Most U.S. Government agencies aren’t exactly known for their efficiency. There are layers upon layers of bureaucracy. Then of course, there’s the paperwork needed to keep the bureaucracy going on all cylinders. It’s a little frightening, when you get right down to it.
Last year, our family visited Washington D.C. for a couple of days. Now, it’s one thing to read articles and op-eds about how slow our government works, and how much paper is shuffled to and fro to keep our country moving. It’s quite another thing to visit our nation’s capital and see just how many government buildings there really are.
Of course, inside those government buildings are thousands of government employees, sitting in thousands of cubicles, doing thousands of different jobs.
As of this year, there were 2.65 million civilian government employees. That number excludes the U.S. Post Office, and non-civilian military personnel. Of course, not all of them work in Washington. But a lot of them do.
One agency that is trying to be cutting edge in terms of cutting out the clutter is the Small Business Administration (SBA). Under the watchful eye of Karen Mills, the agency seems to be going through a transformation.
Some of that transformation is taking place online in the form of a brand new, almost ready for prime-time, cutting-edge website.
There’s a link on their current website that takes you to a mini-site. It’s called “The Next SBA,” and it’s a preview of things to come. It’s starting to look really impressive.
The SBA’s design team has wisely put together a simple, yet effective, “what, why, where” section on the web page, and it’s a great example of a website that gets to the point instead of forcing new visitors to search too long for answers. (I may even try the what, where, why approach on one of my websites. I like it that much.)
Here’s the “what”:
“Our goal is to build a personalized and dynamic web presence that proactively delivers essential information and services to our customers. So that small business owners, lenders and anyone else who visits SBA.gov can quickly find what they need. And so that without visiting SBA.gov they can be alerted to information they may not even know they need through personalized alerts.”
Did you happen to notice the word, “quickly” in that paragraph? That can be a very powerful word for today’s busy small business owner, who needs to get his or her information, well, quickly.
One tool that will be available to users that like speed is called SBA Direct. The SBA says that “it’s a new dynamic Web tool that will allow users to personalize their experience on SBA.gov.”
According to Kirk McElwain, the Director of Web Management for the U.S. Small Business Administration, “just by answering a few simple questions about your business, SBA Direct will bring the targeted resources you need to start, operate and grow your small business – directly to your desktop.”
The folks at the Small Business Administration feel that it shouldn’t take more than a few minutes for visitors to the site to get their small business questions answered.
Some small businesses are going through pretty tough times. Speed is of the essence, in many cases.
The “new” SBA seems to be one U.S. Government agency that’s really committed to change. This change may mean that more future and current small business owners will look forward to doing business with a clutter-free SBA.
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Joel Libava, The Franchise King®, is the president of Franchise Selection Specialists Inc, a franchise consulting firm that specializes in helping prospective franchise owners all over the US find great opportunities in franchise ownership. Joel discusses all aspects of franchising on The Franchise King Blog, is quite active in social media, and serves as the community promotions director for Small Business Trends.