There is a lot of practical support out there for people considering starting their own business. Some of it is free or at very low cost, and I realize money is tight at the beginning. Below are some good starting places for practical support available across the U.S.A.
Inspiration for Starters
Before you start thinking about all the practical steps, which can seem overwhelming, I encourage you to get inspired and learn that you can do this. Some good resources for inspiration:
- The Self-Employment Leap of Faith, article by me, Val Nelson
- Is There Room for My Business in Today’s Market? (also by me)
- Who’s With Us? From Wondering to Knowing if You Should Start a Business, by Angela Lussier
- $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future, book by Chris Guillebeau
- More recommended books on business, career, etc., are here.
Practical Support Resources (Free or Low-Budget)
Try not to get panicked as you start reading about all the things to think about. Sit down with someone knowledgeable (such as a free business counselor available at all the below links) and get help navigating. It doesn’t have to be that hard.
- Find your local Small Business Development Center – free business counseling and low-cost trainings
- SCORE – free small business advice and resources from volunteer retired executives
- Minority Business Development Centers
- Best Self-Study Programs for Heart-centered Businesses, as reviewed by Val Nelson
- Self-employment Logistics for Solo Service Professionals, an overview by me.
For clarity, these services are designed to help with the practical side (e.g., understanding business plans and loans).
Naming a Business
Naming your business is NOT one of the first steps even though you are probably trying to name it now anyway. There is too much to consider before you name it.
You want clarity of your key audience, your offerings, your mission, your values, etc., before you name it. (That’s what a business coach can help you with.)
When you’re ready to choose a name, here’s a good tool for naming a business.