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Starting a Business


  • Submitted on 27 April 2011

    To incorporate, or to not incorporate? That is the question posed at start-up. This Advocacy funded report by Rebel Cole, How Do Firms Choose Legal Form of Organization? finds that the choice of legal form of organization is relatively stable over a firm’s first four years. When changes do occur, they tend to be to the more complex forms of organization.

    Legal Form of Organization Research Summary

    If you have any questions regarding Advocacy’s report, please do not hesitate to contact Brian Headd at 202-205-6533.

  • Submitted on 27 April 2011

    A new video series launched today by the U.S. Small Business Administration and ADP® offers insight into the story behind the story of six successful American companies.  Featuring the individuals who built their businesses from an idea to become industry leaders, the “America’s Best” series shares keys to success, best practices and lessons learned for today’s entrepreneurs.

    “With this series, SBA and our partner ADP offer current and potential entrepreneurs a chance to hear from the people who built their big ideas into some of America’s most successful companies,” SBA Administrator Karen Mills said.  “These six people share their personal perspectives and insights into the challenges they faced, along with their failures and successes, while also offering an inspirational look at the resiliency behind America’s spirit of entrepreneurship.”

    The “America’s Best” video series is available online at www.sba.gov/AmericasBest and on www.ADP.com.  The series was produced in partnership between SBA and ADP, a provider of human resource outsourcing, payroll services and benefits administration. 

  • Submitted on 06 August 2010

    Running a business involves a significant amount of investment. Business insurance protects your investment by minimizing financial risks associated with unexpected events such as a death of a partner, an injured employee, a lawsuit, or a natural disaster.

    Unless you have employees, business insurance is generally not required by law. However, it is common practice to purchase enough insurance to cover your assets.

    If your business is an LLC or a corporation, your personal assets are protected from business liabilities but neither business structure is a substitute for liability insurance, which covers your business from losses.

  • Submitted on 20 July 2010


    ChecklistYES! It is of critical importance to prepare a business plan prior to starting your business.

    The business plan is the road map your business will follow – the plan that shows where you are going, what your business objectives are and how to get there. The plan is a written document that outlines this – providing a detailed description of your business, describing in detail your product or service, how it will benefit the customer, and, most importantly, how you intend to become profitable with it, emphasizing your marketing strategies, financial management and management team.

    The business plan is extremely important in many areas, including obtaining financing, whether equity or debt. Most importantly, however, preparing a business plan requires you as the business owner to consolidate your business objectives and strategies into a written document, a document that should be used frequently to review your results and revise you objectives. It is one of an entrepreneur’s most helpful documents; you should give it significant thought and prepare it carefully.

  • Submitted on 20 July 2010

    Business NetworkingWhen 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.

    Everyone is experienced at networking.  Remember what happened when you ate at that great seafood restaurant, found the best bargain at the local shoe store, located a fantastic dry cleaners?  It’s probably safe to assume you told a few family members, friends or co-workers.  This is networking; passing along information to those who most likely will use these products or services.

  • Submitted on 20 July 2010

    Have you ever seen a commercial on television that may appear interesting, but when it’s over, you can’t remember what was being advertised?  That is what’s known as “brand failure.” 

    Corporate America spends billions of dollars each year in advertising and promotions for the products or services they provide.  Their goal is obviously to reach as many potential customers as possible.  Any time they create a perception that does not stick in your mind in a positive way every time you hear their company name, its brand has failed. 

    The same holds true for your company no matter how large or small.  Building and maintaining a good public image means the difference between success and disaster.   The way the public views your company profoundly impacts the amount of business you can expect to do in any market.  The public image you create for your company should be one that captures attention and motivates customers to purchase your products or utilize your services.

  • Submitted on 20 July 2010

    Opportunity
    Being your own boss can be rewarding, but it certainly isn’t for everyone. Sure, to some degree, you have more freedoms working for yourself than you do working for someone else. But often young entrepreneurs find that the workload and the stress of having to continually perform to keep their young business viable can be too much for them. It's true that, statistically in the U.S., more new businesses fail than succeed. You shouldn't let that discourage you but if you're thinking about starting your own business, there are some important things you should think about before making your decision.

    People start businesses for a lot of reasons, not just because they have some great idea that can change the world.  In fact, many small businesses do very well marketing others' products and services.

    Self-sufficiency
    Have you ever felt trapped in a job working for a company? That happens to lots of people and many of them dream of one day starting their own business and working in a way that gives them more control over their worklife such as hours, pay and overall job security--hey you're not going to walk into your own office and fire yourself unexpectedly one day, right?
     

  • Submitted on 20 July 2010

    Starting a business is a lot of work. Anyone who tells you it's not is either lying or has never actually started one themselves. The hours are long, sacrifices are great and you are assulted with new problems and challenges every day with seemingly no end.  If you don't have the constitution to weather these things, your business could implode on you faster than it started.

    Clearly, entrepreneurship is not for everyone. But how do you know whether it’s for you? You should start by asking yourself what it takes to be a leader because, for the most part, you'll be doing a lot of the work up front by yourself.  If you can't lead yourself through startup, chances are you won't likely be able to lead your business and future employees through growth and on to success.

Did you know...

Between 2002 and 2007, minority-owned firms outpaced the growth of non-minority firms in gross receipts, employment, and number of firms. Minority firms are an engine of job creation.
Graph for MBE Growth

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