Start Up & Growth - Business and Entrepreneur Development Tools
Whether you're considering starting a small business, expanding an existing business or contracting with the government, a little research ahead of time can save you considerable time, money and trouble.
Resources are readily available to help you learn as much as possible about the business you're considering. If you're a DIY entrepreneur, research the economic and operating trends on the business, determine your target markets, assess facilities and dquipment needs and scout for a prime location.
One of your most important steps will be to prepare a business plan, a formal document detailing how you will grow your business from start-up to success. Why should you spend the time and effort to prepare a business plan?
1. The act of preparing a business plan will help you to see clearly every aspect of your business. It will show you strengths and weaknesses that can be assessed and addressed prior to an outlay of capital.
2. A business plan is an invaluable assessment tool that helps you keep track of where you are and where you are going.
3. A business plan will be required if you seek outside investors or private lenders.
For assistance in developing a business plan, there are several resources close by.
The U.S Small Business Administration (SBA) is a federally funded agency that provides managerial, technical and financial assistance to small business developers and existing businesses. It serves as an advocate for entrepreneurial development, reporting on economic contributions of small businesses and recommending policies to Congress that further enterprise development.
The SBA's national network of Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) plays an essential role in the economic development of their states and local communities through their direct, face-to-face counseling for small businesses. SBA's Small Business Development Centers give new and growing small businesses the resources they need throughout the year to grow and create jobs, including improved access to lenders and increases in likelihood of obtaining loans. The SBDC Business Advisors provide technical expertise to coach borrowers through the lending process.
The SBA and the State of Georgia fund six Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) in and around Metro Atlanta. The SBDCs provide free managerial and technical counseling services that assist with management training, business and market planning, finance and research.
The Small Business Development Center at the University of West Georgia provides a 'Starting a Business' class. To register for this affordable training, call 678-839-5082, or visit www.uwgsbdc.org for additional information and training schedules.
The University of Georgia Small Business Development Center in Columbus can be reached at 706-569-2651. Click here to learn more.
The Burson Center in Carrollton, Ga is a highly acclaimed small business incubator, designed to accelerate the successful development of entrepreneurial companies through an array of business support resources. For more information on incubation and The Burson Center click here.
SCORE Counseling is another resource that can provide you one-on-one assistance.