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Small Business Center

Many people dream of starting their own business. Most are daunted by the risks and costs. But freebies online can help you start - and manage - your business.

I've been down this road. Back in the day, I blundered around with marketing. I worried about making the payroll. Fortunately, it eventually worked out.

There was help available. Without the Internet, though, it was harder to access. I wasn't even aware of some of it. Today, things are different. The Web delivers it right to your computer.

You still need a few good ideas. And you have to work hard. But here are some things that will help fill in those potholes.

Loan guarantees

Financing is perhaps the biggest obstacle to starting a business. You could seek outside investors or ask family members for a loan. Either's better than maxing out your credit cards.

The best solution is probably a bank loan. Before you visit your banker, visit theĀ Small Business Administration's website.

The SBA offers a wealth of business. Quizzes will help you determine if you're suited for business ownership. They will also help you consider your business' needs.

The Small Business Administration also offers funding programs. It will guarantee your bank loan. If you fail to repay your loan, the SBA will cover it.

You need a good business plan and solid credit rating. But a guarantee from the SBA will help open bankers' doors.

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