loans and credit cards, but also your insurance premiums? The fact is that it could cost you over $200k in interest, expenses and fees over the course of your lifetime if you have less than excellent credit scores.
  6. Are you aware that over 50% of employers use credit scores as a factor in determining who they will hire? While eight states now limit employers’ use of credit information in employment, the remaining states still allow its use.
  7. Do you know that you are entitled to one free credit report per year from Equifax, Transunion and Experian? Nearly two thirds of the population (that’s 65% or 148 million people) has not ordered a free credit report in the past year.
  8. Did you know there is a way to prohibit creditors’ ability from pulling your credit report for promotional purposes? If you don’t want to receive prescreened offers of credit and insurance, you have two choices: you can opt out of receiving them for five years or opt out permanently. To opt out for five years, call toll free 1-888-567-8688 or visit optoutprescreen.com to opt out for either five years or permanently.
  9. Do you know nearly 80% of all consumer credit reports contain inaccuracies or erroneous accounts?  In a recent FTC study one in four consumers identified errors on their reports that might affect their credit scores.
  10. Are you aware that credit reporting agencies are privately held billion dollar companies, not government agencies? A credit reporting agency (CRA) is a company that is in the business of collecting and selling information about how people handle credit. They are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

So how did you do? We all know knowledge is power, but it’s only powerful when it’s applied. The real test is being able to utilize what you know or learn more about what you don’t. Let these questions help you measure your credit knowledge and see where you stand.

About the Author:

Marco Carbajo

Guest Blogger

Marco Carbajo is a business credit expert, author, speaker, and founder of the Business Credit Insiders Circle. He is a business credit blogger for Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp, the SBA.gov Community, About.com and All Business.com. His articles and blog; Business Credit Blogger.com, have been featured in 'Fox Small Business','American Express Small Business', 'Business Week', 'The Washington Post', 'The New York Times', 'The San Francisco Tribune',‘Alltop’, and ‘Entrepreneur Connect’.

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Let’s Celebrate National Small Business Week – Together, Online and in your Community!

By ngoriel, SBA Official
Published: June 10, 2013 Updated: June 13, 2013

 

SBA is gearing up for National Small Business Week, June 17-21. This year we are taking the show on the road offering educational panels and workshops on topics like how to start business, social media 101, how to protect your business against cyber security threats, how to start exporting, just to name a few.

The week will kick off in Seattle on June 17, followed by events in Dallas, St. Louis and Pittsburgh. We’ll end the week in Washington, DC were we will honor small businesses from across the United States and culminate in the announcement of the National Small Business Person of the Year.

Check out the full conference schedule here.

Hang Out with SBA and Industry Experts

As part of National Small Business Week, SBA will host a series of Google+ Hangouts which will be  streamed live at www.sba.gov/smallbusinessweek, http://www.youtube.com/sba, and http://plus.google.com/+sbagov. All Hangouts will start at 4pm ET. Topics and panelists include:

Panelists from Twitter, Constant Contact, W20 Group and Google will hang out.  Bill Murphy Jr.,  author and columnist for Inc.com will moderate the Hangout.

Panelists from Yelp, LinkedIn, OpenSky, Dun and Bradstreet Credibility Corp., Google and Manta will hang out. Rieva Lesonsky, CEO of GrowBiz Media will moderate the Hangout.                  

Panelists from the SBA's Office of Entrepreneurial Development, America's Small Business Development Centers, and Women’s Business Centers will hang out.  Fran Tarkenton, NFL legend and entrepreneur will moderate the Hangout.

Panelists from Wells Fargo, SCORE, SBA Office of Capital Access, and SBA loan recipient Ninkasi Brewing Company will hang out.  Calvin Goings, SBA regional administrator will moderate the Hangout. 

How can you get Involved?

You can still register for events in St. Louis, and Washington, DC.  If you can't travel, you can still take part by joining live streaming webcasts of all events and Hangouts as they happen (keep an eye on the event website and follow SBA on Twitter and Facebook for more details as the event approaches).  If you are tweeting, the official hashtag is #SBW2013.

About the Author:

Natale Goriel

SBA Official

Hi, my name is Natale and I'm serving as a Moderator for the SBA Community. Our goal is to continually improve this site to meet your needs, so we appreciate your feedback and participation.

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