Thinking about starting your own business? There’s a lot to learn. You can increase your odds of success by doing your research before you get started. The Utah Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) provide information to help you research your idea and plan your next move.
Step 1: Find the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Workshop in your Area
There are many aspects of starting a business — from testing the market to finding funding. You have an SBDC in your area at the closest college, university or USU Extension office. Many offer in-person, start-up workshops on a regular basis for low or no cost.
These start-up workshops will give you tools and insights to know what it takes to plan for your business. Register here for a start-up workshop in your area or call your local SBDC for their workshop schedule.
Step 2: Meet with a Consultant
Ready to speak one-to-one with a business consultant? Request an appointment here or call your local SBDC. When you filling out the request form, the SBDC will contact you and make an appointment for a confidential meeting to discuss your idea and how the SBDC can help you.
Step 3: Explore Online Resources and the Entrepreneur Academy
Your SBDC consultant will help you find resources and identify the skills you will need for your business. It’s like having an experienced business owner with an MBA looking over your shoulder. We can help you understand the language
of business and help you find helpful resources. Your SBDC consultant can give you access to online training in the Entrepreneur Academy. There you get an overview of business and specific information about critical issues such as sales tax, social media marketing and more — Learn online, at the best time for you.
Questions to Consider When Considering Starting a Business:
1. The Idea
- What problem or opportunity does your idea solve?
- What product or service will you offer?
- Who is most likely to be interested in buying your product or services? Do they want to solve the problem your idea solves?
- Will you build your business from scratch, do you plan on buying an existing business or buying a franchise?
2. Who is Your Market?
- Who will you sell to?
- How many people will need your solution?
- Who else is solving this problem? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
- What do you do better than your competition?
3. Is It Feasible?
- Do you have a way to create and deliver your product or service?
- What will it cost to make/offer your product or service?
- How can you test if people will buy your product?
- What price would you charge a customer? How can you test if people will buy at this price?
- How much money will you make from each sale?
- What will be your monthly expenses?
- How much money will it take to start selling?
- How can you finance the business?
- Can you do the work needed to get it going?
- Have you reviewed a financial break-even analysis with anyone?
Step 1: Learning your Way
You’ve started your business and there are things you didn’t know you needed until now. The Utah Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) can help you quickly get the information and skills you need. It’s like having an experienced business owner with an MBA looking over your shoulder. We help you understand the language of business and find helpful resources. The Utah SBDCs have many ways to answers your questions.
- Live SBDC workshops and classes accelerate your understanding of key business practices and give you the chance to ask questions of local professionals. These start-up workshops will give you tools and insights to start your business on solid ground.
- Sign up for a free consultation at the SBDC in your area to get access to this great, free resource. The SBDC’s offer you free, one-to-one confidential consulting. We want you to succeed, let us help.
- Once you’ve visited an SBDC, you can log into the Utah SBDC’s Entrepreneur Academy. Here you get an overview of business and specific information about critical issues such as sales tax, social media marketing and more. Learn online, at the best time for you.
- Our Resources page has business start-up checklists, spreadsheets, business plan outlines, and short tutorials to help you start the right way – find the documents and tutorials you need here.
Step 2: Find the SBDC in Your Area
You have a personal consultant in your area at the closest university, college or USU Extension office. Cover the essentials of successful business ownership and find a business consultant who can help at your closest SBDC.
Step 3: Complete the Online Request for Business Consulting
Do you want to speak one-to-one with a business consultant? Request an appointment here or call your local SBDC When you filling out the request form, the SBDC will contact you and make an appointment for a confidential consultation.
Questions to Consider:
1. Getting Customers
- Do you have a marketing plan?
- How will you market to people who might want your solution?
- What amount of money do you have or need to market?
- How will you position your solution compared to other solutions?
- What are your price, quality and customer service strategies?
2. Managing Your Business
- What will you need to manage the day-to-day operations of your business?
- Do you need to hire employees? If so, when and how will you find them?
- Are there any regulations or legal compliance issues you need to consider?
- How will you deliver your product and/or service to your customers?
- What are your facility, equipment, and furniture needs?
- How will you keep track of the money in your business?
- What are the monthly expenses of your business?
- How much money will you need to get started including the first 3 to 6 months?
