Evaluate Your
Business Idea
Is Your Business Idea Feasible?

Starting a Business: The Feasibility Study

How To Test A Business Idea - Forbes

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

Business Plan

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.

To use this tool, click here.

You can also click here for other business plan resources.

Research has an essential role in starting and planning your business

Click here to for advice about what to look for.
Here is another business plan resource from The Balance Small Business
Cash Flow Calculator

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.

Benchmark your plans with SizeUp

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:

  • See how your financial projections compare to your local competitors' actual revenues and costs
  • Find the best business location by locating your competitors, customers and suppliers
  • See whether your industry is growing and how many similar businesses have started and how many have closed in your area
  • See where your customers are, so you can target your marketing to specific areas.

SizeUp has 3 short videos showing how to use their service. Click here to go to the demonstration videos.

Click here to go to SizeUp. Registration is free.

Remember to Plan for Taxes

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.