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My boyfriend is looking to start a business.?

He wants me to do the footwork as far as finding a loan and writing the proposal because he’s so busy with his current job. I have no idea where to even begin. Any suggestions?

see if your area has a small business association. the one in my county (polk county florida) gives classes on how to write a business plan (including software), the steps to beginning a business, and how to do the accounting. and they give free business counseling. i found it to be really helpful. i’m not sure where you are, but i think you could benefit from finding one in you area.

before you begin writing the business plan you should flesh out a business concept which should include the answers to these questions

-who buys this product or service? (provide a customer profile- age, income, gender, industry, etc)
-why do they buy this product or service? (what creates the desire for the product or service?)
-why do/would they buy from you- what are the inherent unique strengths in your company product, and or service?
-what are the potential roadblocks to success with this venture?
-what compensation will the owners and investors require from this venture? what is the definition of success fro this venture? is there an exit strategy?
-why do you believe the management team is capable of making this a successful venture? (experience, training, education, etc)

the main things you want to think about are your market (the people who will buy) and your industry (the competition). you want to make sure that there is a market for your goods/services. and you need to be aware of trends in your industry. find out the strengths and weaknesses of competitors and put them to use.

location is also important. chose it based on your market! make sure it is a place where your target population is willing to go. for example, if you want to sell to upscale people you have to be in an upscale location. and make sure to advertise where your target population will look. if your target population is ages 18-25 you may advertise online instead of in newspapers, for example. that’s why it’s really important to know your market and how they think and how they buy. to get to know your market, you can do surveys and you can look up census information. don’t choose a location based on the fact that there are no businesses of your kind in that area. other businesses may have found that it’s not feasible to do business in that location. that’s why your research is important. are and also, when choosing a location look into things like zoning requirements, what plans are being made for the area by the city or county, the crime rate, and how close it is to your target population.

to get to know your industry, you can look for your North American Industry Classification System code (or naics code) here: http://www.census.gov/epcd/www/naics.html
you basically type in the keyword for your business and find the code that applies. once you know the code you can google it (for example, keywords: naics 423810). this should help you to find information about how many businesses are in your industry, how much money they are bringing in,etc. it’s kind of hard to understand looking at the data like that so i suggest getting business counseling.

you’re going to need a legal structure to determine who is liable in case something happens, a business license, and insurance.

and i really recommend these books: “steps to small business start up” by linda pinson and jerry jinnett and “the small business start-up kit: a step by step legal guide” by peri h. pakroo.

and a word about prices: don’t try to be the lowest! as a new business you would lose money and the few years are critical.

the main reason that banks refuse people loans for small businesses is because the presentor sounds like they don’t know what they’re doing. before you apply for loans make sure you have done your research and have a solid plan!

that’s about all i can think of right this minute. i’m starting my own business too. the process is a little daunting and you’ll hear lots of negative things along the way, but you’ll do well if you research, plan, and keep hope alive! 🙂 good luck!


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