Category Archives: Templates & Tools

The SCORE Startup Roadmap: Your Guide to Successfully Starting a Business

Take the SCORE Startup Roadmap

Are You Ready to Start Your Business?

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

What’s the best way to pay your employees?

by Joe Heinrich, SCORE Seattle

Congratulations!! You’ve grown your small business so much that you need help, and so you’ve hired your first employee. Now you’re confronted with the task of paying that employee properly in accordance with IRS regulations and State of Washington statutes, along with making payments to taxing authorities and reporting to them periodically. And now you’re stomach’s churning!!

payroll

Overview

To correctly pay an employee in Washington, the employer needs to deduct the following taxes from the employee’s pay and report and remit timely these amounts to the relative taxing authorities:

  • Social Security Tax and Medicare Tax (just the employee’s share)
  • Federal Income Tax
  • Washington Labor & Industry Premiums (just the employee’s share)
  • Washington Paid Family & Medical Leave Tax (just the employee’s share)

There may be other withholdings from the employee’s pay, such as garnishments for child support, contributions to a retirement plan, donations, and the like. Continue reading

10 Best Podcasts for Solopreneurs

podcast on mobile phoneOne of the most challenging and rewarding parts of being a solopreneur is the need to be constantly learning. Of course, every day has its own lessons to teach—trial and error is the heartbeat of solopreneurship, after all. Sometimes, though, we need to turn to proven mentors and leaders who can offer wisdom from experiences that reach beyond our own.

When we run into these situations, books seem like the obvious first choice. Indeed, there’s a book out there for any problem you may encounter, whether procrastination, apathy, branding, or crippling self-doubt. Besides, shouldn’t we be reading like fiends anyway? It’s common knowledge that the most successful business leaders all share a ravenous appetite for good books.

But what solopreneur has time to read a book every week? Between brainstorming and producing and networking and marketing, it can be hard enough to make time to eat breakfast. Granted, reading is still a great habit to develop, but it may not be your primary mode of on-the-go education.

Thankfully, the world invented podcasts.  Continue reading

These templates will help you make financial projections.

These spreadsheets do a lot of the work for you.

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.

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 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.