Planning is critical to successfully starting and building a business. That’s why we’ve dedicated a section for it. Here you’ll find guidance on the tools and resources necessary to write a winning business plan. From sample plans to a business plan primer, we’ll get you started on this very important activity. Once your business is up and running, you’ll need to regularly review and update your plan to manage growth.

Starting a business requires you to complete a number of steps and make some key decisions. Though part of your overall plan, you’ll need to select a location, decide on a business structure, and obtain the necessary licenses and permits. In addition, determining which financing options will meet your short-term needs and long-term goals is crucial. Within this section, we’ll provide information on these topics along with guidance on buying an existing business, copyright and trademark issues, and getting support from an outside expert.

Successfully managing a business requires specific management skills in addition to knowledge of key business practices. Within this section you’ll learn about leadership traits, decision-making skills, and how to manage your employees. Additionally, we’ll walk you through a host of important topics to manage your business including marketing basics, setting prices, filing your business taxes, legal considerations, forecasting for future growth, and financing options.

Getting out of your business may not be important to you at this point. However, planning your exit strategy often involves more than just closing down. Within this section we’ll discuss practical options that include selling your business or transferring ownership. In the event that you decide it is time to close your business, you’ll learn about liquidation, filing bankruptcy, and reviewing the IRS guide on shutting down.


PlanYour Business StartYour Business ManageYour Business ExitingYour Business
Get Ready! Find a Mentor Lead Plan Your Exit
Write a Business Plan Finance Start-up Make Decisions Sell Your Business
  Buy a Business Manage Employees Transfer Ownership
  Buy a Franchise Market and Price Liquidate Assets
  Name Your Business Market and Sell File Bankruptcy
  Choose a Structure Understand Fair Practice Close Officially
  Protect Your Ideas Pay Taxes  
  Get Licenses and Permits Get Insurance  
  Pick a Location Handle Legal Concerns  
  Lease Equipment Forecast  
    Advocate and Stay Informed  
    Use Technology  
    Finance Growth  


Local Tools and Information      
Starting a Business in San Luis Obispo County      
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