I talk to a great number of people who are starting up new business ventures, or maybe have companies that are a bit more mature.  When you’re in this critical stage, one of the big problems you have is getting advice for your decisions.

Well, I take that back.  Getting advice is easy – just go to Google.  Getting USEFUL advice is the hard problem.  So here are some resources that you might not have been aware of.

  • Colorado Small Business Development Center (SBDC): There’s locations in Boulder, Longmont, Greeley, Fort Collins, and all over the rest of the state.  But even if you’re in Windsor, Wellington, Loveland, or other smaller towns, you can take advantage of this because it’s a state-wide resource.  They have great information, inexpensive classes, and even consulting.
  • Loveland Center for Business Development: It appears that this isn’t formally part of the SBDC network, but offers many of the same services.
  • Poudre River Public Library, Fort Collins: Most of the resources are absolutely free to anyone in the community, including some amazing databases that I can access on my computer at home.  Anne MacDonald, the library’s business expert, is wonderful at being able to navigate the wealth of information.  Other libraries: Longmont, Boulder, High Plains (Greeley).
  • Northern Colorado Business Report, Boulder County Business Report: These two papers do a great job of keeping up on the local economy and issues that affect small business.  It’s well worth a subscription, but the information is also available online.  They also sponsor a good number of local events, where you can talk with other business leaders in the area.
  • Chambers of Commerce: Fort Collins, Loveland, Greeley, Windsor, Johnstown-Milliken, Longmont, Boulder, Berthoud (and here’s even a larger list, although not totally complete):  This is a great way to connect up with other businesses in your area – as partners, as customers, as advisers.  The Chambers exist to support and promote YOUR business, so find out what they do!  Each Chamber is a bit different.

Of course, I have to put in a shameless plug for my business:  Getting information and free advice is wonderful.  But at some point, you may need some help for applying it to YOUR situation, putting plans in place, and taking action.  That’s where business coaches are a valuable investment, so check us out.