Developing a Business Plan
The South Carolina Business Resource Guide is designed to provide all types of businesses with tools and resources-including access to a variety of state, regional and local outlets-to increase their opportunity for business success. Get information on Getting Started, Licenses, Permits & Regulations, Financing, Marketing & Growing Your Business, Workforce Development, Business Operations, Local Resources, Additional Resources and Frequently Asked Questions. To download the FREE guide, CLICK HERE!
The SBA provides a tutorial designed to help you understand the purpose and importance of a business plan, outline the components of the plan and types of information included in it, and provide you with additional resources for guidance in creating your own business plan.
Review an online list of Sample Business Plans, compiled by the U.S. Small Business Administration and Palo Alto Software. Also, available for order is Business Plan Pro which includes an additional 400+ other sample plans.
Web-based Business Resource
There are all kinds of terms used in the online business industry that can make getting started seem overwhelming to those new to the field. BusinessBolts.com has put together a glossary with industry terms (including acronyms) that should help you get on your way to understanding the terms associated with online business. There are also links to references where you can learn more. If you are new to the field this will help you learn faster and understand what's going on in the industry. The glossary can also be helful for your customers (if you are servicing businesses and helping them gain an online presence). It can be impossible to communicate with your clients oif they don't know terms dealing with SEO and online advertising.
Growing Your Business
The Managing Your Business page accessed through the United States Small Business Administration's web site, provides comprehensive information on a variety of business topics. Topics include: growth management, leadership, sales and marketing, financing, strategic planning, technology, special interests and taxes. With links to online courses, libraries, online universities and colleges, online help and national training event days, the U.S. Small Business Administration site is a practical tool for small business owners at any level.
Small business owners' can utilize this toolkit to answer their business questions and concerns. The site provides top business headlines, free downloads, an advice columnist, free e-mail based training courses, a monthly newsletter and links to more detailed sites on specific topics from controlling your taxes to understanding the financial statement.
The Idea Cafe' provides an easy way for entrepreneur to get all the information needed to start and run a business. The Café hosts active forums, free templates, relevant FAQs, business outlines and technical explanations for business terms and procedures. The site addresses topics as specific as how to start a wedding planning business to as general as how to successfully work at home. Idea Cafe' knows what people who run small businesses need and want. Through The Cafe' you can solve your problems all while having fun and network with others just like you.
Smart Biz has a broad archive of in depth articles on topics from marketing to management, profiles on successful business owners and how they got to the top, interactive forums, a technology center and helpful web links. The highlight of this site is an extensive list of sample business forms in free downloadable format.
From office leasing to dealing with personal and family matters when mixed with business, the site offers detailed articles that address common business issues. AllBusiness lists extensive directories of online resources for business aid. Business forms for purchase are also available from this site.
WebMarketing Today has links to scores of publications and thousands of articles on the web; some articles are fee based or require registration, others are free. With thousands of links and articles, the site is searchable by topic and keyword for assisted navigation.
The Small Business Development Center's Human Resources page is a helpful tool for orienting a small business owner in employee management and the how to obtain the services one must provide for employees. This site also acts as a reference page for those familiar with employee management, as it contains links to handbooks, competitive salary listings for various markets and occupations and publications containing breaking trends and developments in human resources.
The U.S. Small Business Administration's Employee Handbook is full of policy suggestions and examples of handbook pages. The site lists dozens of scenarios and ideas for your consideration in planning the rules and regulations for employee management in your business or, organization.
Selling to the Federal Government can provide significant revenues for your business and the process is not as complicated as you may think. This site provides information that can help you position your company for contracting opportunities. It will help you understand the basics of selling to the government, show you how to get started and pursue opportunities, and provide resources that will give you the knowledge and skills you need to help you succeed. Just click on the link “For Small Business Owners.”
The US Census provides information as up to date as monthly by nation, state, county and zip code. Business, geographic and governmental statistics, in addition to population data, are accessible in downloadable format.
ArcGIS is an integrated collection of GIS software products. It provides a standards-based platform for spatial analysis, data management, and mapping. You can use ArcGIS products throughout the enterprise on the desktop and via servers and mobile devices. You can also use ArcGIS to access online services. If you are a developer, ArcGIS gives you tools for building your own applications. ESRI offers subscription services for ordering data sets and detailed maps for your business market. Thematic maps, shaded geographic maps and a variety of other resources can be purchased or put directly on your website. Community info sheets from economic development to retail data are also available.
EASI has resources for priced and free demographics for your business market. The free ring studies include population, households, race, ethnicity, age distribution, income distribution, and some key EASI weather data. EASI claims these data sets are most helpful to analysts, consultants, retailers, franchisers, bankers, real estate executives, and others interested in a small area geographic analysis.
An archive of demographic reports, this Small Business Development Center site has over fifty links to various statistical breakdowns and analyses of demographic reports. For gaining perspective of your target market or investigating the success rate of small businesses in a particular zip code, this site can help you find the information you need.