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Great meeting with the Small Business Development Center this week!

[Disclaimer: For anyone reading this, please note that anything you discuss about your business with the SBDC is confidential; they won’t discuss it with any third parties. I just happen to be blogging about growing my business and don’t mind as much if people know the steps I’m taking. Also, the SBDC can’t give legal advice, and the forms in this blog post are examples, so you’ll want to consult an attorney if you need something more complex. Just a heads up!]

 

It’s free. Well, not free. We have a lot of great services, and your tax dollars are already paying for them, so you might as well utilize them.

 

Laurie Lonsdorf from the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) informed me of this some time ago. Great point, indeed.

 

We were actually talking about the SBDC helping Friedland at the time, but her words stuck with me. When starting Connect and Haul, I knew I’d want to meet with her at some point.

 

So we met this past week.

 

Simply put, Laurie’s awesome and she gave me great information for free!

 

We talked about a lot, but I’ll share one thing with you today. 🙂

 

Okay, so I was about to pay money to get Terms of Use and Privacy Policy statements for Connect and Haul’s website.

 

Turns out you can get standard ToU and PP docs for free at the Michigan eLibrary, which I never knew existed.

 

Here’s how to find them.

 

Go to mel.org and click on Legal.

 

All sorts of tools at mel.org!

Where’ve ya been, MeL?!

 

On the next page, click on Gale LegalForms.

 

gale

Woah, tons of options. What to do…

 

You’ll have to click Continue on the next screen, and then just search for the word terms. You’ll find a bunch of options to choose from depending on the type of business your website is for. I used the Terms of Use for Informational Website and Privacy Policy. I’m sure I’ll need a more specific ToU and PP at some point, but at this gives me some basic protection.

 

If you only need a Privacy Policy statement, search for the word privacy. You’ll get similarly great results.

 

The above showcases one thing Laurie and I discussed, but no matter what phase your business is currently in, the SBDC is full of hidden gems that can help you. They also hold seminars throughout the year on things like branding, marketing, bookkeeping, and much more.

 

If you have a business, I highly recommend checking out the SBDC.

 

And, it’s true, your tax dollars are already paying for SBDC’s awesome services, Michiganders, so utilize them!

 

Stay informed,

Mike

 

Ps – This blog is about my journey while growing my startup, Connect and Haul. It’s a free search engine to help people connect with great junk removal services near them. Need a washer and dryer hauled out of a basement? Need to liquidate a house? Give it shot by posting a job for free. 🙂

 

4 thoughts on “Great meeting with the Small Business Development Center this week!

    • Hey Ashley, great question!

      The ToU serves as a standard release of liability. It’s the company’s way of saying, “Hey y’all, we’ve vetted everyone on here and they all have raving reviews from multiple sources, but we’re just making the connection between you two, so please don’t sue us if you have a bad experience.” Larger companies likely have more of an intricate ToU that you agree to when using their websites, but a standard one is nice for a startup to implement, giving them at least SOME level of liability protection. Does that make sense?

      The PP portion is more about letting the users know what the company is doing with their information. For example, C&H doesn’t share users’ specific information with any third parties. However, it’ll likely use data to find out where people are posting jobs in order to reach out to hauling companies in that area and say, “Hey, your city is getting XX number of job posts per week. You have amazing reviews and you should become a member of C&H!” It also mentions how the company does its best to keep data secure, but can’t guarantee that the website won’t get hacked at some point.

      So I guess you could say the ToU and PP help prevent future legal battles.

      • Its so interesting to hear this actually broken down, you always hear that there are a bunch of hurdles for new businesses to get started and things like this illuminate the actual details involved! I love that it’s usually stuff like this that people don’t think about until after its was a problem, live and learn rather than being proactive. Being part of a bigger company and having all of that exist that you just glaze over…you never realize how important it is to have all these documents prepared

        • No doubt! There’s definitely a lot that goes into it. That’s one of the main reasons I’m blogging about the process; to hopefully help people who are also starting from scratch.

          Glad you’re enjoying the blog so far, hope you enjoy the future posts, too!

          Best,
          Mike 🙂

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