March 23, 1998
Consumer Information Center
Although many problems of independent jewelry store owners are unique
from those of most other retailers (such as security and costly
inventory), certain concerns are shared by everyone who
owns a small business.
The Consumer Information Center of the U. S. General Services
Administration is a Web site that owners of any
small company can find helpful. It's written in non-governmental and non-legal
language, and it's easy to understand and navigate.
The Small Business button opens to a menu of
such subjects as "Americans With Disabilities Act: A Guide for Small
Businesses," which can help you keep within Federal requirements, and
"Copyright Basics," for anyone who has created
promotional materials and wants to protect them from unauthorized use by
others. "A Guide to Business Credit" offers advice on preparring to
obtain loans with details on what is needed for a business proposal.
The "SBA Borrower's Guide" is full of information about the SBA's loan
Conducting background checks on employees may get you in trouble if you
violate the Fair Credit Reporting Act. The section on "Using Credit
Reports" explains how various kinds of background checks can fall under
this law if you use a consumer reporting agency. Read the details on how
to comply with the FCRA and still get the information you need to make a
proper decision on whether to hire a particular individual.
The site also contains a link to previous editions of the Consumer
Information Catalog, including a segment on "Running a Small Business."
Every entrepreneur faces many decisions each day and, especially in the
case of those who have been in business for a long time, many of these
decisions are made because "We've always done it that way." But this
article can provide a good review and perhaps remind you of a few things
to consider or re-consider. In the previous edition there's also a good
section on "Selling a Business."
Other links will take you to additional resources for small business,
including the Idea Cafe, a "fun approach to serious business." The Idea
Cafe Fridge contains a wide range of articles by small businesspeople on
topics ranging from starting a newsletter to complying with laws in
- by Stacey King