Before you start your business, you need to plan it! Below are free resources available to inspiring entrepreneurs.

1. Determine the feasibility of your business idea.

Do you have a business plan? Who is your market? What are the projected costs for start-up and for the first one to three years? What are the projected revenues for that same time period? Who will manage the daily operations? What are your income requirements? What capital will be needed to open and stay in business? Where will it come from? If you need a loan, what portion will you be investing?

Check out the US Small Business Administration resources for market research and competitive analysis.

2. Prepare a business plan.

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. SBA has resources to give you a sample business plan.

You can also contact your local Central Virginia Small Business Development Center (CVSBDC) advisor to assist you through the planning process. In addition to no-fee business consulting, you can also take advantage of CVSBDC training opportunities. Call (434) 295 8198 or email to get more information.

3. Funding your business

You should first calculate your startup costs. How much will it take to start your business? SBA has available resources.

When seeking outside financing, take into account the funding environment, have realistic expectations, know lenders’ requirements, and present your request in a professional manner. Be prepared with cash flow projections that can be supported. Also, be prepared to contribute a portion of the funding on your own. SBA has available resources.

Fluvanna County has a revolving loan fund with Community Investment Collaborative.