@ASBDC Our Favorite NSBW #TwitterChat Answers #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

twitter-chat

In honor of National Small Business Week, America’s SBDC hosted it’s first ever Twitter Chat on May 4th, “10 Most Common Small Business Questions.” 

@ASBDC served as the chat “moderator and posted questions every few minutes using the hashtag, #SBDC.  Checkout our Q&A below:

Q1: Do I have what it takes to own a small business? #SBDC 

CTSBDC ‏@growCT

Maybe you do, Maybe you don’t. Start by validating your business assumptions @SBDC

Sandra Cochrane ‏@scochrane

‪@ASBDC‪ A1. You won’t know until you try! But planning is key. Don’t jump in w/o knowledge of market and finances. #SBDC 

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Ask yourself, do you have –  cash, good credit, drive, self starter, risk taker, energy, time #nysbdc

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

Check out the resources on our site to learn if starting a small business is right for you! ‪http://sbdcmichigan.org/start-a-business/ …

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Every entrepreneur is http://different.Best  way to find out is to meet with an SBDC advisor to evaluate your idea.

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Take some time to get a broad perspective – consider biz requirements, time commitments, industry trends ‪#sbdc

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Yes, if you have an idea that you are passionate about, a vision & resources available such as @SBDC_LamarU. #SMDC #DreamSmallBiz

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

It might be a long time before you take a salary.  Can you support your family in the interim? ‪#sbdc ‪#nysbdc

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

“Do I have what it takes to own a #smallbiz” Our answer-Yes, w/ help of #SBDC U do!

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Bizplan info has to come from the business owner, ‪#SBDC advisors help reflect that info in best possible light

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

“Do I need a biz plan & how do I do it?” Our answer-Yes, our team at #SBDC can help

Q2: Do I need a business plan & how do I put one together? #SBDC

Sandra Cochrane ‏@scochrane

Business plans are roadmaps. You wouldn’t travel from NY to LA without a map, contingency plans & money. #SBDC

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Yes, a business plan will help you gets on track for the road to success. We can help draft a business plan. #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Yes…business plans are recommended to organize the project and help secure financing.  Contact your local SBDC office #nysbdc

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

Yes, there is a business plan outline available here: ‪http://sbdcmichigan.org/start-a-business/ … meet with a consultant for help. ‪#DreamSmallBiz

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

We think so! We have some tools to help at ‪http://aksbdc.org/tools  ‪@ASBDC

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

We have access to great sample bizplans & ‪@carnegielibrary keeps a great list of plans here ‪http://www.carnegielibrary.org/research/business/bplansindex.html …

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

Yes, most definitely! It’s your road map from pt. A to B, & it will change as your business changes.@MichiganSBDC can help with this.

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

Yes! And the ‪@MichiganSBDC can help guide you through the process of building one. ‪@ASBDC 

CTSBDC ‏@growCT

Another free tool to get your ideas together, business plan, ‪https://www.agplan.umn.edu/  ‪#SBDC

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

You don’t go on vacation w/o a plan, why start a ‪#smallbiz w/o one? You need a plan for your biz! ‪@ASBDC ‪#SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

A client of ours we helped with a ‪#SmallBiz plan received a big loan for expansion! ‪#DreamSmallBiz ‪#SBDC ‪http://bit.ly/1N9bjSh  ‪@ASBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

Our clients are award winners with our ‪#smallbiz plan help!  ‪http://bit.ly/1SZ8q60  ‪#DreamSmallBiz ‪#SBDC ‪#NationalSmallBizWeek ‪@ASBDC

Q3: Do I need to incorporate my business? #SBDC

Sandra Cochrane ‏‪@scochrane

Many businesses start out as LLCs. Changing from LLC to corporation later is relatively easy & inexpensive. #SBDC

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

There are many types of business structures, but it is important to select the right one for your business! #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Depends on your idea, but it provides asset protection, credibility and name protection, perpetual existence, deductions #nysbdc

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

By visiting the Lamar #SBDC, we can answer any questions you may have about different types of business structures.

