SCORE.org: Free Small Business Advice
It's a new year, time to set new goals! I started this business journey last year and I have found the SCORE business mentor program to be quite a helpful resource. I have taken two of the local workshops offered, you can type in your zip code to see which ones are available in your area. I also have a business mentor that has given me great advice on marketing my business, what may or may not be a flop, and contacts in accounting, sales, etc. for my business.
This workshop was hosted by a SCORE mentor who was also a business owner and accountant. He went over the essential parts in a business plan, why they were important, and business tips for each topic covered such as setting goals and objectives, marketing plan, financial projections, etc. We also received a copy of the material presented in class and an example of a business plan. The workshop was $15 and lasted about 2 hours.
This workshop discussed the different kinds of businesses you can start, i.e. joint ventures, sole proprietorship, limited liability company, etc. The hosts included marketing experts, accountants, business men, and a business lawyer. They went over the different tax filings for a business, marketing strategies, and initial investments to begin a business. There were other topics discussed and included in the material given to you at the end of the course, also $15 and worth it.
You can sign up for a mentor on the website by choosing, Find a Mentor, entering your zip code and filling out a brief questionnaire. My mentor contacted me the following day and we have been in touch ever since! I also recommend Steve Mariotti's, The Young Entrepreneur's Guide to Starting and Running a Business: Turn Your Ideas Into Money! It is definitely a good read, has the basics for starting a business, and encouraging success stories of young business people around the world.
Good luck Beaut's and remember only you can stop or help grow your vision into reality!