The Brainerd Lakes Area is filled with invaluable resources to help propel your business dreams to success. Here are a few New Business Resources in the Brainerd Lakes Area:
Small Business Development Center: The mission of the North Central Region Small Business Development Center is to improve economic growth in Minnesota by providing assistance to small businesses in order to increase the number of new business start-ups, expand existing small businesses, and reduce the number of small business failures.
This will, in turn, preserve and create new jobs and economic opportunities for many Minnesotans. All services are confidential and are low-cost or no cost. Information services and initial business counseling are free. Minimal fees are charged for seminars, workshops, cash flows, and market research. The team at SBDC is a wellspring of knowledge, assistance and resources and should be the FIRST stop for anyone considering starting a business.
Greg Bergman, Director
Mike Paulus is another great connect there. Free consults too.
Central Lakes College: CLC has a great Going Into Business for Yourself Course that is offered often.
3 hours, $49
Boatloads of information, click here to learn more.
BLADC: Anyone who’s thinking about starting a business in the Brainerd Lakes Area should contact the Brainerd Lakes Area Economic Development Corporation (BLAEDC), which can help you determine how to proceed and can share with you additional resources that will help you get started and give you a better chance of success. Click HERE to view a really good list of community resources and a ton of business planning tools that can help you get started.
Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce As the voice of business in the Brainerd Lakes Area, the Brainerd Lakes Chamber is the organization that connects businesses and leads the drive for responsible and profitable growth in the Brainerd Lakes region. The Chamber works to help businesses connect with people, organizations, and businesses; advocates on behalf of business interests on governmental concerns on the local, state, and national levels; and promotes business growth through marketing and educational programs.
The Chamber is also an excellent way to find local and reputable service providers like web designers, virtual assistants and accountants that will help your business grow. Learn how you can partner with the Chamber at www.chamberbrainerdlakes.com.
What good is your business if no one knows about you? There are several networking groups in our area and the direct benefit of these groups is the face-to-face factor. Not only do you get to connect with like-minded business people, all networking groups work together to promote each other’s businesses through referrals. It’s like your own personal sales team. Here are few of the networking groups in the Brainerd area.
BNI: BNI is business professionals building relationships on the idea of “Givers Gain.” I’ve belonged to BNI in the past and it is a phenomenal way to grow your business. BNI Groups in Brainerd include Leaders Edge, Leaders of the Lakes and Lake Country Connections. If you would rather networking with women only, Women In Networking is a good option as is the co-ed group LANG.
Consulting with an Expert (Becky Flansburg)
Do you have a budding business that you could use some help on?
Do you want to fine-tune your social media and or are interested in creating a blog for your business?
Do you have a business idea rattling around in your help and could just use some helpful advice on how to get it off the ground.
Are you a seasoned business pro looking for a fresh perspective?
I am not as sage and wise as Yoda, but I know a lot of things about a lot of things! Some of the most rewarding work I do involves helping entrepreneurs just like you get the traction, clarity and confidence they need to make their aspirations a reality.
Sometimes just having someone to brainstorm with, someone who can offer a fresh perspective or verbal guidance is exactly what entrepreneurs need to get “unstuck” on a project or even get the gentle nudge they need to move forward in their business.
That’s why I am now offering my Pick My Brain services (also known as Consulting!). I have over 30 years worth of thoughts, intuitions, and experiences in the small business, and over eight years’ experience in blogging, writing and business ownership rolling around in my head. I spend a TON of time reading, learning, taking courses, trying new online tools and coaching business folks — and I’m ready to share all of that knowledge with you; knowledge that will be specific to your situation, goals, personality, and business.
If you need help with blogging, marketing, social media, project management, book launches, goal-setting, time management or getting a business idea off the ground, I am confident that I can help guide you and get the ball rolling in the right direction!
Here’s what you need to know about my Pick Your Brain Consulting sessions:
- YOU will need to do some work beforehand. If at all possible, send me a brief summary as to what your project/plan/venture/conundrum is via email after checkout. I only ask this to save time. It would be a bummer if we needed to spend 1/2 of your consulting session trying to clearly identify what it was that you wanted to do.
- YOU can expect to have my fill attention during our phone chat. If you chose to purchase a two-hour block, it will be all about YOU during those two hours.
