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It is great you are trying to start out on your own to be a successful entrepreneur. Studies show that most of the millionaires in this country got that way by having their own business. I know it must be real confusing to figure out just where to go first when you get one of my big books. I hope this service will solve some of that problem. Let's get started.
Another great opportunity within the government is the wonderful free services that are available to run any business. You can get free assistance on anything from choosing the right computer, help with developing a business plan to free legal advice. Here is a starting place:
*Wisconsin Small Business Development CenterSmall Business Development Centers (SBDCs) could be the best deal the government has to offer to entrepreneurs and inventors, and a lot of people don't even know about them! Where else in the world can you have access to a $150 an hour consultant for free? There are over 700 of these offices all over the country and they offer free (or very low-cost) consulting services on most aspects of business including:
-how to write a business plan-how to get financing-how to protect your invention-how to sell your idea-how to license your product-how to comply with the laws-how to write a contract-how to sell overseas-how to get government contracts-how to help you buy the right equipment
To find a center near you contact: University of Wisconsin, 432 North Lake Street, Room 423, Madison, WI 53706, 608-263-7794, 800-940-SBDC, Fax: 608-263-7830, www.wisconsinsbdc.org
Every state has a number of money programs for people to start or expand a business in their state. Governors compete with other governors to see who can create the most jobs, and that's why they offer money for people who create jobs in their state. You don't even have to be a resident of the state. You can live in one state and put your business in a state that offers you more money. States also offer special money for entrepreneurs to put their business in certain areas of the state or in certain parts of a city. There are also other money programs to build buildings or renovate old buildings. Some of this money comes from federal sources which is given to the states and distributed to entrepreneurs in the state. Other money is generated from local taxes. And some states use the winnings from their lottery money to give to entrepreneurs to create or expand businesses.
Many states offer programs from more than one agency. So it may take some time to find all the programs in a given state. A good place to start is your State Government Office of Economic Development located in your state capital. Contact your state at: The Department of Commerce (COMMERCE), 201 W. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53707, 608-266-1018, Business Helpline: 800-HELP-BUSiness, Fax Request Hotline: 608-264-6154, Export Helpline: 800-XPORT-Wisconsin, www.commerce.state.wi.us
You can actually get up to $1,000,000 in grants and/or loans to open or expand a business from the U.S. Federal Government alone. There are over 100 different money programs available from offices ranging from the U.S. Small Business Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For the best source in identifying all federal only government money programs available, look at a government published book called The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance published by the U.S. Government Printing Office (www.gpo.gov) or look at it for free on the web at www.cfda.gov. Another good starting place to find anything in the federal government is a free service called the Federal Information Center at 1-800-FED-INFO or www.pueblo.gsa.gov/call.
The Wisconsin Small Business Administration Office delivers a variety of programs and services, such as start-up and operational assistance through small business training and counseling, financial assistance for start-ups, operational and disaster help, business opportunities, such as government contracting, subcontracting, procurement, and much more. For information on how the Small Business Administration programs may be of help to you, contact: Small Business Administration (SBA), 310 West Wisconsin Ave., #400, Milwaukee, WI 53203, 414-297-3941, www.sba.gov/wi
Question: Do you know what is better than a $100,000 government grant?Answer: A $100,000 government contract. Because with a grant you are most likely to get it once and with a contract you can keep getting it over and over again. Question: Do you know who buys more of anything than anyone else in the world? Answer: The government, including federal, state, local and county.
The government buys more than anyone else of any product or service you can think of. My sister lives in Virginia and has a small framing business and has done about $1 million in government contracts. You just have to find out who in the government buys your product and figure out the paperwork on how to get paid.
But don't worry too much about the work required and the paperwork involved because there are offices that will help you do all this and they will do it FOR FREE. Here is where you can turn for help:
But remember one thing: selling to the government is like going elephant hunting. When you bag one of these babies you have meat for a long time.
