Legacy Starts Here
A well-crafted business plan serves as the blueprint for your business. It outlines your goals, target market, competition, strategies, and financial projections. Here’s what you should include:
- Executive Summary: A brief overview of your business, including your mission statement, goals, and a description of the products or services you plan to offer.
- Company Description: Detailed information about your business, its structure, and the specific problem your product or service solves.
- Market Analysis: Research on your industry, target market, and competitors, highlighting trends, opportunities, and threats.
- Organization and Management: Your business structure (e.g., sole proprietorship, LLC, corporation), management team, and key personnel.
- Marketing and Sales Strategy: How you plan to reach and retain customers, including promotional activities, pricing, and distribution channels.
- Product or Service Line: A thorough description of your products or services, including any patents, copyrights, or trademarks.
- Financial Projections: A detailed analysis of your financial outlook, including profit and loss statements, cash flow projections, and balance sheets for at least three years.
The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has some great templates for crafting a business plan.
Selecting the right business structure is essential, as it impacts your legal liability, taxation, and administrative requirements. The most common structures include:
- Sole Proprietorship
- Limited Liability Company (LLC)
Consult with an attorney or accountant to determine the best structure for your business.
Choose a unique business name and register it with the Texas Secretary of State. Conduct a name search on the Texas Secretary of State website to ensure your desired name is available. If it’s available, file an Assumed Name Certificate (also known as a “Doing Business As” or DBA) with the appropriate county clerk.
If you decide to incorporate, the Secretary of State’s Office (SOS) website has information on choosing the right legal structure for you.
Depending on your industry, you may need specific permits or licenses to operate your business legally. Visit the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation website to identify and obtain the required permits and licenses.
Identify potential sources of funding, such as personal savings, loans, grants, or investors. The African American Chamber of Commerce of San Antonio may provide resources and support to help you secure financing.
Explore Business Funding Options
Bootstrapping: This is the do-it-yourself approach to business funding which means you provide the capital for your business through personal savings as well as your current income. Once your business is in operation, profit is reinvested back into the business to continue its growth.
Friends and Family: Financing your business through friends and family loans can be a great way to get the capital you need to start your small business. When mixing business with family and friends, it’s a good idea to establish a written agreement and repayment plan.
Small Business Grants: Small business grants are essentially business funding for your business you don’t have to pay back. You can obtain a small business grant by completing an application process with a grantor.
- Small Business Loans: You can typically apply for small business loans through a bank or other lending institution. This funding method requires repayment but will provide you with the capital to cover startup costs or more.
Protecting your business with the appropriate insurance coverage is essential to safeguarding your assets and mitigating potential risks. Here’s how to get your business insured:
- Assess Your Risks: Identify the risks specific to your industry and business. These may include property damage, liability claims, workers’ compensation, and loss of income due to business interruption.
- Research Insurance Types: Understand the various types of insurance available, such as general liability insurance, property insurance, workers’ compensation insurance, professional liability insurance, and business interruption insurance. Determine which policies are best suited to your business needs.
- Consult with an Insurance Agent or Broker: Speak with an experienced insurance agent or broker who specializes in commercial insurance. They can help you assess your risks, identify the right coverage, and provide guidance on policy limits and deductibles.
- Compare Quotes: Obtain quotes from multiple insurance providers to find the best coverage at the most competitive rates. When comparing quotes, consider factors such as policy limits, deductibles, and any additional coverage options.
- Choose a Policy and Provider: Select the policy and insurance provider that offers the best protection for your business at a reasonable cost. Review the policy carefully, including coverage exclusions and any specific conditions or requirements, before signing.
- Regularly Review and Update Your Coverage: As your business grows and evolves, your insurance needs may change. Regularly review your policies and consult with your insurance agent or broker to ensure your coverage remains adequate and up-to-date.
- Small Business Development Centers (SBDCs) are a partnership between the SBA and universities. They provide free advice on marketing, financing and business growth to local businesses, start-ups and entrepreneurs. Find your nearest SBDC in Texas using the online directory.
- SCORE is a national network of experienced executives who volunteer as mentors. They help start-up and established entrepreneurs to grow their businesses. SCORE also provides workshops and courses in business education. Find your nearest SCORE chapter using the online SCORE locator.
- Libraries are a great resource for researching a new business or a new market. Libraries subscribe to costly business information databases, which members can use at no cost. Find your nearest library using the online library locator.
- U.S. Small Business Administration plays a crucial role in promoting economic growth and job creation by empowering small businesses with the tools, resources, and support they need to thrive in today’s competitive market.