You have a winning idea. Now what?
Let’s say you have an idea for a business but don’t have any idea how to get it started. Most entrepreneurs get businesses off of the ground through partnerships with industry professionals or consulting with peers they’ve networked with in the past. But if you don’t have a business partner or feel like you have nowhere to turn for advice, you’re in luck. Small Business Development Centers, also known as SBDCs, are all over the US and are designed to provide free educational and consultation services to those interested in starting their own business. One in particular, called SCORE, has been in the business for more than 50 years.
SCORE is a partner of the SBA (the U.S. Small Business Administration), which provides Congressional grants to the nonprofit organization in order to provide small business mentoring and training to interested entrepreneurs. So for instance, if you have an interest in furniture and have been selling to friends and family for the past few years but don’t have the faintest idea on how to grow your business into the larger commercial industry, you can visit a SCORE office and consult with a mentor to come up with a business plan and strategy to take your venture to the next level.
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Giving yourself a strong foundation
The key to starting a successful business is by building a strong informational foundation so that you go in with your best foot forward. From the day your doors open, your business must rely on the research and planning you did beforehand to ensure that it stays afloat and continues to grow. By rushing in ill-informed, you jeopardize your venture from the start.
While there are numerous consulting firms that offer advice on new business strategy, they can be quite costly. SCORE and other SBA partners are a great value to small business owners because they offer top notch services from powerhouses within the industry for little to no cost. The existence of these organizations diminishes the barriers to starting your business and gives you the go-ahead to turn your passion into a career.
If you have an idea for a small business venture, schedule a consultation at a SCORE location. It costs little to nothing and could result in the start of something great.