The government will give you:
The money is in the form of tax credits on your federal and/or your state income taxes. If you are paying any taxes then this is truly free money because it is taken right off your tax bill. To find out about every tax credit at your state level contact your state Department of Revenue by calling 411 and asking for the state capital operator, or go to www.govengine.com and click on your state and start looking for the Department of Revenue. For information on all federal tax credits, contact Internal Revenue Service, 202-622-5000 or 800-829-1040 (Business Tax Questions) or go to www.irs.ustreas.gov/formspubs/. You can also turn to the Wisconsin Development office for help: A good place to start is your State Government Office of Economic Development located in your state capital. Contact your state at: Department of Commerce (COMMERCE), 201 W. Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53707, 608-266-1018, Business Helpline: 800-HELP-BUSiness, Fax Request Hotline: 608-264-6154, Export Helpline: 800-XPORT-Wisconsin, www.commerce.state.wi.us
Maybe you don't need a bunch of money to get your idea off the ground. Maybe all you need is just a few thousand dollars to get your idea to go. Well, there are hundreds of non-profit organizations that offer small grants and easy loans aimed at people who would never be able to get money from traditional sources. It is difficult to locate all of these groups around the country, but two good starting places are: 1) Association for Enterprise Opportunity at 703-841-7760 or http://www.aeoworks.org/index.php/site/page/category/find/ and 2) The Foundation Center at 212-620-4230 or www.fdncenter.org
Here are more sources for money and help that are just for people with disabilities. Thought you might find these useful:
Check out the website www.disabilityinfo.govDisabilityInfo.gov is the federal government's gateway to disability-related information and resources. You can find information on employment, housing, health, income support, technology, transportation and independent living.
State Vocational Rehabilitation OfficesState Vocational Rehabilitation offices are the main entry point for services within your state. Services differ from state to state, but they can provide medical information, vocational training, adaptive equipment, business assistance, counseling, and more. To locate your state vocational office contact your state operator or check out the website www.govengine.com or a listing can be found at www.jan.wvu.edu/SBSES/.
Financial Aid For People With DisabilitiesThis is a free report written by the American Council on Education and provides a wealth of information on how to fund a college education. It takes you step-by-step through the financial aid process, explaining the types of aid available and what you will be expected to pay. What is great about this report is that it explains how to make sure that disability expenses are covered and what government agencies fit into the financial aid process. It details how disability benefits can be protected while in college and provides a list of scholarship information for those with disabilities. This report is available through the Education Resources Information Center (ERIS) at 800-LET-ERIC (538-3742) or online at www.eric.ed.gov.
Find All Federal Government Money Programs For DisabilitiesThey are described in a book called the Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance. This book is available at your local public library or the U.S. Government Printing Office www.gpo.gov. You can also search the content of the book for free on the web at www.cfda.gov.
Free Job Training, Help And Money for the DisabledWe cannot emphasize enough the help that is available from your state. We have known people who have gotten $11,000 to start a business at home and $15,000 to finish a degree because they were suffering from low self-esteem. Terri Handshoe got her college education paid for, as well as had an interpreter and books covered during schooling. Sandy Smith got a $3,000 custom designed telephone system, which allowed her to work for a major hotel chain. You can receive:
Your state Vocational Rehabilitation offices want to keep you a productive member of society, and they will do what it takes to get you on your way. If you are denied any of these services, you have several places you can turn for help. The first stop is your state Client Assistance Program. They will help you learn your rights and handle the appeal to get you what you need. They can take your appeal process from the first stages, all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary and it won't cost you a penny.
Be sure to personally contact each of the sources presented above.See if you can talk to someone about your specific problem. The more you talk with people, the more you will get from the program. People are human (sorry) and they will relate to you and want to help you if you let them. This can become a people business. The nicer you are to these people, the nicer they will be to you. That's on average. There are always nasty people in the world no matter how nice you are to them. Keep remembering that these people have the power to help you and they get the same paycheck whether they help you or not. So, give them a chance to help you.
Your objective is to get an application to fill out or to get another potential source from these people if they cannot help you directly. So if they can't help you, before you hang up you ask, "Do you know of any other officers or programs that might help?"DON'T hire a grant writer if you have problems filling out any application for money. All you have to do is contact the office handing out the money. It is their job to help you with any problems you have. If, for some reason they are not helpful, contact the local office of your U.S. Congressman and/or U.S. Senator and ask them where you might turn to for help. They should know non-profit organizations in you area that can help.
Wow. You are probably tired just from reading all this, and you haven't even started any of the real work yet. That's the problem with life nowadays. It's a lot bigger and complicated than it used to be. When I grew up in the 50s there used to be just one place to turn to for help, and that one person seemed to know it all. Now times have changed. No one person knows everything anymore. Life's become so complex. Even I, who has been studying money programs for over 25 years, and am likely to be the best one in the country at it, still don't feel like I know it all.
You can't trust a "no" answer anymore. No, just means that they don't know anything. It seems that success in this world goes to those who don't take no for an answer and find a way to solve the problem no matter what the experts say. The experts are wrong too many times to trust them completely.
It's fun to continue to learn new sources of help and new skills for finding money. I always believe that the sources you identify this time and don't use will be of value to you some time in the future, but you just don't know it yet.
I hope our sources give you some help. Hang in there; it's a big world and there are lots of sources waiting to help you, but they won't come looking for you, you have to go looking for them.
Matthew LeskoEntrepreneur and Best Selling AuthorInformation USA, Incwww.lesko.com