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At Region 10, we’ll be the first ones to say that starting a small business is no easy task. It requires a great deal of planning, persistence, and a true passion for what you do. That’s why we launched our non-profit organization back in 1972; we saw a need for more small business resources throughout Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel county. It is our mission to help people who are starting their own businesses get the small business loans and business development guidance they need to get on their feet.

Here at Region 10, we pride ourselves on the success we’ve had helping locals in these six communities bring their small business plans to life. From getting them small business loans and helping them develop a business plan to hosting small business courses through the Small Business Resource Center (SBRC), we’ve helped hundreds of local, non-profit, and small businesses over the years. Considering joining our Business Loan Fund (BLF) or Registering for Business Assistance? Here are some steps to follow as you start your small business with us.

Do Plenty Of Research

Aside from deciding you’re ready to make your small business dreams a reality, the first real step toward starting your own business is doing plenty of background research. Read about different business entities and decide which kind best fits your goals. Consider whether you’d like to be the sole proprietor of the business or you need others to help you take it on as a limited liability company (LLC). This decision will determine the taxes and liability associated with your business, so be sure to do your research and make an informed decision.

After figuring out what kind of business you’re going to start, do some research about Colorado business registration and trademarking your business name, what licenses and permits you need, which building to rent in your area, and how to your manage funds with an accounting system. It’s critical for aspiring small business owners to conduct this basic research about starting a small business so they know what they’re getting into before it’s too late.

Identify Your Purpose

All technicalities aside, it’s also important to look up your competitors and identify your target audience. Ask yourself: “What makes my competitors successful?” and “Who am I trying to target with my product/service and how can I reach them?” These questions are critical to understanding the industry you’re trying to break into, and a little research goes a long way when you take the time to break it all down in the brainstorming phase.

All too often, aspiring small business owners miss the mark and market their business to the wrong audience, giving their competitors the upperhand. To avoid this and give yourself a far better chance at success, sit yourself down with a pad and paper and outline exactly what you are trying to accomplish and how you plan to do it.

Of course, there are plenty of resources available to help you do this, and you should never hesitate to reach out to us if you’d like to attend one of our classes about marketing strategy and planning, branding your business, customer service, or any other aspect of starting a small business that targets the right consumers. We would be happy to share our knowledge and experiences with you!

Develop A Business Plan

Once you’ve done your initial research about the technicalities associated with starting a small business and identified your purpose, it’s time to develop a solid business plan. Essentially, this is your step-by-step plan of execution for how you will start and maintain a successful small business in Colorado. In this document, you’ll include your company description, source of revenue, your products and services, your strategy, your financial plan, and more.

This varies by business, of course, so if you find yourself getting stuck or aren’t sure what to include, look up the business plans of competitors in your industry and model yours after them. Or, if you would like professional guidance, attend a small business course at the SBRC about how to write a business plan and then implement the things you learned.

Find A Source Of Funding

Finding the funds to start a small business can be tricky and even frustrating at times, given that only a fraction of aspiring small business owners actually have the money required to get started. Luckily, there are many funding options available for startup businesses in Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel county, and we can help you get the funds you need through our Business Loan Fund.

As a non-profit, Region 10 has formed its BLF from the Colorado Development Block Grants, the Small Business Administration Microloan Program, the USDA Intermediary Relending Program, and Repaid or “Revolved” Loans. Our partnerships with these organizations have allowed us to provide small business loans to hundreds of local, non-profit, and small businesses in these six communities over the last few decades, and we would be happy to consider your application if you are eligible. If you are interested in applying for a small business loan with our BLF, fill out the Application Information and Business Plan Essentials sheet and build a business plan using the SBA template and tutorial.

Assemble Your Team & Start Promoting Your Business

Now it’s time for the fun part! Once you have all the technicalities in order, you can put your team to work and start promoting your business. You’ll need to create a unique selling proposition, a marketing plan, and think up other ways to promote your business, which you should have fun and be creative and with. Think of all the work you’ve put into your small business up to this point and how you’re starting to see it pay off. Take pride in your accomplishments and celebrate them with your team while you embark on this adventure together. Trust our business experts at Region 10 when we say that you earned it, and contact us for any small business development help you may need along the way!