Some Resources for Financing Your Quilting Business

by Charlotte Colmon

Over the past few months, I've received numerous emails from readers asking the question:

“How do I finance my new quilting business?”

Of all the issues involved in starting a new quilting business, perhaps the most dreaded is coming up with the money to start and run your business until you are established and funding it through sales. This step alone has stopped more quilting businesses before they have started simply because of lack of information.

So, since I'm not a financial guru by any stretch of the imagination, I decided to give you some of the resources that I have found to be most useful in explaining the basics of business finance, including how to secure a loan and how to write a business plan. This article offers a couple of these resources that will help you determine if you are ready to take the next step in your dream of a quilting business.

General Business Information
Your first stop should be the United States Small Business Administration web site. This site is perhaps the most comprehensive and valuable resources that any small business owner – or potential small business owner – can ever visit. You can check out the site at:

www.sba.gov

At this site, you can find just about every piece of information about starting, running, marketing, financing, and managing a small business. And, best of all, this government-run resource is absolutely free.

Financing Your Quilting Business
After you have familiarized yourself with some of the basics of starting and running a small business, you'll want to check out the SBA's financing information at:

sba.gov/financing/index.html

At this portion of the web site, you'll get an education about the basics of financing, as well as some great insights into the types of loan programs available through the SBA. And don't forget to check out the “Special Interest Topics” section at the bottom of the page.

Of Special Interest to Women
The SBA offers some special information for women entrepreneurs. And, even though I'm not a woman, I find the information at the government's Online Women's Business Center to be a tremendous resource for any small business owner:

www.onlinewbc.gov

Written in a very conversational style, you can decipher some of the toughest concepts tackled on the SBA site in a much more user-friendly environment. I like to compare notes on different topics between the SBA site and the Women's Business Center site to get a better feel for a concept, especially in the area of finance.

Quilting Business Plan Help
Last, but certainly not least, is help on the basics of a business plan. When you are certain that you want to start your own machine quilting business or quilt shop, you will most likely need to secure some financing. And, in most cases, you are going to need to develop a business plan to get this financing. One of the best resources I have found online is at:

sba.gov/starting_business/planning/basic.html

PLEASE NOTE: It may not look like they offer much advice on this page. But, make sure you look in the navigation column on the left-hand side of the page. Under “Business Planning” there are links for:

  • Business Plan Basics
  • Writing the Plan
  • Using the Plan
  • Specific Training

With all of these free resources available from the United States Government, it's your duty as a taxpayer to take advantage of the opportunity to learn everything you can about starting and running a small business. These are world-class resources that don't cost a dime, so make the best use of them.

Until next time,

Chuck

If you have any questions about your quilting business – whether just starting out or looking for a boost with some solid marketing or business advice – feel free to send me an email at chuck@quiltingbusiness.com.

Chuck Smith is the owner of QuiltingBusiness.com, the web's only site dedicated to helping you make money with your quilting. Visit QuiltingBusiness.com today to sign up for the FREE email mini-course: “7 Unique Ways to Make Money with Your Quilting.”


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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Helen Thomas May 8, 2010 at 4:43 pm

Another FREE resource is SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives). I’m getting one-on-one mentoring from a retired business man and business professor. I’ve attended a couple of SCORE workshops and they work very closely with the SBA. Excellent resource, and they enjoy helping new business owners succeed.

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