Small businesses are a major component of the American economy and workforce. These businesses represent nearly half of the private sector, generate over 17 million new jobs annually, and contribute almost 40% to GDP.
In addition to being vitally important to the American economy, small businesses also offer unique business opportunities for entrepreneurs. In addition to offering low barriers to entry, small businesses are often more flexible than larger corporations when it comes to operations and budgets.
The first step to success is understanding your business’s industry. The Small Business Administration has a set of numerical definitions for each industry–based on the business’s average annual receipts and number of employees.
While these definitions are useful, they can vary by industry and sub-industry. This can make it difficult to find a single standard that applies to all businesses in the United States.
Depending on the type of industry, you may also have to meet additional criteria, such as whether you are an at-risk small business or a woman-owned small business.
If your business is a women-owned small business, you must be at least 51% owned by one or more women, and primarily managed by one or more women. In addition, you must operate your business under a gender-sensitive management system and must be willing to share information with other female business owners, including employees and customers.
In the United States, women-owned small businesses account for a large percentage of all small businesses. They are particularly prevalent in service-based industries, such as retail, restaurants and hairdressers, as well as in Internet-related businesses such as web design and computer programming.
The biggest challenge for small business owners is finding the money needed to start and sustain their businesses. Fortunately, there are many sources of funding that can help small businesses grow and develop.
For example, the government provides a variety of loans and contracts specifically targeted for small businesses. Additionally, small businesses can apply for Small Business and Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, which provide funding for research and development that can lead to commercialization and the creation of new products and services.
These tools can help your small business compete with larger companies and win government contracts, which can be crucial for sustaining a successful small business. But it can be challenging to get your small business started and maintain a viable operation, especially when it comes to financing and managing employee benefits.