Starting a Business: The Feasibility Study
Stages and steps of evaluating a business concept
There are three stages - and a total of 13 steps in evaluating a business concept. Click here and navigate to page 4 to see the checklist for the business evaluation section.
Business Blueprints: Is your Business Idea Feasible
Business Blueprints is a workbook created by the Arkansas Small Business Development Center. This has information that is not location specific. It has a series of questions that can be scored to determine a "go" or "don't go" decision for moving forward on your business. Click here to go to the Business Blueprints
A business plan is essential if you want a loan, are seeking investors, or just want to know whether your business will make money.
You can create a business plan online using this free tool courtesy of the SBA.
You can also click here for other business plan resources.
Research has an essential role in starting and planning your businessClick here to for advice about what to look for.
Cash is king! Use this cash flow calculator to see how your cash flow will change if you have customers paying on credit, stock inventory, and raise or lower your prices.
Why is this important? Monitoring your profit per sale isn't good enough. Cash is more critical than profit. You need to make sure you collect money quickly and don't have too much money tied up in unsold inventory.
Note: This tool was developed by MarketingPlans.com, and contains ads on the site. We are including it because this tool contains valuable information that is not available from public or non-profit sources.
SizeUp is a free service to help business owners make more informed decisions.
Traditionally, only large businesses have been able to afford acccess to advanced database services with competitive and industry data. SizeUp was developed to even the playing field - so that small businesses could have access to the same information.
You can use SizeUp to:
SizeUp has 3 short videos showing how to use their service. Click here to go to the demonstration videos.
Handling taxes for the self-employed is challenging. When you were an employee, taxes were deducted before you received your paycheck. When you become self-employed, you must regularly calculate your business profits and save 35% to 40% of that for taxes.
Here is how the taxes typically add up:
Social security self-employment tax 15.3%
Federal income tax usually between 15 and 25%
When you do a business plan, you want to make sure that your projected profits are about 40% MORE than you need to live on. If you only look at the amount you need for daily living, you won't have enough to pay taxes.
You can find out more about taxes by going to the Government Requirements topic in the Tools for Business.