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Photo from Robin Gallagher

As a small business owner for over 17 years, I’ve worn many hats.  I’ve taken great pride in balancing my own books, filing my own taxes, marketing my own business, and providing excellent service to my clients.   Maybe you’ve felt that way too.

But it’s come to a point where I realize that if I want to take my business to the next level, I’m going to have to take off some of those hats and get some help!  I’m doing too many things now, and I hate to admit it, but with so much on my plate, it’s becoming almost impossible to do any one thing well!

Many entrepreneurs don’t like to ask for help.  I know I don’t.  Maybe it’s a pride thing, because if I ask for help, I’m admitting weakness.  Or maybe it’s a money thing, because if I hire help, it will cost money, and Lord knows, there sure isn’t an abundance of that right now!

However, there’s no reason to let money (nor pride) get in the way of our business success.  So if you find yourself, like me, at a point in your business where you’re ready to accept a helping hand, here are some great, and mostly free, places in the valley to find it.  If you know of more, please feel free to email them to me and I’ll post them on my website.

1.    Arizona Department of Commerce, Small Business Services:  Great place to begin researching small business in Arizona.  Pick up a copy of:  Arizona Entrepreneur’s Edge Resource Guide to starting, operating and growing a business in Arizona.  Learn about state incentives and tax credits, download state business application forms.

2.    S.C.O.R.E:  Counselors to America’s Small Business:  Free Counseling for small business.   Get help with your business plan.

3.    Start Up Now Workshops: A free program that turns displaced workers into entrepreneurs.    Workshops run monthly.

4.    Arizona Fast Trac Program: LaunchPad for laid off employees and new businesses.  This program is underwritten by City of Tempe Economic Development office for people who are now thinking of entrepreneurship.

5.   Arizona Small Business Administration: Learn about SBA lending.  Download the Arizona SBA Small Business Resource.

6.    Arizona Small Business Association.  Network with other entrepreneurs, attend educational programs, obtain discounted health insurance and more.

7.    Maricopa County Small Business Enterprise Program:  Free resources and advice for start ups.

8.    Arizona Small Business Development Network: Confidential, one-on-one counseling by diverse business professionals at no charge, workshops and more.  Run by Maricopa County Community Colleges.

9.    Inventors Association of AZ:   Learn about trademark, copyrights, business plans, licensing, patents, and more.

10.      ASU Spirit of Enterprise Center: Mentoring and resources for entrepreneurs from Arizona State University, W.P Carey College of Business.

Wendy Kenney is the author of Build Buzz for Your Biz:  23 Creative and Inexpensive Marketing Strategies That Will Get You Noticed. She founded, an organic marketing company that teaches business owners how to build buzz for their business through social media, public relations, and new marketing. An entrepreneur for over 17 years, she know what it takes to successfully market a small business.  Wendy can be reached at or you can follow her on Twitter at