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  Planning Your New Business

Don't paint yourself into a corner when you start a new business. We have assembled this page as a resource for you in planning for your business. The first step in starting or acquiring a new business is a look inward at the entrepreneur. Below, you will find articles and resources, including those related to helping you in the process of determining whether you have what is needed to survive the business start-up phase and go on to see a new business reach profitability. Additionally, other articles and resources are provided in other business planning areas. We have not created, contributed to, maintained, nor verified the accuracy or usefulness of some of these outside "resources." We simply provide links to them as a potential starting point for your own research. By using them, you agree that we are not responsible for their accuracy nor for the results of your use of these resources. The terms of our Web site disclaimer also apply to these links.

Entrepreneurial Self Evaluation; Deciding if You Have What it Takes to Start Your Own Business Online

(Starting your own business is almost totally different than working for someone else or working in a large, established business. This article discusses characteristics, qualities, and barriers to entry, for a successful business start-up entrepreneur.)

Decide if You Should Buy an Existing Business

(Comparison of options to start a new business from scratch, buying an existing business, or buying into a franchise.)

Selecting a Name for Your Business; Domain Names, Trademarks, Service Marks, etc.

(Discussion of various issues related to picking a name for your new company, including marketing advantages and liability risks.)

Entrepreneurism: Starting a New Business; Ways to Get it Done, Partners, Employees, Consultants, Independent Contractors

(There are only so many hours in the day and only so many skill sets per entrepreneur. This article discusses various options to increase the leverage you need to start or grow your business.)

Raising Money to Start a New Business

(There are lots of ways to raise money to start a new business. Some are better than others. This article discusses some options and provides links to related resources.)

Entrepreneurial Death Traps Very good article by Frederick J. Beste III, which gives a summary of 25 of the most common errors made by entrepreneurs. This link will take you to the Venture Capital Institute Web site.


SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide. SCORE is a resource partner with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and has been mentoring small business owners for more than forty years.

SCORE - Louisville Chapter

The Power of Strategic Alliances - This is the PowerPoint of a presentation I did in 2011 for my local SCORE chapter on using strategic alliances to grow your business and gain a competitive advantage. (PowerPoint Viewer Utility)

Read our Applied Entrepreneurship Blog.

In our current series, we are working our way through the steps of a typical business startup. 

Opportunity Assessment Checklist (sample checklist to compare multiple potential business opportunities)

Create a Life Plan and Life Dashboard This is part 1 of a seminar I created on Determining and Evaluating Business Strategy for the July, 2009 FastTrac® GrowthVenture™ Program

Eliminating the Pain with a Lean Business Model (post from the Applied Entrepreneurship blog)

Planning Business Strategy Before Start-up Is Key

(Business First Article by Terry Boyd)

Franchising Facts; Making a Decision to Open a Franchise Means Juggling a Lot of Options

(Business First Article by Terry Boyd)

Franchise Your Business in 7 Steps; A guide for becoming a successful new franchisor By Carol Tice

Weighing the Options: To Franchise or Self-Start



Competitor Analysis - A Brief Guide The Basic Principles of Competitive Intelligence

12 Tips for Doing Competitive Analysis

10 Questions to Ask When Writing a Business Plan Competitive Analysis


Due Diligence Portal This is a very nice listing of links to resources for conducting due diligence and competitive intelligence research

Kentucky State Data Center

U.S. Census Bureau (Looking for something like detailed operating expenses of an industry? Check this out: Detailed Operating Expenses )

SBA Links

Are You Ready to Start a Business? SBA self-assessment test. Scoring is automatic and, based on your score, generates a statement of Suggested Next Steps, directing you to the most appropriate SBA resources to help improve your business preparedness.

Once the decision is made to start a business, often the next decision is either to buy an existing business or start a new venture from scratch. There are advantages and disadvantages to both options.

  • Buying A Business
    The pros and cons of buying an existing business versus starting fresh.
  • Choosing A Business
    Finding a profitable business to buy.
  • Purchase Research
    Before making the final purchase, examine the business carefully. Use of a qualified attorney is important.
  • Determining Value
    Know the elements to examine when calculating a business' value.
  • Sales Agreement
    Essential elements that should be on the final sales agreement.
  • Due Diligence
    Know the legal aspects of owning a business; includes zoning laws, permits, and the environment.
  • Closing Checklist
    Make sure you and your attorney review the final points of the sale.
  • Buying A Business FAQs
    Learn the answers to commonly asked questions regarding buying a business.
  • Search for Business Licenses and Permits  This is an excellent SBA search engine to help get you started on on finding requirements for federal, state, and local licenses or permits needed in your location. Since these vary by industry and location, and failing to obtain these can result in serious legal and financial problems, it is essential to any start-up on going business to research these requirements and register properly.

Writing a Business Plan (SBA page including a link to their model business plan template)

500+ business plans (free downloadable templates provided by Smarta Enterprises Ltd.)

Templates for Your Business (The SCORE
® Web site has a page of links to various templates including a sample business plan for a start-up business and one for an established business; financial projections templates, start-up expenses, opening day balance, balance sheet, bank loan requests for small business, loan amortization schedule, breakeven analysis, cash flow statements, profit and loss statements, sales template, and sales forcast, etc.)

Step-by-Step Business Plan Guide (Kentucky's Small Business Development Centers' Web site posts a nice outline for building your own business plan.) Worth a look!

Business Plan Writing for Beginners
(includes nice list of links to additional business plan resources)

MY SUGGESTION: If you plan to do some serious business plan work, whether as a pure start-up, proof of concept stage, or for review and periodic tweaking as you go forward, I highly recommend investing a few bucks in a software program like Business Plan Pro, by PaloAlto Software. It comes in a couple of different versions, but 500+ plans are included, which you can simply edit and use for your business, or check for research. I've compared many such programs and settled on this one years ago.

Stuart  Adams Law Office, P.S.C.
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Prospect, Kentucky 40059-7673
Phone (502) 509-4115

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