Where to Get Business Help In Toledo

There’s never been a better time to own a business or be an entrepreneur in Toledo, Ohio. If you are a business owner or entrepreneur in the Toledo area then the resources below should be your first stop when seeking help, guidance, or support with your business: Chamber of Commerce, Business Coaching, SCORE, & SBDC

When it comes to getting the help you need as a Toledo area business owner there are four main options. I’ve personally used all of them and can say from experience that each has its own pro’s and con’s. But before we get into the details of each, lets first discuss why you might be seeking help with your business.

Who Should Seek Business Help?

New Business Owners or Entrepreneurs

When I founded Golden Gate Organics in 2010 I had never owned a business before. At 29 years old I was so optimistic and excited. That soon turned to anxiety and stress when reality set in. For the first time I had to worry about paying vendors, insurance, business licenses, covering payroll, managing cash flow, and getting new customers. All the while I was thinking, “Am I doing this right?” If you are new at business or just starting your own business then you should be reaching out for help with your business. Don’t be scared to ask for help. It can really help you save a lot of time and money in the future to seek business help as soon as possible.

Business Owners Changing Their Business Entity

When my cousin went through a divorce he needed help transitioning his old partnership with his ex-wife into a new LLC owned by him. He didn’t know the first place to turn for help. He just knew that he wanted everything to be legal and he needed help.

If you need business help changing your business structure from a sole proprietorship, partnership, LLC, S-Corp, C-Corp, or non-profit then the resources below will get you the answers and support to give you the confidence everything will be done correctly and legally.

Business Owners Wanting to Grow Their Business

Sometimes you hear the phrase “grow or get out”. That means that your business either needs to cut expenses or increase revenue, else be forced to close your doors. It can be stressful as a business owner when you are working 80 hour weeks to simply get everything done yet feel like you aren’t getting anywhere. It’s frustrating! When you get to that point it can feel like the only thing left to do is to quit and get a job. When you get to this point don’t give up! Seek out support from the resources below to see how you can begin improving your business and your work-life balance.

Business Owners Ready To Move On

If you’ve been in business for several years and are burned out then you may need help closing down or selling your business. Don’t think you can just say “I quit.” and move on. You need to file a final tax return, officially notify businesses you owe debts too, and more. The decision to close your business isn’t the end. It’s just the beginning of a new process. If you find yourself saying “I want to close my business and don’t know where to start” then the four resources below can be invaluable to help you move on legally and personally.

What To Know When Seeking Business Help In Toledo

When you contact one of the resources below for business help in Toledo you will want to have a good idea of what type of help you need. If you show up and say “I need help with my business but am not sure with what.” then you’ll probably not get much help. This is because there could be a million potential areas you need help with. Unless you are working with a business coach or consultant many of the resources below will not hold your hand through every little detail of your business to help you figure out what is wrong and make it right.

When it comes to asking for business help you will want to be as specific as possible. This is because for some of the resources below they may have specialists they can refer you to. For example, if you need help with getting your business found online then you would not want to talk to a payroll specialist. In this way, the more specific your request for help is, the faster and better assistance you will get. Even if there isn’t a specialist available to assist you then they may be able to refer you out to someone who can.

Also it’s a good idea to make a list of items you need help with. Many of the resources below can provide business help in Toledo for many different aspects of your business. It can also save you a lot of time going back and forth if you can accomplish a few focused tasks at the same time rather than having to wait to make follow up appointments.

Business Help in Toledo: Four Critical Resources

Chamber of Commerce

The Chamber of Commerces in Toledo, Perrysburg, Waterville, Sylvania, and other cities in the Toledo Region are a great resource for growing and developing your business.

The Chamber of Commerce is a membership oriented business community. You will be encouraged to become a chamber member in order to get full access to benefits. However, as with all these resources, you are encouraged to make a free phone call to ask about their services and how they can help your business. Or even better, go down there and introduce yourself. Most chamber employees love talking to business owners. Most chambers have business development resources that can include: free online business plan templates, links to licensing and tax requirements, and an online calendar of events.

It’s been my experience that the main benefit of Chambers of Commerce are really in their networking. That’s because most of their other business resources often are just offsite links to other business resource websites. However, if you are looking for new clients then a Chamber mixer is a fun and easy social you might want to attend. Often you can even find their events for free on their calendar and show up as a guest. Just say you are interested in becoming a member. Additionally, I’ve found that each Chamber of Commerce has its own flavor or personality. Some are vibrant, fun, and super helpful while others are boring and not helpful at all. One way to get a feel for the personality of a Chamber of Commerce in your city is to attend one of their networking events, or mixers.


A mixer is a fun event hosted by the Chamber of Commerce where chamber members and other business owners can share their business and learn about other businesses. This is an excellent opportunity to get leads on potential new clients for your businesses services as well as learn about businesses and people that can help you with services or products that could be critical to your business’s success. The best thing to do when attending a mixer is to meet as many people as you can and try to determine a way you can help them out. When you go into a mixer with the attitude of helping others, instead of purely trying to benefit yourself, it will open up many new opportunities to you.

