I'm a new business owner. Where do I begin and how do I start?
The decision to start-up a business should be well thought out and researched. Some, of many, ISSUES TO CONSIDER include:
- Ability and willingness to cope with an on-going endeavor 24/7
- Your likes, dislikes, experience, education, and interests
- Research, awareness, and strategy for an underserved customer base
- Financial feasibility... knowing amount of sales needed to break even
- How will the business be financed? From whom and how much?
- Research, awareness and strategy for an underserved customer base
- Projections on monthly income, expenses, balance sheet and cash flow
- The planning and writing down of your business concept, plans, and goals
- And many, many other topics depending on your business type and personal goals -- both short-term and long-term
What types of services and programs does the SBDC offer?
The SBDC's primary services are literature, workshops, and one-on-one counseling.
- LITERATURE - Free Business Start-Up Kit, brocures, and pamphlets
- WORKSHOPS - Offered on a variety of topics
- Counseling provided free through Professional Business Advisors
Contact the SBDC Monday - Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Our phone number is (707) 646-1071. We're here to help!
Are there any grants for new, minority, women, or veteran business owners?
In general, the SBA, State of California, local government agencies, and SBDCs do not offer grant funding. Any grants that may exist are generally offered to administrative non-profit organizations and intermediary lending institutions that offer direct services to existing small business owners.
FOR MORE INFORMATION: www.sba.gov/funding-programs/grants
I need money. How do I apply for a small business loan to help me get started?
It's very common to want to borrow; however,it's very important to carefully consider, not only sources of funding, but a reasonable and WORKABLE PLAN of action FOR REPAYING any money you do borrow.
- How much, in your own assets, can you invest in your business?
- Do you have family or friends able and willing to lend you money?
- If the business fails, will ties with family and/or friends suffer?
- Do you have realistic expectations on income, expenses, and cash flow?
- Will projected sales cover overhead AND the repayment of your loan?
- Are you qualified to borrow (i.e., credit, collateral, cash injection, etc.)?
- Have you started researching and preparing a written business plan?
For additional information, contact your bank, the SBDC, and/or visit www.sba.gov/funding-programs/loans.