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

This is an important ? to ask yourself. Being a sm biz owner is not like a typical 9 – 5 job. You work 24/7, 365 days. @MichiganSBDC

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Also, having a business attorney on your team is always a good idea to advise on this! #SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

It depends!! Call us at #SBDC to talk

Michigan SBDC ‏‪@MichiganSBDC

There are several ways to legally structure your business. See the Startup Guide on our website or attend a legal workshop!

CTSBDC ‏‪@growCT

Check this valuable page on choosing your business structure ‪https://www.sba.gov/starting-business/choose-your-business-structure … ‪#SBDC

Q4: How can I determine how much money I need to get started? #SBDC

CUSBDC ‏@CUSBDC

Determine startup costs & P&L projections. Don’t forget cash reserve needs. Again, a working document. ‪#SBDC

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Financial projections are incredibly important! http://aksbdc.org/tools/financial-model/?toolset=think … #SBDC

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

Not necessarily. Depends on the business & your preference. Check with a lawyer, CPA, or #SBDC consultant. @MichiganSBDC

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Every small business is unique, we can assist you with the financials needed to estimate your business’s startup cost. #SBDC

Q5: Where can I get funding to start or grow my business? #SBDC

Sandra Cochrane ‏@scochrane

Different funds for different business needs.  Talk to advisors. Consider grants, angel/VC, bank finance, & crowdfunding. #SBDC

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Don’t count on grants unless your business involves new tech or is non-profit ‪http://www.nyssbdc.org/resources/Links/grants.html … ‪#sbdc

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Alaska just got it’s first accelerator program with a funding component! http://www.launchalaska.com/  #SBDC

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

There are many options for funding your business such as loans, grants, and bonds. #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Banks, state & local economic development agencies, grants, personal equity, crowd funding, family and friends #nysbdc

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

It depends!! Call us for appt. #SBDC

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏‪@KrisReinelt

If your in a small downtown sometimes the community has grans/loans for sm businesses. @MichiganSBDC #DreamSmallBiz 

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

Various sources! Let’s discuss in person #SBDC

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

There are several ways to get funding for your business. Some options include banks, microloan programs, friends and family!

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

Many options: loan, crowd fund, investor, etc. Pros & cons to each but all require well thought out plan! ‪@ASBDC

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Crowdfunding tools like kickstarter are actually a good way to determine to line up presales and see if your idea is popular @ASBDC

Q6: How can I know if my business idea will work? #SBDC

MBIA ‏@MBIA_Michigan

Customer discovery and market validation work are critical before spending any money. #SBDC

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Do your research – our ‪#SBDC librarians can help with customer demographics & spending, sales of similar biz etc.

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

No guarantees but completing a business plan, cash flow projections and market research will help determine feasibility.

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

It is important to understand the market: potential customers, competition, and the economic conditions in your industry. #SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

Attend our biz concept plan #training class #SBDC

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Make sure the financial projections are realistic, if the numbers don’t work, you may need to re-evaluate your idea #nysbdc

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

Develop a thorough business plan, be creative in testing your market, be prepared to invest tons of time into proving idea! #SBDC 

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

Sit with an #SBDC consultant to determine the feasibility of your idea and improve your odds of success !!

Q7: How can I market my new business on a limited budget? #SBDC

MBIA ‏@MBIA_Michigan

Embrace guerrilla marketing! #SBDC

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

Develop a marketing budget and stick to it!  Maximize internet marketing.

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

It is easy to start by creating an online presence with social media such as Facebook, Instagram & Twitter. #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

Networking, community involvement, partnering with other businesses to share mktng costs, social media, and more! @MichiganSBDC

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Email campaigns, referral programs, press releases and social media are all important! @ASBDC

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

Create a marketing plan that focuses on word of mouth marketing… Encourage referrals by providing incentives.

Sandra Cochrane ‏@scochrane

Taking a marketing class of some kind can really help. #SBDC

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

So many great options! Start by thinking like your #customer – where are they (online & F2F), what do they do, how can you reach?

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Social media, search engine optimization, community networking, local biz chamber events, local newspaper press releases #nysbdc

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Social media is great, but don’t forget in person networking at local or industry events ‪#SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

#socialmedia #referrals #wordofmouth

Virginia SBDC ‏@virginiasbdc

Website, Linkedin, social media & in person networking are great places to start marketing on a limited budget.  #SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

Yes, ‪#LinkedIn is a good resource for ‪#smallbusiness! ‪#SBDC ‪@ASBDC ‪#NationalSmallBusinessWeek ‪#business ‪#smallbiz

Q8: Should I lease or buy equipment? #SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

It depends!  Contact local #SBDC to talk thru options

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

It depends. Cash flow projections can help you with this decision as can an SBDC consultant. 

