Startups are romantic, aren’t they? We often think of a startup company as something someone starts in their basement or in their garage. And, eventually, they become “big.”
They outgrow meager beginnings and start drawing serious cash from investors. Well, not all startup stories are like that. In fact, most startup companies go nowhere. But, the federal government wants to help those businesses so they’re not forgotten.
Pretty much anyone with a good idea can make it big in America. That’s something that’s always been true. And, it’s important that small businesses succeed because they create jobs for other people. However, when it comes to getting off the ground, the U.S. is ranked 46th in the world.
Part of the problem is availability of financing. Sometimes, it’s government regulation and licensing. When it’s too difficult to get started, people give up. Dreams die before they get off the ground. Businesses that could be, never are.
Machining and engineering company Winward Engineering Ltd is one such example of a company that started out in a one-car garage and grew to become one of the most recognizable businesses in its space.
Today, a high-growth company might find it difficult to grow beyond a certain size without help, however. They’re connecting with their Members of Congress in something called “Startup Day Across America.”
It’s an event that’s championed by Congressman Jared Polis of Colorado. The event gives members and entrepreneurs the opportunity to discuss challenges that they face. It also gives them an opportunity to identify ways Congress can help and support the startup community.
America remains one of the best places to start a company. But, beyond the tech sector, entrepreneurs all over the country are reshaping industries like energy and aerospace, food, outdoor recreation and bioscience. Even the beer industry is being invigorated by recent entrants in the craft beer space — pushing out larger companies who have traditionally relied on loyal customers to keep buying their product.
Today, it seems, consumers want quality over quantity. And, so, small businesses are thriving, especially those whose focus is on quality and bespoke or custom solutions.
Startup Day shows that businesses don’t have to go it alone. “Startup in a Day” is one initiative that Obama has asked local municipalities and state governments to participate in. The event is designed to help startups get the permits, licenses, and other documents they need, filed, in one day.
For example, a business has many different documents that are required to be turned in to state regulators before business can start. One of those documents is a “DBA” or certificate of assumed name. These certificates are typically filed with local county clerks and alert the public that a new business is open and operating under a name different than the owner’s name.
Another thing that businesses need are licenses. Most businesses are required to carry licenses for their occupation. It could be a license to operate heavy machinery, or simply a license certifying them to cut hair or do some other task.
Regardless, these licenses take time to apply for — time that often discourages those just getting started in business.
Another obstacle is the legal set up process. Businesses need to protect their intellectual property and not infringe on others’ by coming up with a unique business name and identity, which can be trademarked without too much trouble.
Another factor affecting how long a business will take to get set up is the legal requirement to file and pay taxes. These documents often must be turned in to state and federal regulators in a timely manner prior to the business collecting any revenue. For example, sales tax must be collected and remitted before a business takes any profit.
For many business owners, the process of finding, and filing, these forms, is arduous at best. Startup In A Day aims to alleviate that burden by helping business owners get everything in order quickly.
Growth Accelerator Fund is another initiative which may prove promising for those who need money for their startup venture. The fund supports accelerator organizations that are designed to help startups get the mentorship, capital, an institutional support they need in order to grow and thrive. The SBA provides the selected accelerators with $4 million in seed funding to expand their efforts.
Entrepreneurship is more important than ever. Which is why these initiatives are so critical to the long-term success of the country. Without a way to keep small businesses growing, the country risks a severe shortage of revenue, jobs, and ultimately, growth.
Bailey Abbott is a business man who enjoys winding down from a busy day by writing articles, he finds this is a good way to clear his mind ready for weekends spent with his family. His articles appear on a range of business blogs.