The best way to get started with the Chamber of Commerce is to call, or go in person and have a conversation about how they can help your business. Once you are a member you can even ask about hosting a mixer at your business. Remember, it all starts with a conversation!

Northwest Ohio SCORE

Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE) is a non-profit organization which works with entrepreneurs. Whether you’re just starting out, in business, or ready to sell or retire, you can get FREE, confidential, business advice from expert advisors. You can even meet face-to-face at one of their mentoring locations in Northwest Ohio.

I’ve worked briefly with a SCORE in the past and have had mixed results. One thing to keep in mind is that the mentors at SCORE seem to all be retirees. This means they have a lifetime of experience to share with you. However, I’ve found from my past experiences working with a SCORE that sometimes their advice is a bit out of date with modern times and technology. For example, a quick look at the Northwest Ohio SCORE workshop schedule lists a workshop for Quickbooks. However, in my opinion Quickbooks is expensive and overkill for most new and experienced small business owners. Especially when there are free online resources like Wave Accounting that does everything an entrepreneur needs and is very easy to learn and use. In fact, as part of my business coaching landscape I train clients how to use this free software with excellent results.

On the flip side, SCORE also hosts other great workshops such as Digital Marketing for small business, and business plan workshops. These workshops are free and are an excellent resource for entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or better manage their businesses. I recommend signing up for a local SCORE workshop in Toledo, Sylvania, Archbold, or Bowling Green and experiencing it for yourself. To make an appointment call 419-259-7598 or email them at office@nwoscore.org. Or simply contact them and ask how they can help your business!

Small Business Development Center

The SBDC is usually where I refer entrepreneurs to first for business help in Toledo. Although the SBDC website for the Toledo region is hosted on the Toledo Chamber of Commerce website, the SBDC receives funding from the Small Business Association or SBA. The SBDC provides free one-on-one counseling centered around the business planning process, including financing, market research, marketing strategies, and management and cash flow analysis. Chamber membership is not required to utilize these services. 

When I worked with the SBDC in the past I got the most direct results for my business other than when I worked with a business coach. The SBDC is like the local arm or office of the Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA is, in my opinion, the best online resource for businesses and the SBDC is kind of like the local rep for the SBA.

If you are interested in learning more about how the SBDC can help your Toledo region business give them a call at (419) 243-8191 and ask how they can help your business.

Professional Business Coach

A business coach is arguably the best and fastest way to get help with your business and start seeing immediate results. There are many reasons for this. A business coach will learn all they can about your business and personalize their approach to your needs. This may include assessing your business health, marketing efforts, client retention strategy, and much more. A professional business coach will help you develop new successful habits that will help you get more organized, teach you new skills, and give you reassurance that you are on the right path. Best of all, and unlike online resources, business coaching sessions are in person and you can ask questions to further your understanding.

A business coach is familiar with the many free resources available to help entrepreneurs save money and time. However, a business coach is also a mentor, guide, and friend. If you have trouble with your car you can read the owners manual or ask your friend for help. But your best bet is to take your car to the mechanics. If you have trouble with your business there is no manual and often times there are few people available that are dedicated to simply helping you fix your business. A business coach is like a mechanic for your business. They come in an show you the best way to operate your business. Because a business coach works with many different clients the coach learns many more tricks and all the good habits from successful entrepreneurs. A professional business coach is your best option if you need business help in Toledo. Even though they are not free you can still contact a business coach for a free initial conversation to ask them questions and see if working with a business coach is right for you.

If you are are an entrepreneur or business owner in need of business help in the United States please visit my website, contact me, or feel free to give me a call at 989-225-0634 for a conversation on your needs and how I can help you and your business grow and become more successful.

A Weekend In Yosemite

Yosemite National Park is approximately 4 hours from where we live in Emeryville, CA.  It is also a very beautiful place to visit and Jen and I have gone there at least three times together. So back in November, or December, when our friends Genia and Jess expressed interest in going to Yosemite in January we asked “Which weekend?” We then booked a couple cabins and cleared our calendars.

The second Saturday of Charlie’s soccer season was an unfortunate casualty of our trip. On the upside though, we had a great time making new memories to share and got a bunch of cool pictures too.

On Friday morning we woke up early to Charlie loudly proclaiming that the sun was out. This is his daily ritual and is worse than a rooster crowing. Jen and I are still working on teaching Charlie the difference between daylight and sunlight. The latter being our intended signal for Charlie to wake us up. In the meantime, we reluctantly rise to the loud sounds of our two year old excitedly alerting us that it is time for him, and us, to get out of bed. FML.

We were out the door on time, pretty much, and headed to the bank to quickly cash a health insurance check I received for $43.46. After taking 20 minutes to get the check cashed we had some extra money for lattes from Starbucks. Around 30 minutes later Jen realized she forgot her hiking boots at home on the porch. So we called Jess and Genia who were behind us and they kindly went out of their way to grab Jen’s hiking boots. Her weekend was now un-ruined and we were thankful for great friends.

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The beautiful end of a storm system as we were departing Oakland. Also right around when Jen realized she forgot her hiking boots.

