Have you dreamed of owning your business for many years, but don’t know where to start?

We can help you find answers to these common questions: 

  • How do I turn my business idea into a successful business? 
  • Do I have the motivation, experience and practical requirements to become an entrepreneur? 
  • How do I research potential markets and customers? 
  • What is a business plan and how do I prepare one? 
  • Where can I find financing and loans? 

Assess your entrepreneurial readiness.  Owning, operating and growing a self-sustaining business is challenging. To see if you are prepared, take the Business Readiness Assessment. 

Find out what it takes to start a business.  Approximately 70% of new businesses fail within seven years. Your chances improve the more you educate yourself. Click here to view free, self-paced online tutorials which cover essential startup topics – available to you 24 hours a day. 

Attend a Small Business Workshop.  Prior to investing precious time and money, take advantage of the Small Business Workshops designed to help first-time entrepreneurs begin the process of successful business ownership – evaluating business ideas, developing a business, and exploring financing options. These events are offered at low or no cost on a regular basis across our seven-county service area.  For more information about upcoming events, see our Events Calendar

Use online resources to formalize your idea.  The deeper you look, the more questions you’ll have. Be sure to check out our FAQs on starting a business, as well as our Open Business Library for free business templates and resources. 

Find a mentor and create a draft plan.  Talk with a trusted associate(s) or connect face-to-face or by email with a SCORE mentor to discuss your business aspirations and open questions. Flesh out your ideas, map your business model and/or draft your business plan. 

Ready to launch your startup?  Once you’ve taken advantage of startup tutorials, workshop and online resources and have a good draft of your business model canvas or plan, it’s time to meet with an SBDC advisor for free, confidential, one-to-one consulting services.  To take the next step, click here.