According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are
approximately 25 million small business in the United States.
They account for 47% of all sales, 55% of innovations, and 35%
all federal contracts. And the rate of small business
bankruptcies are at the lowest point in 19 years!
Taken together, the SBA’s research points toward one big
conclusion: starting your small business today, including small
home-based “micro-enterprises”, is a great idea!
Assuming you are in the United States, the SBA, and its
affiliated organizations SCORE (Service Corps of Retired
Executives) and SBDCs (Small Business Development Centers), are
perhaps the most valuable sources of advice and education
available to the micro-entrepreneur.
After you’ve decided what your ideal small business will be, how
do you find out what resources are available for you at the SBA?
One of the first steps is to call the SBA (1-800-827-5722,
9am-7pm East Coast time) and request publication OPC-2, “Your
Business and the SBA”. This publication is a summary of the
array of services available to you from the SBA.
Next, go to you local library, and ask the reference librarian
for a copy of the SBA’s “How to Start a Business in [your
state]”. It contains all the state- specific details, such as
licensing requirements, for every state.
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Even better, check you local used-books store for a copy. I
picked up a copy for my state at a used-books store for five
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Since you have Internet access, why not take advantage of the
SBA’s wealth of online information? The main site is located at
While you’re there, sign up for one of the SBA newsletters at
Then, go to http://www.sba.gov/starting/indexsteps.html The
series of pages starting here will take you step-by-step through
the process of starting your business–from “Your First Steps”,
through “Do Your Research”, through creating business plans and
Finally, visit http://www.sba.gov/classroom/ which features a
series of online courses ideal for the micro-entrepreneur.
The advice of friends, family, and associates are certainly
valuable. But by taking advantage of the Small Business
Administration’s offerings, you can be sure you are getting
researched, accurate, timely, and professional advice. The SBA
is designed especially for you, so if you want to do as much as
possible to ensure the success of your venture, don’t waste this
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