Working as an entrepreneur, especially a solo one, can be tough. Having a strong support network can help your business grow and the National Association for the Self Employed is a place to find both local and national resources for small business owners.
National Association for the Self Employed
Many small business owners find joining the National Association for the Self Employed (NASE) to be beneficial to their personal and professional development. Founded in 1981, NASE offers a variety of support services and benefits designed specifically to meet the needs of self-employed individuals and owners of micro-businesses. NASE is the largest non-profit, non-partisan trade association representing small businesses and entrepreneurs in the U.S.
Benefits of NASE Membership
NASE members enjoy a variety of benefits designed to assist small businesses.
Expert Advice and Business Specialists
Members can take advantage of expert advice on a variety of areas necessary to running a strong business. Some of these include:
- Tax advice for both income and state sales tax
- Understanding basic finance and required statements
- How to choose the best business entity (i.e. LLC, S Corp)
- Developing a business plan
- Managing and setting up databases
- Using social media effectively and developing a social media plan
- Marketing strategy and advertising advice
- Hardware and software solutions and tech support
- Finding business-to-business leads and lead generation strategies
- Buying and selling real estate
- Choosing a health insurance plan
- The law as it pertains to your business as well as personal legal advice
Services for Members
As a member you can get access to business liability insurance, 401K plans, LegalZoom, business filing and discounts on Office Depot, Quickbooks, Lenovo, UPS and more. Membership also gives you access to using ADP Payroll Services to streamline your employee process. For marketing you can get special access to programs from Constant Contact, First American Payment Systems, CrowdSpring graphic design and writing systems, and new services for businesses are added regularly.
Discounts on travel can be a big plus for entrepreneurs who need to hit the road to build their business. Members can access discounts from several rental car companies and hotel chains. When you're ready to take a break, there's also a discount plan for Orlando Vacations.
In addition to receiving the monthly e-newsletter, members have access to a Business Learning Center full of articles and white papers on all aspects of running a business. There's also MyMedLab, an online resource for members to learn about medical conditions and laboratory tests to help them be more informed when it comes to using health insurance benefits.
Health and Life Insurance
It's often hard for businesses with a few employees, or a single employee, to get health insurance. NASE offers access to group plans for health, life, dental and vision insurance plans. You can also set up a health savings account (HSA) through NASE for further savings.
In addition to discounts on services designed for business, members can also get a variety of discounts from companies geared toward their personal life. These include LifeLock Identity Theft Protection, the Legal Club Family Plan, 1-800 Flowers and MetLife auto and home insurance plans. There's even a scholarship program for children of NASE members to go to college.
Reasons to Use a National Trade Association
Joining a trade association may not seem intuitive to people new to entrepreneurship. In fact there are many benefits to being a member of a national association.
Enhance Your Business
Membership in national trade organizations can enhance a company's productivity and profitability. While it shouldn't take the place of your local networking and professional association activities, getting involved with a larger association can add additional resources to help improve your experience as a self-employed business owner.
Access to Group Discounts
Some members join organizations such as NASE simply for insurance programs, which can be a worthwhile benefit. The cost of health insurance can be debilitating for many small businesses and having access to group benefit pricing is a clear win for keeping costs down and profits up. Likewise discount programs designed for large groups of buyers can bring costs down on services like shipping, printing and more that you wouldn't be able to get on your own.
NASE Growth Grants
If you need an immediate financial assist to your business and you're having trouble securing financing, NASE offers small grants of up to $4,000 each to small businesses. NASE has already awarded over $1,000,000 in grants. Membership for at least three months is required before you apply.
If you decide that NASE is the association for you and your business, visit their website and choose a plan that works for you and your budget. NASE provides several pricing tiers to accommodate small business owners, veterans and students. Pricing ranges from $120 to $25 annually, or monthly memberships from $11.95 to $45 a month.
Learning More About NASE
Every small business person and entrepreneur should consider joining professional associations. Developing a strong network can help you build your business and allow you to learn from others who have experienced the same highs and lows that you have. Associations like NASE can not only provide the support from fellow owners but valuable advice on finances, taxes, marketing and more and discounts necessary to help your business keep costs down and your doors open.