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County’s Website Has Tools to Aid Anyone Starting a Business

January 13, 2012

The Placer County Office of Economic Development has a wealth of tools and information on its website for anyone starting a business.

“Whether you are starting a business to supplement your income, replace a job, or pursue your life-long dream, Placer County wants your business to succeed,” said county Economic Development Director David C. Snyder. “Our website includes local, state, federal, and best-of-the-web resources to start and grow businesses.”

He noted that the site has been expanded significantly in recent months. “I believe many emerging entrepreneurs will find the tools quite useful,” Snyder concluded.

The “Tools for Business Success” website can be accessed by clicking this link: New Business Tools.

On the site’s homepage, look for a link called “Just Starting Out?” with ten tools for new businesses. Here are some highlights:

  • Making a Business Plan: The most important step to starting a business is to prepare a business plan. On the website, you will find a link to a free Business Plan Workbook that takes you step by step through all the elements of a business plan.
  • Predicting Cash Flow: When preparing a business plan, you will want to predict your cash flow. You will find a cash-flow calculator where you can see how offering customer credit, purchasing inventory, and changing pricing will affect your cash flow. There are also other free financial calculators provided by the James J. Hill Library.
  • Deciding on a Business Entity: Once you have decided that your business can make a profit, you are ready to legally form your business. The website includes an “entity wizard” tool to help you decide whether a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited-liability company, or corporation is best for you.
  • Filling Out the Forms: Once you have decided, you will find a Business Start-Up Kit with all the forms you need to create that business entity.
  • Getting Marketing Assistance: Need some help with marketing? You can choose one of several free marketing courses designed by the Famme Foundation for busy entrepreneurs. There is a 31-Day Marketing Primer for Startups, where you will receive a daily email for 31 days with marketing assistance. There is also a 14-Day course to develop a Marketing Plan and a 26-week Implementation Program for in-depth help.

If you need personal assistance with any of these steps, the website has links to free counseling from the Small Business Development Center and SCORE counselors. The website also offers live online chats to help you find resources for your business.

You will find may other tools on the website, as well as a bookstore and online classes.