I’m launching a new counseling business next month. While I know about counseling, I have been trying to soak up as much as possible about the business aspect. Like most start ups, I want to know how to spend my money wisely to make the most of my investments. Needless to say I was intrigued to find out about the Small Business Development Center, a joint effort between UGA and the Small Business Administration. They are specifically designed to help new and existing businesses succeed in order to stimulate the economy. Here are some of the resources they have to offer:
~Free and confidential business consultations, including assistance with business plan development, market analysis and marketing strategies, financial analysis, compliance and legal issues, and help with applying for loans. Consultants must have a Master’s degree and significant business experience.
~Free and low cost training programs, offered online or in classroom sessions. They have separate and specific trainings targeted toward different groups based on experience and interests. The Entrepreneurial Development Certification Program (EDCP) is designed for the new business owner. FastTrac is designed for the experienced business owner. ExportGA is a program offered to those businesses who are ready to expand into international markets. Additionally, the SBDC offers additional trainings for minority and women business owners.
~Research for communities and business owners. Census data, information from the Georgia Department of Labor, business owner survey results and much more is compiled in one central location for business owners to take advantage of.
~Business articles, fact sheets, new business tips, links to important business and government websites and forms, and income tax guides. They also have a frequently asked questions section.
~They even offer scholarships to reduce the costs of the trainings that aren’t free.
If you are a small business owner, work for a start up company, or are thinking of going into business for yourself you’re going to want to check out these resources. You can visit them online at www.sbdc.org. Happy savings!
Are you familiar with Amazon Mom? If you’re an online shopper you’ll want to be. You may have heard people talking or blogging about Amazon Mom but weren’t sure what it was. It’s a great way to get discounts on Amazon products and free shipping. And don’t think you have to be a parent to get these great deals. Here are the benefits that signing up provides.
~Free two-day shipping for 3 months on almost any Amazon purchases. You don’t have to be a mom to sign up. You don’t even have to be a dad. Or a grandparent. Or an aunt or uncle. There’s no confirmation process and no fees. Just sign up and get free shipping for three months on millions of eligible purchases. If you’re considering any Amazon purchases in the next 3 months this is your best bet.
~Each time you spend $25 in the baby department you’ll earn an extra free month of shipping, up to one year for free. Going to a baby shower? Shop via Amazon to extend your free shipping benefits. Having a baby? Buy diapers or wipes online at a discount, and still extend your free shipping. Have a toddler or know a kid? Lots of toddler and kid toys and equipment qualify.
~Twenty percent off the cost of diapers and wipes! You can get huge packs of diapers and wipes delivered to your door in just two days with free shipping. Not only is it cheaper than going to the drug store, you don’t even have to go out! You can also sign up for the subscription service where they’ll send them to you on a regular basis and charge your account. This is optional.
Best yet, it’s super easy. Go to www.amazon.com/mom to sign up. Give your basic information and you’ll be enrolled and ready to shop with free shipping in just 5 minutes.Happy savings!
Consignment Stores continued
The last two weeks have focused largely on clothing consignment stores. While these stores are great places to find discounted clothes and accessories, we can’t leave out the consignment furniture stores which offer great deals on home accessories, antiques, and furniture. Again, Athens does us proud with the selection of stores to choose from. Here’s some to check out:
House to House- This is by far my favorite, and one we’ve patronized multiple times. H2H recently moved out on Commerce Boulevard but they used to be located in the Goodwill parking lot. H2H scopes out estate sales in addition to taking consignment items. Expect to find lots of interesting furniture pieces, artwork, home décor, and more. The front room is set up with several displays, but there are many more items located in the back room as well.
Classic City Consignment- is located on Prince Avenue. They have lots of furniture (including china cabinets, bedroom suits, sofas, etc), vintage items, china, antiques, linens, and even purses, jewelry and accessories. Many of the items here are appropriate for formal living spaces, but there are fun items for any home too.
Junk in the Trunk- is off Olympic Drive and the store is as fun as the name. Expect to find ready to refinish items as well as already refurbished pieces in addition to Barbies, antiques, weird and rare items, art, collectible items, and a fun collection of hats that they don’t mind if you try on for fun. This is a great place for a rainy day field trip.
Agora- is located downtown Athens. They have lots of vintage items, including clothing, home décor, jewelry and a few furniture pieces. Several vendors have booths here so there is a big variety of things to choose from. Even if you aren’t interested in buying anything it’s a great place to browse. Happy savings!