Steve Strauss is one of the world’s leading entrepreneurship and small business experts. He has been seen on CNN, CNBC, The O’Reilly Factor, and his column, Ask an Expert, appears weekly on USATODAY.com.Steve Strauss USA TODAY Senior Small Business Columnist and Best-Selling Author
The “Starting a Nonprofit” Toolkit invites you and your group to think about the difference you seek to make and the structure best suited to move forward. It leads you through key decision-making steps on whether a nonprofit is the best way for you to accomplish your goals. If you decide to move forward with a nonprofit, “Starting a Nonprofit” guides you through the key compliance and good-practice steps to take it towards becoming operational.
You may be feeling impatient to get started. Yet to be successful, it’s critical to pause, reflect, imagine, convene interested people in your community, and plan around important questions that will ultimately strengthen the organization’s ability to succeed.
This Toolkit represents a distillation of knowledge, experience, and research from nonprofit leaders, founders, and organizations that serve the nonprofit sector. “Starting a Nonprofit” brings you from idea to organization. It is the first stop on a journey that will lead you to many other resources. It is also a companion toolkit to resources on nonprofit boards, finance, law, and planning that are available in the Washington Nonprofit Handbook, at wanonprofitinstitute.org, and in 501 Commons resources. It is supported by in-person workshops, webinars, networks, and many other chances to learn more.
The path to business ownership is an exciting journey. As you embark on your journey, you need a few things to successfully reach your destination. First and foremost, you need a good roadmap or GPS to successfully navigate your way.
The SCORE Startup Roadmap, sponsored by FedEx, guides your journey, from your business idea through opening your doors to customers.
Whatever startup route lies ahead of you, the Startup Roadmap provides direction along the way. It will help you chart a course to success, minimizing detours and dead ends so you can get to your goal faster. This Roadmap will take you from the initial step of defining your business idea through your ultimate destination: launching your business. In each chapter, we’ll teach you what you need to do and give you the resources and expertise you need to get it done. Continue reading →
The first year of operations is a critical time for any small business, with decisions made about market focus, finding financing and hiring a team that will have a significant impact on the business’s success or failure in the future.
SCORE’s fall 2019 “Megaphone of Main Street” data report focuses on the challenges facing startups, which are companies in operation for less than one year.
This latest installment of the Megaphone of Main Street is the fourth in a data report series that presents a snapshot of the current American small business landscape. This particular report delves into the world of startup entrepreneurship, sourcing both qualitative and quantitative data directly from a diverse group of roughly 1,000 startup small business owners across the nation. Continue reading →
Viewing this webinar requires some basic information. This data is only used within SCORE and will not be distributed to any third parties.
A key to starting and building a successful business is planning. Sometimes, a business plan is required, but it’s not always the answer to creating a successful business. Sometimes, you need to think lean.
In this session, SCORE Mentor David Terrell will walk you through a Lean Canvas to help you create a “blueprint” of your business. He will provide practical tips and tools and teach you how to:
Determine the key categories of starting, testing and growing your business
Identify your target customers and what you need to do to get them to buy from you
Recognize your customers’ problems and how your product or service will solve them
Communicate your value propositions that set you apart from your competition
Test your solutions and get valuable feedback
Determine your cost structure, runway and revenue streams
Monitor key metrics to determine your business’s initial and ongoing success
There are many steps between the initial idea stage and an operating 501 (c) (3) organization and the process will usually span a period of a year or more.
After you come up with an idea for a service or a program that can best be developed on a not-for-profit basis, it is critical to find other individuals who share your vision for this idea. These individuals must be willing to share the work involved in getting your idea off the ground and serve as your starting board of directors.
It is also important that your board offer financial support, as the level of board support is a question that other funding sources will often ask. It is helpful if board members with specific skills can be recruited; e.g. an accountant and/or a lawyer as well as people experienced in the field of service you hope to provide. Continue reading →
Don’t make the all-too-common mistake of dismissing the value of planning for your business. Every well-run business needs to manage strategy, tactics, milestones, metrics and essential business numbers.
Do it right, and planning is easy to do, great for managing and developing accountability.
Remember these two key points:
Good planning doesn’t require a big, formal, traditional business plan document. A lean business plan is much easier than a traditional plan. It just consists of bullet-point lists and tables. You can do it yourself.
What really makes the difference is keeping the plan live. It doesn’t take more than an hour or two per month. The planning process means you track results, review, and revise often enough to keep your plan fresh.
Did you know more than 52% of all small businesses in the U.S. are home based?
According to the Small Business Administration, there are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses.
If you are considering or are in the process of starting a business from home, it’s an exciting and important undertaking. And as with any venture, it’s crucial to take the right steps to set yourself up for success.
Here are some tools that will make things a little easier.
The Veteran Entrepreneur Portal (VEP) is designed to save you time! BusinessUSA makes it easier for small businesses to access Federal services, regardless of its source. VA OSDBU quickly connects Veteran entrepreneurs to relevant ‘best-practices’ and information. Collectively, VEP offers direct access to the resources necessary to guide every step of entrepreneurship.
Start a Business This interactive tool connects you to the right resources specific to your small business objective. Navigate through relevant topics to access information on starting a business. Learn how to start a business »
Access Financing Use this customized wizard to identify financing resources to support the start-up, development, or growth of your small business. Learn about financial resources »
Grow Your Business Find out how to successfully expand your small business. Explore dedicated subjects with valuable information and resources to help you grow your company. Learn how to grow your business »