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Starting a Business


  • Submitted on 06 November 2014

    Created on November 6, 2014
     

    EntreprenuersFor more than four decades, the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA) has led Federal Government efforts to provide focused support to minority businesses enterprises (MBEs), which are increasingly critical contributors to the U.S. economy.

    With an eco-system of 44 MBDA Business Centers located across the U.S. and in Puerto Rico, the Agency’s national programs and initiatives provide increased access to contracts, capital and markets. Although the centers are strategically located in areas with the largest number of MBEs, there are no geographical boundaries for service delivery, which allows MBDA clients, regardless of their location, to seek services from any MBDA Business Center.

  • Submitted on 18 September 2014

    Created on September 18, 2014
     

    Habla EspanolYoung entrepreneurs have a new tool to help determine if they’re ready for business ownership and to help them get started. Young Entrepreneurs: An Essential Guide to Starting Your Own Business (Jóvenes Emprendedores) is a free, self-paced online course in Spanish that gives an overview of basic business principles and introduces resources available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.  

     “This month, the SBA recognizes the vital contributions Hispanic American small business owners have made to our economy as we observe National Hispanic Heritage Month,” said Maria Contreras-Sweet, SBA Administrator.  “As a proud Hispanic American, I believe that providing financial, educational and technical assistance to Hispanic entrepreneurs is a major means to create jobs and stimulate the economy.  The new course is an essential business development tool for young entrepreneurs that can be central to the future success for many generations to come.”

    The Young Entrepreneurs course is designed to help with the essentials of starting a small business, including evaluating business ideas, choosing the best financing options and registering a business.  The course also includes useful resources that will help with each step along the path to entrepreneurial success.

  • Submitted on 23 June 2014

    Created on June 23, 2014
     

    This post originally appeared on the SBA.

    Dale Van Eckhout, Senior Area Manager, Bismarck Area Office - North Dakota District Office

    FranchiseMany people associate fast food businesses with franchising. In fact, there are over 120 different types of franchise businesses and hundreds of thousands of franchises available in the United States, including automotive, cleaning & maintenance, health & fitness, and pet-related franchises - just to name a few.

    Franchising is the practice of selling the right to use a firm's successful business model. This involves two major players which are the franchisor who sells the business model, and the franchisee owning a direct stake in the business. The franchisor's success depends on the success of the franchisees.

    There are many benefits in buying a franchise including the following:

    • Saving time - the franchise company already has the business model in place so you can focus on running a successful business.

    • Company image and branding - the image and brand of the company is already established. Consumers are always more comfortable purchasing items from a familiar name or company they trust.

    • Training - the franchisor usually provides extensive training and support to the franchise owner.

  • Submitted on 22 January 2014

    Created on January 22, 2014
     

    CrowdFundingOn October 23, 2013 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted unanimously to propose rules under the JOBS Act to permit companies to offer and sell securities through crowdfunding.

    Crowdfunding describes an evolving method of raising capital that has been used outside of the securities arena to raise funds through the Internet for a variety of projects ranging from innovative product ideas to artistic endeavors like movies or music.  Title III of the JOBS Act created an exemption under the securities laws so that this type of funding method can be easily used to offer and sell securities as well.  The JOBS Act also established the foundation for a regulatory structure for this funding method. 

    SEC Chair Mary Jo White noted that the intent of the JOBS Act is to make it easier for startups and small businesses to raise capital from a wide range of potential investors and provide additional investment opportunities for investors. 

  • Submitted on 17 January 2014

    Created on January 17, 2014
     

    NetworkingOne of the most effective ways to grow your business is also one of the oldest: networking. While it may not get as much buzz these days as social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, old-fashioned, face-to-face networking is still essential for building a business.

    Networking Success

    When we think of networking often times images of happy hour, spending an inordinate amount of time in the evenings at a restaurant or office building with a whole lot of chit chat that may yield little to no business at all.  While this type of activity can seem tiresome and unnecessary, it can be a great way to get your business off the ground.  This simple, cost-effective (sometimes FREE) way of advertising is a means of getting the word out about your business.