I settled into the passenger seat to work on some Golden Gate Organics stuff while Jen drove. We both listened to the Spotify top 50 U.S. songs I downloaded the night before. It is amazing to me how productive I can be on my iPhone when I am captive within transportation without the responsibility of driving. Somewhat unrelatedly, our Cadillac ATS got 28.9 MPGs for the trip which was nice. As I emptied my inbox as much as I could on the road, Jen drove and commented around Livermore that there was a toll lane on the highway. It is for people who want to bypass rush hour traffic. We cruised mostly traffic free towards Manteca. It was around 11am.

We arrived at the park around 3pm and paid the $30 entry fee for our car with four humans in it. The park pass was good for a week. Not five minutes into the park snow began to appear and Jen was concerned about the signs for tire chains. We missed the storm from the day before and the sky was sunny and clear. There were slippery spots of wet snow within the shadows on the roads. Our tire chains, fortunately, never left our trunk and I set the driving mode of the car to snow/rain. We never had any significant issues. The snow was serene and beautiful.

Charlie trying to throw snow at me with his sand shovel.

At the first scenic pullout Jen pulled over. Charlie was bored of the car. I wanted to take some pictures, and the scene of snow was almost too much for him. As we got our Charlie asked for his sand shovel that Jen had intuitively packed for his snow playing pleasure. I tried to get some dramatic shots of Charlie looking over the edge of the low stone embankment. Charlie tried to throw snow at me while another new arrival to the park asked me what kind of camera I had because he thought it was cool it was red. After I told him it was a Pentax he immediately called someone to tell them of my red Pentax DSLR camera. I said it takes extremely great photos if you know what you are doing. Most of my photos are deleted because of this. Ironically, all of these photos are from my iPhone and all the Pentax pics are still on the camera.

Majestic af.

We arrived at about 30 minutes later and checked into our cabin. After guessing the reservation name for our friends I eventually convinced the clerk to put us in the cabin next to Genia and Jess. It worked out great and they arrived a short time later. Charlie had only fallen on the icy/snowy sidewalk and cracked his head once at that point. The hood of his coat saved him every time, thankfully. While sunset was still two hours away Yosemite Valley was already covered in shadow at that point. It was dark and felt later. The snow beautifully covered the trees and lent to some excellent photo chances. Charlie ran around in the snow.

In the shadow of the valley the snow lasted longer than that in the sunlight.

Genia doesn’t usually appear this handicapped while the gals were good sports for photos.

We all went to find some food after exploring Half Dome Village. The food was premium priced and cafeteria quality. An excellent concrete example of supply and demand in action in the presence of scarcity. It was expensive as fuck. We brought a bunch of fruit with us and supplemented our meals the entire weekend. After dinner we were all wiped out and retreated to our cabins. Delightfully, our cabins formed a suite with a door between them so we hung out while Kai and Charlie tried to kill each other. There was a lot of crying and complaining from the parents.

The next day was our big hiking day. We ate overpriced but fair breakfast before catching the shuttle bus over to Yosemite Falls.

Jen, Lucas, and Charlie off to the right of the picture. Yosemite Falls is a short hike in the distance.

If you’ve ever been to Yosemite in the summer then you know that is the worse time to go to Yosemite. This day crowds were almost non existent and parking didn’t matter because we took a shuttle.

Jen and I getting up close and personal with Yosemite Falls. The wool scarf I’m wearing was a gift from Jen two Christmas’ ago after I lost the first one she got me.

It was right after this picture that everyone in the group moved on without me as I continued to take pictures of all sorts of really cool things. About 10 minutes later Jen, Lucas, and Charlie came back. Apparently, I ruined the day at this point because I didn’t keep up with the group. Jen came back up the hill to the falls hangry and had two hangry kids too. We stopped on the side of the path for snacks, water, and to change a poopy diaper.

Milk make Charlie better.

The Next Day

We headed out of Yosemite Valley towards Hetch Hetchy Reservoir. It was Sunday and we had 17 miles to go. Today I drove. We arrived around 1pm and began a long hike where I ultimately burned around 1,400 calories and had to carry Charlie on my shoulders for quite a ways. It was beautiful, sunny, and we were all way to hot in our warm clothes.

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Charlie “fishing” with a stick in a puddle on the rocks. The damn can be seen at the top of the picture.

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This may have been my most favorite hike in California yet. It was really in the middle of nowhere.

We had to double time back to the cars so we didn’t get locked in the park at night. It was around 5pm and we were all very hungry and exhausted at this point. After about an hour of driving we stopped at a roadside restaurant with the most delightful hostess. She even remembered Genia and Jess from when they stopped there a couple years before. I had a vegan burger and it was surprisingly much better than you would think something labeled as vegan would taste. After dinner we parted ways with our friends and independently headed home in the same direction. We each had another three hours drive to get home and it was very dark. Jen and I made it home around 10pm and put the kids to bed. My alarm then went off a few minutes later at 5:45am and it was time to begin my week. Charlie pointed out that it was getting light outside as I was putting on my motorcycle pants. I took him and put him in our bed with Jen where they slept in until 9am. It was a great trip.