- How much money will you need to support yourself and the business needs?
- Do you know where to find the money you need?
- What will be your profit margin?
5. Do You have a Plan?
- Do you have a marketing plan?
- Do you have a business plan?
- Will your business plan be considered by investors?
- Do you need a pitch to show potential investors?
Step 1: Complete the Online Request for Business Consulting (link)
Looking to grow your existing business? Let the Utah Small Business Development Centers (SBDC) help. First, request business consultation , or call your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC). This will start your relationship with a Utah SBDC. Your local SBDC will then contact you and make an appointment for a confidential meeting to see how we can help you.
Step 2: Find Small Business Development Center (SBDC) Network workshops and classes
Want to learn more on specific topics? The Utah SBDC Network provides low-cost and free workshops throughout the year on a variety of business topics. We have local professionals hold small, interactive workshops about social media marketing, cash flow management and more. These classes cover topics essential to accelerating the growth of your business. Not sure where to start or need specific help? Contact your closest SBDC and sit with a consultant to map out a plan.
- Are you looking for documents or links for key resources? Check out our resources page.
- Are you ready to grow but need some money to do it? Try the SBA loan finder or speak with your local SBDC consultant.
Questions to Consider when Preparing to Grow Your Business:
1. Plan to Grow
- Have you written your growth ideas into a business plan or business model canvas?
- How do you want to expand your business — A new market, new products, new pricing, or purchasing a competitor?
- Have you tested your ideas for growth with a pilot project or collaboration?
2. Your Operational Plan
- Do you need additional money to increase capacity?
- Will you need more working capital with the changes?
- Do you need to be more efficient and effective in your production process? What is your plan to accomplish this?
- Do you have the capacity to meet future sales levels?
- Do you need more space or a bigger facility to meet capacity needs?
3. Your Team
- Do you have people with the right skills for growth on your team?
- Do you have a plan for attracting future personnel?
- Have you defined the duties, responsibilities, skill and experience needed for each position?
- How will you effectively, quickly train new people in your workforce?
4. Increasing Your Market
- Is there potential for growth in your market?
- Who is the market you want to reach?
- What is your plan for marketing to your target markets?
- What is your marketing budget?
5. Your Financial Plan
- How much capital will you need for business expansion?
- How will you raise this capital?
- Do you have a business growth plan for investors or lenders to review?
- What are your anticipated sales, profits and cash flow based on your growth plan?
6. Planning for Change
- How will you manage the changes?
- How will the changes affect your company?
- What strategy do you need to employ to manage change?
- What training for existing employees will you need?
Step 1: Find the SBDC in Your Area
There is a business consultant in your area located at the closest college, university or USU Extension office. All of the Utah Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) offer one-to-one, confidential consulting. The consultants can help you with the steps and resources you need to get ready to transition your business to another owner or to close it. Your consultant will provide you with the necessary tools and insight to help you get the most from your business.
Step 2: Complete the Online Request for Business Consulting
Ready to speak one-to-one with a business consultant? Request an appointment here or call your local SBDC. When you fill out the request form, the SBDC will contact you and make an appointment for a confidential meeting to discuss business succession strategies and how the SBDC can help.
Questions to Consider when Preparing for Business Succession:
If you plan to sell your business, do you know what your business will be worth? No matter the plan, an SBDC can help you make the most of the transition. Consider these questions as you plan for business succession:
1. Exit Strategy
- Are you considering selling your business?
- Are you transferring ownership to a family member?
- Are you considering a business merger?
- Are you thinking of liquidating your business?
- Are you considering hiring a manager to take responsibility?
- Are you divesting or segmenting your business in preparation for sale?
- Are you filing for bankruptcy?
- Are you closing your business?
2. Naming Your Price
- What is your business worth?
- What valuation formula will you use to value your business?
- What can you show to justify the business’s value?
3. Selling Your Business
- Are there buy/sell agreements in place?
- How does your exit strategy affect your personal estate plan?
- What are the legal and tax considerations of selling your business?
- Will you consider financing the buyer?
4. Professional Consultation
- Who will you consult for the best strategy to sell or close the business?
- What kinds of advice will you need?
5. Planning for Succession
- How does your business’s operation agreement and legal structure support business succession?