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

It depends – what’s the rate of obsolescence in your industry? If it’s rapid, you might want to lease ‪#SBDC

MBIA ‏@MBIA_Michigan

‪@ASBDC‪ How about rent to own? 🙂  #SBDC

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Think about up front cost, maintenance, tax benefits, equity, changing technology. Review pros and cons with an advisor #nysbdc!

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Leasing or buying equipment may depend on what type of equipment and how long you expect to use it.  #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Q9: What do I need to know before I hire my first employee? #SBDC

Scranton SBDC ‏@scrantonsbdc

Thorough knowledge of laws, identify all costs, and make sure you brush up on #leadership and #management skills! #SBDC

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Before hiring your first employee, it is important to know the r law! The Lamar SBDC can help your business! #SBDC #DreamSmallBiz

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

Can you afford it?  Develop cash flow projections.  The SBA has a great guide and the SBDC conducts human resource workshops.

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

RT this helpful hint!  Thanks ‪@growCT for sharing! We are currently using this program. ‪#SBDC ‪@ASBDC ‪#DreamSmallBiz

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Clearly assign employee duties & responsibilities, make clear chain of command to avoid personnel problems ‪#SBDC

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

Thinking of hiring your first employee? Contact ‪@MichiganSBDC or an ‪@ASBDC center for assistance. ‪#DreamSmallBiz

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr
Research cost of ins. & taxes, compliance with state & federal laws, compensation offered, can the business afford it #nysbdc

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

Cheatsheet on Hiring Your First Employee: ‪http://aksbdc.org/tools/hiring-your-first-employee/?toolset=think … ‪#SBDC

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

That’s easy, you need our team, the ‪#FloridaSBDCUWF – so reach out today! ‪#SBDC ‪@ASBDC ‪#DreamSmallBiz ‪#success

Q10: Where can I go for help to start or grow my business? #SBDC

Scranton SBDC ‏‪@scrantonsbdc

Contact your local #SBDC http://tinyurl.com/ht6256s  for free & confidential assistance to #startup or grow your existing #smallbiz!

MBIA ‏@MBIA_Michigan

See if there are any business incubation programs in your area. #SBDC

Sandra Cochrane ‏@scochrane

Your local #SBDC office will provide free assistance. Give them a try!

Lamar SBDC ‏@SBDC_LamarU

Come to the Lamar #SBDC for help in starting or growing your business. Open Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM, Call to set up an appt!

New York SBDC ‏@nys_sbdc

Any ‪#SBDC!  I think it’s clear there’s a ton of expertise in this amazing network.  Thanks, ‪@ASBDC for the chat!

Alaska SBDC ‏@alaskasbdc

‪@ASBDC‪ Your #SBDC of course!

Michigan SBDC ‏@MichiganSBDC

Register for business counseling on the SBDC website!

Kris McArdle Reinelt ‏@KrisReinelt

‪@ASBDC‪ Of course, an @ASBDC center, the @MichiganSBDC, your local library or EDC office, @SBAgov, a SCORE mentor, and many more!

Florida SBDC at UWF ‏@FloridaSBDC_UWF

Great question, simple answer! Contact ‪#FloridaSBDCUWF and ‪#PColaChamber if in ‪#Pensacola ‪#Florida! ‪#SBDC ‪@ASBDC

Mohawk Valley SBDC ‏@MVSmalBizDevCtr

Visit your local SBDC office for assistance. To find your local SBDC office follow this link http://americassbdc.org/   #nysbdc

Virginia SBDC ‏@virginiasbdc
Your local ‪#SBDC. In VA you can find the one closest to you at ‪http://www.virginiasbdc.org/locations/ . Tx ‪@ASBDC

Thank you to everyone who made National Small Business Week such a success and congrats again to the Charleston SBDC and all the SBDC clients who won awards.

Find your local SBDC today!

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