- Pick Your Brain SESSIONS LAST no more than one hour (you do have the option to book a session of 2 hours) and you will be shocked how fast this time flies by. During our meeting/consult we will work to identify many things including resources, options and next steps needed for your business and project. I will even create a down-n-dirty To Do List for you based on our meeting so you can be sure to implement new ideas and processes ASAP.
- SCHEDULING Pick Your Brain Consulting needs to occur Monday-Friday and between 8:30 a.m. and 1:00 Central. These are via phone consults. If onsite one-on-one time is needed, an upcharge of $25 will be added to the session rate. Appointments for late afternoon or early evening are possible, but need to be clarified with me ahead of time.
- FEE: Each Pick Your Brain one hour long session is an uber affordable $50– a wise investment in your business success. Click the link below to lock in your time and I will then reach out to you to select a date and time to meet. Click the link below to get started.
I look forward to helping you reach your dreams and goals this year!
Besides joining networking groups and the Brainerd Lakes Chamber (who also has wonderful meet-n-greet networking events like Business After Hours and C.H.O.W) there are a handful of other ways to get FREE P.R. for your business:
Brainerd Dispatch Business Notes: Did you know you can share information about your business and have it appear in the Business Notes section for free? These updates are only for events in your business or landmark changes like new staff or an award and can’t be “sale-sy” in any way. But it is still an excellent way to get your business’ name in front of prospective clients and newspaper readers.
“The Dispatch welcomes business notes submissions via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or fax to 218-829-0211, mail to Brainerd Dispatch, P.O. Box 974, Brainerd, MN 56401 or use the drop-off box in the alley next to the Dispatch building on James Street. Questions are welcome to Renee Richardson at 855-5852.”
Doing a Sunday Spotlight on Lakes Area Mom Squad: This free service on this very blog allows local businesses to answer a series of Q&A type questions to “shine the spotlight” on their business and have their information get seem by the over 10K viewers that visit this blog every month. email me at Becky (at) LakesAreaMomSquad (dot) com or RebeccaFlansburg (at) gmail (dot) com for more details.
CTC: CTC is a huge help for new business and it’s a resource I use myself. I can vouch for their great services, affordable pricing and a customer service team that has saved by bacon on may occasions. Business owners can establish phone numbers, email addresses, website, etc. to start putting together marketing materials prior to opening.
The Office Shop: Get the gear you need for your new business. From used office furniture to tax forms and office products, TOS is a great place to get your start-up supply needs. The Office Shop of Brainerd/Aitkin sells “everything for the office.” Canon Copier dealer, NEW & used office furniture, & over 30,000 office supply items available. Locally owned & operated since 1983.
Website Creation and Design: Having a vibrant website is critical when creating your new business. How can people do business with you if they can’t find any information on the WWW about you? Corey Kretsinger from MidState Designs is one of the many qualified website creators in the Brainerd Lakes Area.
Lakes Printing: Lakes Printing has been my one-stop-shop for quality business cards and marketing materials creation.
What resources have I forgotten? Add your opinion in the comment box below!
I know you need to make a living, but remember work is not everything. There is family, friends and your hobbies whom you should devote time to as well. I firmly believe that earning all money in the world is not worth sacrificing the most precious moments in your life for. Not only is it ok to take a break, but it is imperative that you do so. Working on your own can be very exhausting. By not taking a break you end up doing more harm than good.
Want to know more? Have you been secretly ( or not-so-secretly) dreaming of working from home, making an honest living and flexing that work around the needs of your family. It IS possible!
(Now available on Amazon!)
My commitment to this subject is a sincere desire to help others. My goal in becoming an “expert” on the topic of working from home successfully (re: emotional and financial success) isn’t to come across as a giant smartypants. My goal is to help readers, and women just like me, discover that there IS “life beyond the cubicle.”
I want to educate newbie and veteran solopreneurs (in my fun and quirky style) that working from the comfort of home and supporting a family is totally possible. My FREElance FREEdom ebook is not “the fluff” of working from home. It is real life, I’ve-been-there-done-that, “no B.S.” details that share the tips, secrets, best practices, processes and resources that peel back the curtains of being self-employed and a business owner. Working from home is not all butterflies and unicorns, but it IS completely worth it.
Ready to learn more or or take the first step? Go HERE to take the first step in realizing your work from home dreams or click the pink button to get instant access!