We have all heard the saying “Stay ready so you don’t have to get ready.” Well, it’s true and even more applicable with the influx of resources and opportunities for small and minority-owned businesses. I know first hand how the days can go by super fast when you are working your 9-5, managing your business, supporting family, and taking time for yourself. So when an opportunity comes along in the eleventh hour, you either rush to fill out the application and run the risks of making mistakes or you get upset for not being able to act quickly because you just don’t have time to prepare what you need. It happens to the best of us, but you can save time by gathering information about your business in advance and storing it digitally for easy access at any point in time.
Below are a few tips for when the next opportunity comes along you will be ahead of the curve with information ready to upload/copy and paste vs going down a rabbit hole of emails and physical file folders to find what you need.
Create a digital folder that includes the common documents organizations request for grants, funding, and mentorship opportunities.
- Business formation documents (these will vary depending on your state and business structure)
- Business licenses
- Business certifications
- Tax returns
Create a document with high-level information about your business to include:
- Contact information (phone number, address, e-mail, etc)
- Social media profile links
- 2-3 sentence overview/background of the business
- Mission statement
- Current short and long term goals
- Short biographies of key personnel
- Description of our target market
- Description of your products/services
I recommend scheduling an hour to gather your important documents and create an informational one-pager for your business.
P.S. Forward this email to other business owners you know who could benefit.