SBA Programs & Services Webinar – February 1 at  9:30 a.m

This is the last available webinar to take if you want to qualify to apply for an ASPIRE! award!

WHERE: Participate from your home or office via webinar, or just dial in by phone.  No registration required.

HOW:        On the phone dial toll-free 1-888-294-8505. When prompted enter access code 6168414.

On the internet, go to and use meeting number 8882948505 with access code 6168414.

Best regards, Chris Herriman (802) 828-4422 X206

If your business works for 75% or more for one client, you are basically an employee.

Use old-fashioned composition books, carry around with you, don’t tear the pages out.

Who you are YOU?
The main reason that you want to start your business

whether you have the basics: does it fit your personal and career goals?

Do you have experience running a business? These skills could transfer to owning

Do you have the relevant skills?

Can you fill in with a mentor, business advisor for what you don’t have?

Do you have the support of your family and friends? Preferably more than one person.

People will be impacted. Get a group together who can listen, not fix.

If you don’t have people in your geographic area, get a mentor.

Money questions: Do you know what your personal financial needs are? Is it on paper?

It’s an easy process: put down in your notebook:

on one side: fixed expenses- same amount every month, or that you can average ( fuel )

on the other: variables: entertainment

Carry the book around for at least a month and make notes of anything you forgot.

Take each total and add 25% to each. This is what is usually forgotten or can’t be predicted.

You now know the amount you need every month to pay your bills. This is a huge, easy step.

DO you have an idea of what the project will cost?

Go online for prices….to purchase equipment that you would need, material supplies.

This will give you a rough estimate.

Do you have money to put into the project? SBA offers counseling and garantees.

Most people have to have money to start a business. Most organizations don’t offer 100% to start your business because ifyou don’t want to risk your money, no one else will. You will be expected to put in 20-30% of the money, either your own or someone else’s unencumbered or that you don’t have to repay/pay interest on for at least 5 years.

Start saving money specifically for the business- sell old stuff.

Do you have another source of income? In the business’ infancy, how will you live?

Is someone going to support you? Will you have a part-time job? You will not have cash when you open your business. A bank / financial institution will ask you too. They will need to know you can pay your own bills not put the loan toward your expenses.

Write it down: a business plan. Loans require this, grants may be obtained to match or for existing business that has support from a non-profit. Like a grant for solar power or for agri-business for part of the business, not to start the business.

How are you going to find your customers? How are you going to stay in business after you spend our money.

Writing the business plan involves answers to these questions; and is a story

10 page plans are better than 100 page plans.

Needs to be compelling, a good story,

Who are you? What’s your background? What makes you think you can do this?

who are your customers? How will the business be managed? where will it operate/ How will it be financed? When will you start? What will it cost to run? how many will you sell? what is the price point?

The draft will tell you if your plan is practical and the commitment that it will take.

Chris - Exploring - Webinar April 2016

The hardest part is making the time commitment to do it. Get your ideas out and on paper.

Talk to an advisor at the beginning. do things in order.

What legal structure? LLC? for profit or not for profit? L corp, C corp?

This is an important decision based on your personal situation. (What are your assets? family dynamics? possible inheritance? Talk to an accountant or an attorney- book an hour with each. This is the first thing you spend you money on. Is the business going to own property or work out of your house? explain. They will give you the legalities for your state. ) Do not make the decision based on what someone you know has done.

Before you register, you will need a website. Even if it’s only a picture and your phone number or contact info. If you have a name in mind-think of a name that makes sense even if anyone doesn’t remember exactly it should be findable.

She owns 14-15 URLs for her business, all pointed to her business name website.

if someone else has a similar one, find one that is going to identified as yours.

Tax id number, professional license, all are steps to take in order.

A business advisor will help you figure out where to get loans. if credit score or % you can put down, other entities will help like SBA will guarantee a loan with a bank.

Marketing; business plan and business advisor identifies who is your customer and how are you going to reach them? What is their age? income? Where should my flyer be seen?

Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? or print? will a newspaper ad work?

Organizations for advising: Score, SBDC, Women’s Business center, SBA. All give free counseling and free business advice and to make your projections logical. A business advisor will look at your draft and help you make it real.

Chris - Exploring - Webinar April 2016

These are links for the Business Toolkit to demystify the process:

LInks courtesy of Gwen Pokalo, of the Center for Women & Enterprise, who will be teaching Workshops for ASPIRE! on the 16th and 17th of January, for resources (“we have tons, this is just a start”) for supporting the process of getting money.

Business strategy for Entrepreneurs:

Let’s find a link that’s just as good with all women pictured! In the meantime:

Writing your Business Story: Paula Diaco’s


Change the Story was our topic for Keynoter Tiffany Bluemle, at our Kickoff Luncheon ( see blog post article by Jeanne Dickinson, and read the report at

How India sees the challenges for women entrepreneurs:

More to come! Send us yours….