The best way to start a US small business


The best way to start a US small business


Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon
Small Business Administration Awards Luncheon (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

Recently I was approached by two technology experts.  They wanted to start a technology business. It was a new technology they were researching.   I mentioned I would dialog on the topic.

Wouldn’t you? Even if it’s not the John Galt‘s perceptual motion  machine from Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand!

The topic of a business plan came up.  Since I’m the writer, it’s a topic I would look into.  The best place to start were the Small Business Administration (SBA) and My Own Business (My Own Business) websites. Both sites have information on what to include and templates for building one.

Time  to revisit the free courses

My Own Business has two courses available:

  • Starting My Own Business – here is the website course description: “The popular original course is designed for the entrepreneur who wants to start their own business. Our 15 sessions cover the most important topics that are clearly explained with emphasis on avoiding pitfalls.”
  • Building My Own Business – here is the website course description:”This new course is for established business owners to help take your business to the next level. Strengthen your operations, seize opportunities and plan for the future.”
English: Sylmar, CA, November 20, 2008 -- A di...
English: Sylmar, CA, November 20, 2008 — A disaster victim and his pet speak to a disaster specialist from the Small Business Administration (SBA) at the Sylmar Local Assistance Center. The SBA makes low interest disaster assistance loans available to residents who are impacted by declared disasters. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I took the first course a couple of years ago.  The new course was something I was unaware of.  I’m current reviewing the material in Starting My Own Business.  Afterwards, I will take the course Building My Own Business.

The original course material has short video and audio clips from experts in the field.  There was also a written copy on what the experts were communicating.  Yet there is a difference this time.  Instead of hosting the video or audio clips themselves, they have outsourced them to YouTube.    This is a wise move, in that the bandwidth happens at the YouTube site.  It also helps with SEO and social media, in getting the course discovered.

While these videos are very informative, I doubt any will go viral.

If you take a section a day, it only takes about ten to fifteen minutes to complete.  There is a short quiz at the end, but the interactive feedback gives you instantaneous results.

There’s also any option to buy course books for around thirty dollars.  And you have the option to earn a course certificate.

What to do next

If someone was getting started in business, I suggest taking the My Own Business courses first.  Next I would encourage them to visit advisers from the SBA and SCORE (SCORE Website).  They should talk with advisers and take the low-cost or free online and local courses offered. As an example:

  • I took a SCORE online course this week entitled Leveraging Pinterest for Business: Insights from American Airlines.
  • I will be taking an SBA online course entitled Start Building Your Disaster Recovery Plan TODAY!.

Sometimes SCORE and the SBA record the online seminar and make it available to listen to later.


Atlas Shrugged: Part I
Atlas Shrugged: Part I (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Before a person even contacts the SBA and/or SCORE, they should go through the first My Own Business course.  They should thoroughly understand the material and be able to take the quizzes.  It will give a person a solid foundation for talking with SBA and SCORE counselors.  And the online and local seminars will be filling out info learned in the foundation course. Should someone need farther courses in marketing, accounting, etc., their local in-district junior or community college is a good resource.

Academic and business blog posts

Here are some blog posts I recommend from academic and business acquaintances of mine:

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