Want to start a business? – Part 2 – next five steps

The award-winning HITS business outreach program

HITS Retention & Expansion Program

If you missed the first post, check it out here.  It covers (1) SBDC, (2) SCORE, (3) training, (4) business plans, and (5) permits + licenses.  Onward ho…

6. Talk to the HITS program

Many of the next things you will do relate to hiring employees, financing any purchases as well as working capital, and finding the space to do it in.  It’s at this stage that I highly recommend talking to the HITS team in Clark County/Springfield MSA.  HITS is a business outreach program that links existing businesses (and start-up businesses, too!) to over 200 resources depending on the project.  HITS stands for Hiring, Investing, Training, and Space, and companies doing one of those four things don’t want to miss out on any resources, assistance, and incentives that could potentially save them thousands of dollars.  The program is about ready to conclude its second year and has won several awards.

>> HITS homepage  ::  First steps in HITS and who to contact

 7. Find a place to operate

Where are you going to have your business?  If it’s in your home, make sure that you work with your accountant (yes, you should have one if you don’t already) to determine all of the deductions you will be eligible for including part of rent/mortgage.  If it’s not in your home, determine where you want to be (radius from a city, in a city, in the county, in a region) based on your business criteria.  Then, contact an economic development professional and/or realtor to assist you.  Additionally, there are a lot of online resources that will display what properties and spaces are available. 

>> Contact for all of Springfield Ohio MSA (Clark County) – David Zak (me) – see contact info in right margin

>> Contact for City of Springfield and Airpark Ohio – Tom Franzen

>> Contact for downtown Springfield – Maureen Fagans

>> Property in Clark County – ProCure  sites  ::   ProCure space  ::  properties on blog

>> Incubators in Clark County – SBDC  ::  NETI

>> Online real estate search:  realtor.com  ::  Roediger Realty

8. Line up your financing

Money, money, money – Mr. Krabs favorite saying, if you’re familiar with SpongeBob Squarepants (I have a five year old, but yes, I like it too.)  You need to figure out how much you need for equipment, location, working capital, etc.  The business plan and reviews of the business plan should help you figure out the uses of the funds (footnote – the business plan is also the key to getting bank financing).  Now, it’s time to line up sources (including your savings, friends, and family).  You should talk to the HITS program (who will also assist in determining possible federal, state, and regional financing sources–and there are many), the SBDC (who has financing), your local bank (the one with whom you have a relationship already), as well as a larger CDC (Community Development Corporation).  As with counseling, getting information from multiple sources gives you a more well-rounded picture.

>> HITS program + contacts

>> SBDC financing programs

>> local banks ::  banks supporting economic development

>> Ohio Statewide Dev. Corp. (Columbus) :: County Corp. (Dayton) ::  Citywide Development (Dayton)

9. Find your employees

You may be a sole proprietorship; I’ve had a business like this, where I was the sole employee.  In that case, this may not apply.  But, if you are thinking about bringing anyone on board to help you get your business off the ground, there are a lot of great free resources: starting with Amy Donahoe (Director of Hiring + Employer Services at the Chamber) and Barbara Carpenter at WorkPlus, free websites where you can post jobs, and good temp agencies.  You should check out all of your options.

>> Amy Donahoe (bio at Chamber staff bios blog post – with contact info)

>> Barbara Carpenter  ::  WorkPlus  ::  WorkPlus presentation (what they do)

>> Job posting sites (including free ones)

>> Temp agencies in area

10. Join the Greater Springfield Chamber

Warning: time for shameless plug – but I believe in product.  Want hundreds of dollars in free advertising ($200-400 with News-Sun, free listing in professional directory and online, free discount marketing to members, free promotion through various Chamber vehicles)?  Want free assistance with a press release or ribbon cutting?  Want fabulous networking opportunities at larger (200-500 people) and smaller events available nowhere else?  Want workers comp savings (up to 60%), health insurance savings (up to 20%), prescription drug savings (30% average), gasoline savings (6 cents per gallon for all employees), and savings on business and consumer goods/services (like clothing, fitness, golf, HVAC/electrical, office supplies, restaurants, mortgages, and much more)?  Want to get business intelligence information, advocacy on business issues, and community and economic development to push Springfield and all of Clark County forward?  Then, you need to join the Chamber.  Dues are annual and based on number of employees, starting at $300 for for-profit companies with between 1 and 5 employees.  Incredible value.

>> Membership brochure (.pdf)  ::  Member Benefits  ::  Join the Chamber (online)

>> Chamber staff


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