Yes, provided you know what you are getting into and provided you feel comfortable with your state of knowledge about the business you have chosen.You should also have a strong drive to succeed even when the hours get long and the decisions difficult. All types of people make it in small business and all types fail. There is no personality type or educational level that qualifies or disqualifies anyone from succeeding in small business.

Hundreds of thousands of people do it every year. It is an individual choice that should be made only after serious study, self-examination, and business advising. Your individual preparation is your key to success. For more information on this topic, talk to a business advisor today.

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Begin with a feasibility study that answers these three questions:

-What am I going to do?
-What will it take in money and skills to do it?
-What will it give me in terms of money and satisfaction?

Get business advising from a Small Business Development Center or some other organization that regularly deals with business startups. Set out to learn all you can about your new business BEFORE you make the decision to start it. Learn about the market, your target customers, the competition, pricing practices, typical profit margins, sources of supply, and anything else that will help you fully understand the nature of your new business.

If you can talk to business owners in similar businesses or work as an employee for a time in such a business, do so. Talk to suppliers who sell to your type business. Read trade publications and magazines dealing with your chosen business. Attend seminars that deal with subjects important to your business. If there are franchises doing what you plan to do, study them. Request information about them and talk to franchise owners.

When you have finished your research and feel comfortable that you are doing the right thing, prepare a business plan to outline in detail the start up of your new business. Gather together the money you need and get the equipment, people, and other things you need to start. When all this is in place, start. BUT NOT BEFORE!

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Contrary to popular belief, grants of cash for business are virtually nonexistent. There are rare instances where a cash grant has been given for some highly specialized type of business or for some unusual situation, but for the great majority of business situations, there are no cash grants.There are many government grants designed to assist business, but these usually don’t go directly to the business. Instead, they go to agencies and organizations that perform some service for business or benefit business in some way. The Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States operate partly on a grant from the federal government.

The books and late-night television infomercials that tout government grants for business are usually exercises in cleverly misleading entrepreneurship. Read the fine print carefully and “buyer beware.”

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You will need two sources of money. The initial source will pay for the things you need to get your new business off the ground. The other source will be used to pay your operating expenses until your business reaches break-even point; the point where you are taking in the same amount of money you are paying out.To estimate the first source of money, make a list of all the things you will need to start your business. This might include equipment, tools, inventory, fixtures, lease costs, office supplies, vehicles, signs, pre-opening advertising, fees and permits, and everything else you can think of. These are often referred to as “start-up” costs. Opposite each of these items, put an estimated cost. If you don’t know the cost, find out. If you have uncertainties, estimate on the high end.

The second source of money, to be used for operating expenses, involves estimating your cash outflow for all the things you will have to pay for after you start your business. This might include such things as rent, utility bills, gas for vehicles, supply replacement, payroll, payroll taxes, advertising, insurance, bookkeeping or legal fees, etc. If you will estimate each of these items for one month, you can multiply the months’ totals by the number of months you think it will take you to reach cash break-even.

When you will reach cash break-even is a judgment call by you based on what you know about your business and like-type businesses. If you are going to err…err on the side of conservatism. It will be far better to have too big a pot of operating money than to run out of operating money.

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A majority of TVCC SBDC services are geared specifically towards those challenges faced by existing businesses – management reorganization, redesigning a business or marketing plan, financing an expansion, technical assistance… and many more.

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No. However, the TVCC SBDC can help you assemble the paperwork needed to apply for a business loan. They can help you prepare a business plan if you don’t already have one. When they have helped you develop the whole loan package then you are ready to approach a bank for a loan.

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There is no charge for SBDC business advising. Occasionally there are minimal fees required for the training courses that are offered.

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A business plan is an outline or road map for your new business. It tells what it is, where it is, how it will operate and whom it will serve. It includes information about your customers, your employees, and you. It explains something about the industry you will be a part of and briefly explains the market for your product or service. It expresses these things with both words and numbers.The numbers of a business plan are especially important, for they translate the anticipated activities of the business into the language common to all business. If your business plan will be viewed by bankers or other financial types, your income statements, balance sheets and cash flow statements will take center stage. You will use them to paint a picture of your businesses near term financial future.

Yes, you need one. You need one for your own use and you may need one for others: partners, investors, bankers, relatives, employees, etc. They are great tools for analysis and they help in communicating with others. Bankers usually insist on them when considering loan requests. Investors won’t work without them.

Business plans take many forms and can be brief or lengthy, informal or formal, optimistic or pessimistic, and typed or hand written. The important thing is that one exists. A TVCC SBDC Business Advisor can assist you as you develop your Business Plan. Contact us today to schedule a meeting to discuss your business goals!

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No. When you incorporate with the Secretary of State in your state of incorporation, you may do business anywhere in the state without the need for an Assumed Name Certificate (DBA).

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