Starting and running a local Houston business can be a big challenge. There will be times you wish you could find a little support or know where to call to get a fast answer to your questions. Here are a few resources to help you get on the right track.
Office of Business Opportunity – If you don’t know about this one, you have been missing out on one of the best reasons to start a business in Houston. The City of Houston offers free advice on licensing issues, has SCORE Business Advisors available to sit down for a consultation with you and many other resources you can access. You can find information on the city’s website about this program.
Chamber of Commerce Offices – We might be about to scare you if you thought we meant one Chamber of Commerce. The Mayor’s office has a list of 25 international and specialty Chamber of Commerce groups you can get involved with. Are you doing business with companies in Mexico? They have one for you. What about businesses in Asia? Yes, they have that, too. You should become a member of the Chamber of Commerce, but make sure you check out all of these specialty options, too. You can find information on the Mayor’s Trade and International Affairs web page.
University of Houston – Small Business Development Center – One of the best local Houston business resources takes you back to college, but this time it is free. The University offers a wide variety of classes, webinars, seminars and workshops to help you learn how to grow your business, venture into new area and learn skills.
Houston Area Trade Associations – Do you feel like you are alone in your industry? The greater Houston area is home to dozens of trade associations to help business owners brain storm with each other. A few of these are the Houston Allied Florists, Hotel & Lodging Association and the Building Owners and Managers Group. If you do a quick search for an association in your trade, you are almost sure to find one in Houston.
Greater Houston Partnership – Do you need more information on the city, possible sub-markets, tax incentives that are available in Houston or just general information about life in Houston? The Greater Houston Partnership has enough information to put you into overload, or to at least find your answers fast.
Business Meetups – We dare you to do a quick search for Business Meetups in Houston. You will be pleasantly shocked at how many groups of business people meet every week for coffee, conversation and to share business thoughts.
Where is the best place for you to start?
We would suggest checking into the city’s Office of Business Opportunity first. They can help you get connected to most of the other resources, especially the Mayor’s list of Chambers of Commerce. Our second choice would be the University of Houston’s Small Business Development Center. It is a great place to meet other business people who are in a growth and learning pattern, too.
No matter what business challenges you face in Houston, there is always a resource nearby to help.