Tips for starting a business

In a recovering economy, aspiring entrepreneurs like Bill and Donna or Star and Jose have found their opening to start a business.

Maybe you have a little of the entrepreneur in you. The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) along with federal, state, and local government partners offers many resources to help you start, grow, and succeed in your own business.Some basics:

Start with a plan. A business plan is a strategic vision for your company and is often required for obtaining loans. Before writing your plan, assess your strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats; identify your customers; and refine your company goals. Three elements of a good business plan are:

  • Service or product description: Sell the story of your product or service and how it will benefit your customers.

  • Sales strategy: Provide an analysis of your market, and state how you intend to sell your product. Gauge your local competition by using census data.

  • Financial projections: If you are seeking funding for your business, provide financial projections that support your request.

Attend training or a counseling session. Counseling will provide insights for starting a business, getting a loan, keeping your business afloat, and connecting with entrepreneurial mentors. Several government-sponsored groups provide this service for free or a nominal fee.

Get funding to start your business. The SBA and other government agencies operate loan and financial assistance programs for aspiring entrepreneurs. Credit scores and other factors affect your ability to acquire financial assistance.

·         Credit reports and other financing requirements

·         Financing a business

·         Business loans and grants

For more information about relevant laws, permits, taxes, and other steps to opening your business, check out 10 Steps to Starting a Business.

Wherever you are in the process, whether starting or expanding, the Community is a great place to ask questions and share your experiences.

Additional resources

· online services for businesses

              ·       Specifics for an Internet-based business