Back in October “Small Business Matters” gave you a “sneak peek” into the much anticipated new website from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
That site is live. Check it out at www.sba.gov.
But what’s new? Well, quite literally everything, – a new look, new content, new navigation, and robust personalization features. The site has undergone a dramatic transformation, from soup to nuts, making a progressive leap in the way federal agencies use Web tools to better serve their constituents.
In the case of the SBA, the new SBA.gov is focused on making it easier for small business owners and entrepreneurs to find the answers, support and resources they need to start-up, succeed and grow!
On the face of it, the new SBA.gov offers a clean new look that makes navigation across the site a one-click process.
But of all the bells and whistles added to the site, the centerpiece is a dynamic Web tool called SBA Direct.
SBA Direct – “The Answers You Need Start Here”
SBA Direct essentially lets small business owners personalize their experience based on their business profile, location and needs.
Say, for example, you are a woman-owned business, located in Raleigh, NC, primarily doing business online, and are looking for more information on SBA’s loan programs, but also seeking new ways to market your business. You simply enter your preferences via the home page interface on www.sba.gov and SBA Direct will deliver content specifically matching your needs.
The great thing about SBA Direct is that it is designed with the small business owner in mind, all 29 million of them! That’s a huge constituent population to serve, but with multiple profile options – serving specific business groups such as teen to 50 entrepreneurs or minority- or veteran-owned businesses; as well as business types (online, franchises, exporters, home-based businesses, and so on), SBA Direct lets you tailor the new SBA.gov site to meet your needs. You can even define the type of content you are seeking based on the stage of your business.
Other Site Enhancements
Other noteworthy new features on the site include:
- SBA’s small business search that improves the accuracy and relevancy of search results —saving time and frustration.
- SBA Blog – Look for agency news, business tips, and more.
- Integration of Business.gov content including a variety of guides and tools that collate information from across government agencies to help business owners comply with laws and regulations, and take advantage of government programs.
- Interactive location-based maps that allow users to quickly find small business resources in their area, including local SBA offices, lenders and other sources of training and support.
SBA.gov: The Public Face of an Agency in Transformation
While the site, in and of itself, has dramatically transformed the public face of the SBA, the agency sees the new SBA.gov as representative of the future transformation of the agency as a whole.
“Transforming the SBA into a proactive, responsive and ‘customer-centric’ organization that better serves the needs of the nation’s more than 29 million small businesses is an exciting, yet enormous effort,” explained SBA Administrator, Karen Mills, in today’s press release.
“We’ve made significant progress, and the new SBA.gov is just one example among many, including record growth capital financing, expedited loan approvals and the acceleration of disaster assistance resources and funds of how SBA has, and will continue to support the growth of small businesses and job creation.”
What do you think of the new SBA.gov?