“10 Tips to Start a Business” From the SCORE Association

Washington, D.C.—The SCORE Association “Counselors to America’s Small Business” provides “10 Tips to Starting a Business” to those people are thinking of starting a business now that corporate layoffs are at the highest levels in years.

Entrepreneurship has always been a significant stabilizer of economic recessions. According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) report The New American Evolution: The Role and Impact of Small Firms, during the 1990s the U.S. economy was reinvented, “by fostering and promoting entrepreneurial activity.” Small business employment increased by 1.8 million (36.8 percent) between 1990 and 1995. The current economy shows the same opportunity for entrepreneurship with small business income increasing by 2.4 percent while corporate profits decreased by 7.2 percent, according to the SBA’s Small Business Indicators for 2001.

As a trusted small business resource, SCORE offers these tips to those people who are thinking about small business ownership.

  1. Identify your talents. Define your passion and think of it in terms of profit. It may be product-oriented or service-oriented.
  2. Consult with colleagues. Mentors, friends, family and a SCORE counselor can provide valuable feedback about your start-up ideas. Their support and suggestions will be valuable as your business venture progresses.
  3. Research, research and more research. Learn about the business by attending association meetings, local networking groups and by talking with business owners in similar fields. Research the industry and investigate the competition.
  4. Know your money. Analyze your financial resources before pouring your savings into a business venture. Identify both the start-up and ongoing costs. Determine how much you will need to support your family while you build the business.
  5. Know yourself. Evaluate your personal strengths and weaknesses. Factors such as motivation, organization, and internal drive will be important to your success.
  6. Keep records. Complete, accurate records are needed to file taxes and properly manage your bank accounts. Record new business ideas and business mistakes; these can provide future guidance.
  7. Get business counseling from SCORE. Meet with a SCORE counselor, either face-to-face or via email, and discuss on your business ideas. SCORE’s volunteer counselors are experienced business owners and managers who can assist with business planning and forecasting issues.
  8. Talk about lifestyle changes. Discuss the possible lifestyle, financial and emotional changes your family will encounter. Air all concerns and make sure your family supports your decision.
  9. Find necessary resources. Determine sources of capital, equipment, employees and vendors. Always have back-up sources.
  10. Remember your reasons. Before starting a business, write down why you decided become an entrepreneur. Keep this list handy at all times; these reasons will motivate you in good times and in bad.

The SCORE Association was formed in 1964. SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to entrepreneur education and the formation, growth and success of small business nationwide. For information about starting or operating a small business, call 1-800/634-0245 for the SCORE chapter nearest you. More than 10,500 volunteers provide individual counseling and business workshops for aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. SCORE has assisted more than 4.5 million Americans with small business counseling. Visit SCORE on the Web (www.score.org).