(StatePoint) As every small business owner soon learns, growing sources of revenue and cash flow are key to survival, particularly during a venture’s first few years. While this is easier said than done, small businesses can focus on attracting new customers, building partnerships and scaling up sustainably to improve cash flow.
To get you started, Wells Fargo is sharing actionable tips for entrepreneurs, along with information about how to leverage helpful resources:
1. Create an action plan: Don’t just make a business plan, put it into action. Tech tools can help. For example, the Silver Lining Action Plan, a data-driven software service from the American Small Business Growth Program, provides wide-ranging support and structure so you can develop behaviors and drive actions that lead to long-term, sustainable growth. The program also offers the opportunity to build capital, lending money to business owners based on their behavior in the program, not their credit history. With Wells Fargo philanthropic funding, the program is expanding and is now available in Spanish.
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“Having access to a trusted expert in business and financial planning can be a game-changer for any small business owner to get their initial footing and grow for the long-term,” said Jenny Flores, head of small business growth philanthropy at Wells Fargo. “We are very intentional about funding non-profit organizations that can help guide small business owners through goal setting and improving their profitability.”
2. Expand your network: Expanding your network can be a powerful path to attracting new customers, contracts and cash flow. In addition to joining your local chamber of commerce, consider opportunities like Wells Fargo’s Connect to More program, which through the Nasdaq Entrepreneurial Center, places women entrepreneurs from across the country into “circles” that receive virtual and in-person peer and professional coaching over 12 weeks, plus the support of a growing network of fellow business leaders. Since its inception, the program has empowered more than 1,200 entrepreneurs in 47 states to grow their business through a wider network of engagement.
3. Scaling up: From streamlining operations to adjusting the business model, there are many moving parts to scaling up a business. Look into programs that can help you develop a growth mindset and provide you with an empowering ecosystem of support needed to make it happen.
The Latino Business Action Network’s Business Scaling Program, a nine-week online and in-person hybrid program at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, teaches participants about funding and capital options and pairs them with mentors who will challenge and support them. Corporate funders like Wells Fargo make it possible for the program to offer significant scholarships to admitted participants.
4. Get certified: If you’re a diverse business owner, consider getting certified with a third party, such as the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, the National LGBT Chamber of Commerce or Disability:In. Doing so can open up lucrative opportunities. For example, Wells Fargo, which is committed to working with diverse suppliers, spent over $330 million with certified women-owned businesses in 2021 alone.
“As a bank that serves millions of small business customers, we know that success is hard to come by without support,” said Flores. “That’s why we’re always trying to connect entrepreneurs to valuable resources and contacts. It’s important to find the right expertise for where you are on running or growing your company.”
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