Over the past two months we've run a poll asking who our visitors are - asking them to pick a 'user category' that best describes their interest in the site. The results show that (as expected) the Small Business Accelerator (SBA) is visited by many different users with many unique information needs.
Of those who responded, the majority of SBA visitors were found to be either current or prospective business owners, while the second largest user group was business 'information providers' such as librarians or community development officers. Students were also a significant user of the site, accounting for 17% of our visitors according to the poll. To break these categories down a little more, let's dig a little deeper to see what the SBA specifically has to offer each of these groups:
Business Service Providers: The SBA can help to make your life easier, particularly when helping aspiring entrepreneurs still in the start-up phases. Our list of resources can complement many of the resources you already have access to, both internal and external to your organization. If for example, you are helping a client who is planning to start a business, you might refer to the specific industry guide that covers his or her proposed business type or industry. We have 100 guides free to use online, so chances are high that you'll find the right one.
Library staff: Dealing with small business reference questions can be tricky, and finding the top information to meet the needs of your patrons is made a LOT easier with the SBA. Like other business service providers, you can lean on the SBA to guide you through reference transactions for small business owners, or others looking for specific business research or business planning resources.
Current Business Owners: A lot of the content put together on the SBA is meaningful for those who have already planned and opened a business. You might want to skip over the general start-up resources we offer, and go right to industry specific sources that you may not yet be aware of, or just bookmark the SBA accelerator guide for your industry for future reference. Also, its a good idea to keep your business plan up to date, and if you need a refresher on writing a strong plan, our resources can help.
Prospective Business Owners: You've hit the jackpot here! By incorporating the SBAs information resources into your business planning, you can develop a stronger strategy for success. It can be tough to find the best online information on your own, but with the SBA you can quickly find a wide variety of critical information that will help with writing a business plan, conducting market research, and simply improving your understanding of the BC small business sector before making the plunge!
Students: Many undergraduate and graduate level business classes expect you to study, understand and even write real or hypothetical business plans. While the SBA won't take the place of this important learning process, we can get your research started and make information-finding much easier and less time consuming. Also, many of the best start-up ideas are born (or incubated) during post-secondary years. If you have a great business idea but are not sure where to start, we're here to give you a leg up when the day comes that your brilliant idea can become a profitable reality. Learning about funding and financing options can also help you get started.
These are just 5 of the most active visitor groups to the SBA website. Even if you don't fall into one of these specific groups we're sure that you will find content that is both interesting and meaningful about the BC small business community. As always, we appreciate any feedback - and keep responding to our polls, your participation helps us shape the SBA to better match our services to the community needs.
PHOTO CREDIT: Photo Social Values Study-What People Think Their Greatest Talent Is:Infographic 1/2 created by sacks08, on December 31, 2009. Photo made available under a Creative Commons Attribution-2.0license. Last viewed on September 7, 2011.