Category Archives: Startups

Simple Steps for Starting Your Business

Free Workbook and Online Workshop Series

Simple Steps for Starting Your BusinessMake a smart start on your business idea with the Simple Steps for Starting Your Business series by SCORE mentors, sponsored by Canon, U.S.A.

Watch the online workshop modules and download the free guide to get practical information and exercises that will help you determine whether starting a small business is right for you.

Take the Online Course

Download the Guide (here)


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Ask SCORE: How do I get a business license?

Kitsap County does not require business licenses but the cities of Port Orchard, Poulsbo, Bainbridge Island and Bremerton each have business license requirements.

NOTE: Businesses NOT physically located in the city, but still doing work there, are required to obtain a license for the city. Business should check to make sure their use is compliant with land use and zoning.

All business must apply for a Master Business License from the Washington State Department of Licensing, which registers the business with the state departments of Revenue, Licensing, Labor and Industries, Employment Security, Secretary of State, and the Washington State Department of Commerce.

A new corporation locating in the State of Washington must file for Articles of Incorporation with the Secretary of State‘s office, which will issue a UBI (Unified Business Identifier) number.

To make sense of it all, we suggest that you visit our state’s Business Licensing Wizard. It asks a few questions that gives you a personalized list of licensing agencies based on your type of business.

5 Overlooked Options for Financing Your Small Business

Need financing to start or grow your business? If you’re starting a business that requires significant financial investment up front, finding a source of funding can be a challenge. Many start-ups and new small businesses often find they may not qualify for a traditional small business bank loan. Without a proven track record of 3-5 years under your belt and/or established business credit, many banks simply won’t take the risk. But before you risk your life savings or re-mortgage your home, you should know about some possible alternatives.  Continue reading

16 steps to starting a business while working full time.

16 Steps to Starting a Business While Working Full time Do you dream of being your own boss?

If you want to start a business, but aren’t quite ready to give up your job and its accompanying security, salary and benefits, don’t worry; you don’t have to.

Working full time doesn’t have to mean giving up on your entrepreneurial dreams.

In fact, starting a business while working full time is a great way to test the waters of entrepreneurship and gradually grow your startup into a full-time business.

[ Download Workbook ]

Part 1: Get Ready

  • STEP 1: Select a Business
  • STEP 2: Write Your Business Plan
  • STEP 3: Goal Setting and Planning
  • STEP 4: Choose Your Marketing Methods
  • STEP 5: Figure Out Your Finances

Part 2: Get Set

  • STEP 6: Know the Rules 10
  • STEP 7: Set Up Your First Office
  • STEP 8: Business Licenses, Taxes and Insurance
  • STEP 9: Invest in Your Image
  • STEP 10: Find Your First Customers
  • STEP 11: Manage Your Money
  • STEP 12: Manage Your Time
  • STEP 13: Manage Your Energy Level
  • STEP 14: Create Work/Life Balance
  • STEP 15: Work Your Business Network

Part 3: Start

  • STEP 16: Go for It!

Authored for SCORE by The UPS Store

With more than 4,300 locations, The UPS Store comprises the nation’s largest franchise system of retail shipping, postal, printing and business service centers. Because each location is run by a small business owner, they understand the challenges and rewards of running your own business. In addition to packing and shipping services, your locally owned The UPS Store offers professional printing services, mailboxes with a real street address, notary, direct mail services, and more.

SBA Online: Everything you need to know about small business.

Have you ever wanted answers outside of “normal working hours?” Have you ever wondered what the SBA was all about, but not wanted to call the customer service line?

The online learning center might just be for you. There are more than 50 different training courses including a range of topics:

The courses are all self-paced, many times offering worksheets and takeaways designed to help you strengthen and grow your knowledge in entrepreneurship. Learn about everything the SBA has to offer online in the Learning Center.

Starting a nonprofit.

Non profit text on missing puzzle background.

Whether you already own your own business, or you’re still working for someone else, starting a nonprofit organization may be on your radar for several reasons:

  • You’ve always wanted to make a difference in your community.
  • Your current business is doing well, and you want to give back.
  • There is a cause close to your heart, and you know you can help.

According to the National Center for Charitable Statistics, there are over 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the U.S., and with corporate social responsibility all the rage today, that number is growing by leaps and bounds. A recent Nielsen survey showed respondents are willing to pay more for products and services from companies that have a positive social and environmental impact.

Starting a nonprofit doesn’t necessarily mean you can quit your day job right away, but like any small business owner, you could eventually earn enough from your nonprofit to justify a full-time salary for you and your staff.  Continue reading

It’s time to write your business plan.

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Creating a new business can be a tough journey. Doing so while working full-time may seem tougher, but this route actually offers several benefits. You can continue earning money to put towards your startup. But even if you only work an hour a week building your company, you still need a business plan.

A business plan is critical to every small business, even for pre-startups. Why do you need one so early? It serves as your map through what might be a bumpy journey. A business plan gives you the best shot at a smooth ride.

Business plans typically have four sections: the Executive Summary, the Business Details, Financial Forecasts and Supporting Data.  Continue reading

The road to small business success starts with the right first steps.

Building a successful small business requires a lot of time, thought, and planning. If you’ve never traveled the road to entrepreneurship before, you might find it overwhelming. With so many details to pay attention to, where should you begin?

Marc Goldberg, a SCORE mentor with business management and marketing expertise, has outlined some first steps that are appropriate for nearly every type of business:

  • Contact your local SCORE chapter to get guidance from a business mentor and learn what you can expect when starting a business. (kitsapscore.org)
  • Determine your value proposition. What customer needs will you fulfill and do you have a large enough base of prospects with those needs?
  • Find a good attorney who specializes in small business issues. Legal formation, human resources issues, etc.  Continue reading

The ABC’s of business financials.

Improve your odds of business success by understanding your financing needs as well as the options that are available to help you start, manage and grow your business.