    » Read More on Networking Success

  • Submitted on 22 November 2013

    Created on November 22, 2013
     

    BusinessUSAThat’s the core objective of BusinessUSA. Approaching two years since its launch in early 2012, BusinessUSA was created to provide businesses a better entryway into the host of programs and opportunities the federal government has to offer. Too often, interactions with the government are burdensome, frustrating, and confusing. BusinessUSA aims to fix that by providing a single point of access to those programs and resources relevant to business owners and exporters.

    It is BusinessUSA’s mission to ensure that potential and existing business owners have access to programs and opportunities that can help them grow and succeed. Agencies and Departments from across the federal government have collaborated on the site to ensure that users have access to many programs and resources they might not otherwise be able to find, as well as complementary resources from other providers. The site offers easy to use, step by step tools for starting or growing a business, starting or expanding exporting operations, getting disaster assistance, finding opportunities, and more. BusinessUSA is also a place business owners can go to get information about the new health care law.

  • Submitted on 02 October 2012

    Created on October 2, 2012
     

    Are you a woman who is ready to start or expand a small business? Now’s a good time to take that first step, with help from a U.S. Small Business Administration series of four web chats during October, which is also National Women’s Small Business Month.

    Women-owned businesses are one of the fastest growing segments of the small business community. Today, about 30 percent of small businesses are owned by women, compared to about 5 percent in 1970.

  • Submitted on 18 September 2012

    Created on September 18, 2012
     

    SizeUp Allows Business Owners to Research Data and Analytics to Start or Grow a Business

    Small business owners and start-ups across the country can now take advantage of a new business tool to help them compete and grow. The free tool, called SizeUp, helps businesses identify new customers and compare their performance against other businesses in their industry with data collected from hundreds of private and public sources. The tool can be found at www.sba.gov/sizeup.

    “Market research and analysis is critical for the success of any small business owner or entrepreneur. Tools like SizeUp deliver data right to the fingertips of business owners to help make smart decisions and have the greatest opportunity to start, grow, compete and succeed,” said SBA Administrator Karen Mills. “In today’s challenging economic environment where small businesses create nearly all net new jobs in the U.S., help for small businesses is more important than ever before.”

  • Submitted on 16 July 2012

    Reality Check“Myths” and “urban legends” persist in the public’s perception despite their obvious misinformation. This is true in the small business arena as well as in other facets of life.

    These myths have a negative impact on small business success because legends can reinforce or encourage bad decisions by aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners - decisions that can be critical and sometimes fatal to the establishment or growth of the businesses.  The myth-list is a long list, but these eight are the most common.

    Myth #1:  “I don’t need a written business plan - I have everything in my head.”

    Reality check:  For any new small business to enter the marketplace, the owners need a detailed business plan which lays out their target market, funding, organization, and anticipated revenue flow. A sound business plan is mandatory if the business is seeking a business loan or status as an 8(a) socially or economically disadvantaged company with the SBA. In addition, it prevents business owners from failing to accurately predict revenue, cash flow, and other critical items needed to survive. 

    It is human nature to be optimistic - it is much easier to be optimistic if the data is only in our minds.  Sometimes ideas that seem great in concept present an entirely different picture when put down on paper. 

  • Submitted on 27 June 2012

    Applying for a business loan and securing its approval can be a lengthy process. The actual approval time varies widely depending on the type of loan, its complexity, and the borrower’s timeliness providing the necessary information. This guide from SBA can help you gather the right paperwork, whether you’re applying for an SBA loan or a regular business loan.

    But knowing exactly what you’re signing up for is just as important as rounding up the details and completing the paperwork accurately. If you’ve ever purchased a car and found yourself surprised when extra line items turn up on your monthly billing statement, then you’ll know the feeling. With loan agreements, there are devils in the details. That’s why it’s critical to pay attention to the fine print, often found in the promissory note or security interest section of the agreement.

    Here are some tips for what to look for and how to avoid potentially costly mistakes:

    Common Details Buried in the Fine Print

    Some of the key terms that make up a loan agreement aren’t always as explicit as one might hope. The fine print, for example, can include detailed and complex technicalities, qualifications or restrictions of the agreement, and even vital information about the loan’s terms. Things to look out for include:

Did you know...

MBDA Minority Business Centers helped clients secure contracts totaling $6.9 billion during the last 5 fiscal years.
Graph for Dollar Value of Contracts

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