Small Business

Small businesses are the backbone of the American economy. Learn the essentials of starting, growing, and managing a small business in this guide.

Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Is the Small Business Association?

    The Small Business Association (SBA) is an agency established in 1953 by the U.S. government that provides various types of assistance to American small businesses. The SBA helps small businesses by providing access to capital and low-cost training, providing government contracts to qualified small businesses, and advocating for small businesses by reviewing legislation. 


    During the COVID-19 pandemic, the SBA launched the PPP program, which provided forgivable SBA loans to thousands of small businesses whose operations were impacted by the pandemic.

  • What is a product life cycle?

    A product life cycle is the amount of time a product goes from being introduced into the market until it's taken off the shelves. Understanding a product’s life cycle helps businesses make decisions regarding a product’s pricing and promotion, as well as whether to expand or cut a product. There are four general stages of a product’s life cycle: introduction, growth, maturity, and decline. Business owners track each of these stages carefully in order to find opportunities to gain competitive advantage over their peers.

  • What is the gig economy?

    The term gig economy is used to describe a labor market in which temporary or part-time jobs are commonplace. In a gig economy, companies tend to hire independent contractors and freelancers rather than full-time employees. While the positions available in a gig economy can provide workers with more flexibility than full-time, salaried roles, many commentators claim the transient, generally lower-paying jobs in a gig economy can hurt a worker’s longevity and overall satisfaction.

  • What is the Walmart effect?

    The Walmart effect refers to the loss in revenue and foot traffic that can hit smaller businesses once a Walmart opens in their area. A retailer the size of Walmart has the ability to dictate the price it pays to wholesalers at a magnitude which smaller companies cannot. As a result, Walmart is able to sell merchandise at a much lower price than its competitors in the area. When a Walmart opens the lower prices, and wider selection of merchandise draws customers away from smaller, local businesses.

Key Terms
Jazz Band Playing Onstage in a Nightclub, Musician Plucking a Double Bass
What Is a Shuttered Venue Operators Grant?
An empty luxurious restaurant with large wooden cabinets and leather seating
Best Restaurant Business Loans
Conference Call
A business owner purchases equipment from an online store.
Small Business Contract Discrimination
Business people shaking hands at desk
Best Recruiting Software
Smiling barber cutting clients hair in barber shop
Best Loans for Beauty Salons
A man using a laptop in the work space
Best Online Business Courses
View from above of a female farmer in a straw hat using a tablet in a corn field.
Best Farm Loans of 2022
Public Relations (PR) Meaning, Types, and Practical Examples
SBA Lenders
Best SBA Lenders
What Is a Media Kit?
Cropped shot of a businesswoman using a digital tablet with graphs on it in a modern office
Best Asset Management Software
Best PEO Services
Best PEO Services
Press Release
Best Payroll Software
Best Payroll Software
mother and daughter sitting on park bench in fall
Money Guide for Self-Employed Parents
Moving and storing new stock
Best Drop Shipping Companies
Small bakery and food shop
Small Business Saturday
Financial advisor planning with clients at office
Best CRM Software for Financial Advisors
businesswoman paying online
Best Equipment Financing Companies
POS System for Restaurants
Best POS System for Restaurants
Two employees editing.
Best Employee Scheduling Software
Woman putting coin in the jar with plant
Best Crowdfunding Platforms
Woman makes serious financial and banking decisions
Best Small Business Loans
Medical Insurance Claim form and stethescope
The Small Business Health Care Tax Credit
Clothing designer drawing at work table
Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020
Coworkers in an office meeting during COVID-19
How to Reopen Your Small Business Safely
Owner of a music store standing in front of his guitar collection
What Is the HUBZone Program for Small Businesses?
Man at laptop with mobile phone, pen, paper.
What Was Third-Round Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Funding?
Three employees of small business
Applying for a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) by the Dec. 31 Deadline
Small Business Bank Accounts
Best Business Bank Accounts
Hands holding book with title “Sole Proprietorship”
Sole Proprietorship: What It Is, Pros & Cons, Examples, Differences From an LLC
man at desk with calculator
Professional Employer Organization (PEO)
A man works in a sunny kitchen, using a laptop and mobile phone.
Independent Contractor: Definition, How Taxes Work, and Example
Online shopping and delivery service concept. Paper cartons in a shopping cart on a laptop keyboard, this image implies online shopping that customer order things from retailer sites via the internet.
What Is Inside Sales? Definition, How It Works, and Advantages
Social Media Definition
Social Media: Definition, Effects, and List of Top Apps
Money and plant with hand
Pre-Money vs. Post-Money: What's the Difference?
Manufacturing
Manufacturing Resource Planning (MRP II): Definition and Example
Cropped photo of a lawyer in a suit writing in a notepad with a scale, a gavel, and a block on the table.
Don't Get Sued: 5 Tips to Protect Your Small Business
What Is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), and How Does It Work?
Female coworker pointing to a sticky note on a glass wall while giving a presentation to colleagues in an office
Deliverables: Meaning in Business, Types, and Examples
Invoice Financing
Long Tail: Definition as a Business Strategy and How It Works
Senior woman reading package in drug store
Mom-and-Pop: Meaning and Examples for Businesses and Investors
Third-Party Transaction Definition, How It Works, Examples
6 Drawbacks of Working for Your Parents
Management Information Systems vs. Information Tech: What's the Difference?
Product Life Cycle
Product Life Cycle Explained: Stage and Examples
Man sitting at desk
7 Popular Marketing Techniques for Small Businesses
Businessperson reviews charts on an interactive display.
Program Evaluation Review Technique (PERT) Chart Explained
10 Years After the Financial Crisis: The Impact on Small Business
Close up of accountant making calculations
Operating Expenses vs. SG&A
An entrepreneur as his business partner finally signing important contract in office.
Which Terms Should Be Included in a Partnership Agreement?
How to Calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of a Marketing Campaign
Small business owners working in bakery together
5 Biggest Challenges Facing Your Small Business
Abstract mirror building texture
Are Business Ethics Important for Profitability?
Small and Mid-size Enterprise (SME) Defined: Types Around the World
6 Steps to a Better Business Budget
Businessperson Working With Business Document and Laptop on the Table
Why Companies Stay Private
Group of Business People at Presentation in Office Building
Personal Service Corporation