ZERU offers productivity tools and resources to help you start or scale a business.
America must get back on its feet - and only entrepreneurs can help.
Recent reports show small business optimism at the highest levels, record unemployment rates, and a booming economy, which is all good news for our 30 million small businesses that are America’s economic engine.
As we ring in the new year — ZERU Center (ZERU) wants to be your partner as you evolve your idea or hobby into an innovative and thriving business.
As we take account of the past year, we are highlighting how ZERU can help you at every business stage. We help to power small businesses by providing assistance that ranges from consulting and training to access to integration support.
In the pre-startup phase, you’re confident that you have what it takes to start a business, but you may be uncertain where to begin. Developing a lean business plan will help you get clarity about what direction to take your future business in. ZERU Center offers abundant business planning resources, and even connect you to free and local resources that can move your idea forward. We also offer a Business Development Guide for those who prefer 1-on-1 sessions to go over How to Write a Lean Business Plan or start a business.
At this stage, entrepreneurs may also want to conduct market research to decide on a business structure to pick your location. ZERU Center can help with market research and collaborate with you, the Small Business Administration, and its partners (including SCORE, Small Business Development Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers, and Women’s Business Centers). These organizations are a great support and are there for every step of your business journey with free and low-cost counseling and training.
If you have the basics ironed out, you’re almost ready to get your business off the ground. The next step is to make sure you have the funding in place to sustain your business over the coming year and beyond. In a 1-on-1 session with us, you can learn about different funding types – including self-funding, crowdsourcing, and venture capital. The SBA provides a great resource about this on their website.
We help business owners get the funding they need by assisting with business plan development, business registration, eCommerce setup, social media management, and connecting you with financial providers. For instance, the SBA is a key financial partner for businesses and their guaranteed loans include lower down payments, flexible overhead requirements, and no collateral needed for some loan options. Check out the Lender Match tool to connect with SBA-approved lenders from around the country.
Once you’re past the initial hump of starting up, you may still need some support with the day-to-day maintenance of your business – whether that’s hiring new employees or managing your taxes. Our Business Associates can meet with you 1-on-1 to walk you through two key business Business Guides (ZERU Center Business Guide and SBA's Business Guide) that have key everyday business management tasks. You can also supplement with learning available through our online collaboration platform, business lounge, and other resources (including blogs, ebooks, and reports on small business topics).
As you navigate the journey of entrepreneurship and business, you’ll always be looking for opportunities to expand. There are several growth opportunities available for business. Your business may consider bidding on local, state, or federal government contracts. Did you know that the federal government aims to award 23% of prime contracts to small businesses? The Small Business Administration offers resources to walk you step-by-step through the process of becoming a contractor, they also offer contracting assistance programs that help individuals in select groups (e.g., women-owned businesses, service-disabled veteran-owned businesses, etc.) to qualify for exclusive set-aside federal contracts. A business associate can partner with you through the qualification process and keep you grounded.
Business owners are constantly learning and evolving. ZERU Center supports your entrepreneurial development and mastery this New Year and beyond.
Want to be your own boss? Have a great idea for a business? Don't know where to start? Need help turning your hobby and side-gig into a business? Attended several workshops about business but need help taking action on what was learned?
At ZERU Center, Business Associates guide you through the 10 Steps for Starting a Business and show you how to navigate the most important aspects of organizing it. Entrepreneurs seeking to improve their organization skills, business strategy, and brand can activate learning using our solutions grounded in research. Visit a lab closest to you!