As advisors and community economic-development specialists, we are often approached by individuals who are looking to start a business or expand an existing one with one common question: “Are there any grants available for my business”?
There is a simple and a complex answer to this question. The simple answer is yes there are some grants available, and the complex answer is that the grants offered may not apply to your business.
As a business advisor for the Onondaga Small Business Development Center (SBDC), I frequently encounter entrepreneurs with great ideas for new businesses.
Most often, they are convinced that they have a business model that will be successful in the marketplace. Whether it is high-tech or low, product, service, or a combination of both, they are convinced that it is a winner.
So much these days is written about entrepreneurship, but perhaps too little is written about the entrepreneur. What is an entrepreneur exactly?
In fact the word itself has seen dramatically increasing popularity in recent years, probably due, in large part, to colleges adopting entrepreneurship programs of study. But how do we define entrepreneur in dictionary terms?
Raise your hand if you can’t stop looking at your email when you are supposed to be on vacation.
As we all become addicted to our electronic devices and constant need for instant information, are we making things better or worse?
There is no doubt that being a small-business owner you probably put in more hours than the average 9-to-5 worker, but that is exactly why it is more important to be aware of the benefits of striking a work-life balance.
The best days that Central New York has to offer us weather-wise are upon us. Now is the time to get out, soak up the sun, and step away from the daily grind.
No matter what stage of entrepreneurship you are in, it is far too easy to get sucked into wearing many different hats, working too many hours each day, and never allowing yourself time to recharge. After all, isn’t this the reason you chose to become an entrepreneur? —to make your own schedule, allow inspiration and creativity, and spend more time with your families and friends.
Watch for the Five Ps in every small-business success story. This will not be the first time you have read about the importance of critical items to startup and early stage, small-business success.
After spending more than 10 years mentoring and coaching startups, I am equipped to opine on the most important Ps in early stage small businesses. These are things, in my opinion, that are essential to small-business success and I believe many of my associates would heartily agree.
When we start to think about starting a business, there are so many things to consider. What are the steps to become legal? What are the proper filings I have to complete when established? How will I ever leave my job to go off on my own? Do I have what it takes?
There is so much to think about in order to be fully prepared to begin your venture. One thing you must evaluate is whether or not your business is part of a fad or a trend in the industry. This can be a difficult decision to make. That is why doing your research is so important to becoming a successful business operation.
Scenario 1 – You just got out of a meeting with your boss and the HR representative. Surprise! Your job has been “eliminated”.
Scenario 2 – You retired early from your first career and still feel like working.
Scenario 3 – You hate your job and want to work for yourself.
In all three scenarios you have a choice to make – do you start your own business or try to get hired by an employer?
Before you take the plunge, quit your job, and dive into an entrepreneurial endeavor of any magnitude, take time to reflect on, and explore, key issues to make sure that your business idea is feasible and needed in the marketplace. Here are some important issues to consider and steps you can take.
Minimize your risks. A great way to begin building a business is to do it while you still have the security of a steady paycheck, benefits, and paid time off.
What does MWBE stand for and what does it mean for your business?
Minority and Women Owned Business Enterprises can be a great way to open up many new business opportunities within your industry. No, grants are not something you will automatically get with having this certification and no, it does not ensure you will get a bid on a job you are going for but, it will give you an edge over a company who is not certified and is trying to get opportunities with the government.
Ok, still confused by what it really means for you?
Yes, a business plan requires research in order to be a viable document.
Better to write nothing than to waste time committing to paper a lot of thoughts, such as “I think,” “I assume,” and “I heard.”
After all, this is your business you are describing; what do you know?
Onondaga Small Business Development Center. Partnership Program with the SBA, administered by the State University of New York. Funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration. All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the SBA. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.