Are you looking to grow your small business in Houston, Texas? If so, consider the following Houston small business services–many of which are free of costs–to make your business thrive.
SCORE (Service Corp of Retired Executives), a leading, nation-wide organization, offers various Houston small business services. They have helped small business owners for over 50 years, and is a resource partner of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SCORE Association consists of a large network of expert business counselors and mentors. They are specifically trained to offer services to small business owners. Services provide assistance and support in many areas, such as business planning, marketing and financial strategies. This is all at no cost. Mentoring can be conducted face-to-face or remotely and it is always confidential. Additionally, SCORE hosts free or low-cost online workshops on a variety of business topics.
The Office of Business Opportunity Solutions Center
The Houston-based Office of Business Opportunity Solutions Center (OBOSC) provides no-cost services to help small business owners thrive. On-site staff assists with questions regarding permits, licenses, fee schedules and regulations –city, county, state and federal based. Questions also pertain to the operations of Houston area businesses. OBOSC also offers one-on-one business counseling with SCORE business advisors, as well as business workshops and notary services.
OBOSC works closely with the SBA, University of Houston Small Business Development Center, the Harris County Clerk, the Texas State Comptroller, the Minority Business Enterprise Center and other agencies. The center has an extensive referral network of trade organizations, business incubators and educational institutions.
Greater Houston Partnership
The Greater Houston Partnership consists of over 1,000 companies and organizations dedicated to the success of Houston’s positive growth. It’s essentially a meeting place for business people who want to make Houston the best place to work and build a business. Paid members have access to online tools, digital subscriptions and other resources to help make better business decisions. Members receive detailed data and analysis. Information is about the Houston economy, news on economic development and company relocations and expansions. The Greater Houston Partnership also provides networking and business development opportunities with Houston’s business leaders through special partnership events, programs and councils.
Houston Business Development, Inc.
Houston Business Development, Inc. (HBDI) is a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established in 1986 by the City of Houston. HBDI provides affordable and flexible small business loans, and Houston small business services designed to enhance small business growth. The organization has a Business Technology Center, a 160,000 square-foot mixed-use business complex, offering administrative services and affordable office space. They also have a Business Information Center (BIC) that provides a comprehensive resource library with databases, computers with commercial software, as well as periodicals to support small business expansion. The BIC is available to the public free of charge. Additionally, experienced professionals from SCORE, HBDI and other agencies are readily available to conduct classes covering a variety of topics, including how to get a small business loan and managing cash flow.
Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance – Houston Women’s Business Center
The Women’s Business Enterprise Alliance (WBEA) offers Women’s Business Centers (WBCs) — a national network of nearly 100 educational centers, established by the SBA, to prepare women small business owners for success. Yes, the organization’s main objective is to assist women. But, they also help men who want to start and own a business.
The Houston WBC offers assistance or training in many areas of small business. This includes loan application and loan package preparation, web development and leadership and management training. Additionally, the Houston WBC provides free consultation services to help small business owners with variety of topics. These topics range from financial management to HR issues to marketing.
With the support and resources from these Houston small business services, your small business will be on the right track.