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For many prospective entrepreneurs, the hassle of attending a class on how to start a business just doesn't fit into a hectic schedule that might include a full-time job, family responsibilities and the numerous other duties of daily life. To compensate for this time-crunch, the SBA has made it easy for aspiring business owners to attend classes in the comfort of their own homes.
The SBA Small Business Classroom, located at http://classroom.sba.gov/xtrainx, now offers three classes: "How to Raise Capital for a Small Business," "Are You Y2K OK?" and "The Business Plan." (The latter two are available in Spanish as well as English.) All the classes are self-guided and, because they're on the SBA's Web site, are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The SBA plans to add seven more classes this year, all of which will be offered in both Spanish and English.
What's In A Name?
When choosing a business name, keep the following tips in mind:
- Choose a name that appeals not only to you but also to the kind of customers you're trying to attract.
- To get customers to respond to your business on an emotional level, choose a comforting or familiar name that conjures up pleasant memories.
- Don't pick a name that is long or confusing.
- Stay away from cute puns that only you understand.
- Don't use the word "Inc." after your name unless your company is actually incorporated.
- Don't use the word "Enterprises" after your name; this term is often used by amateurs.
Source: Start Your Own Bbusiness (Entrepreneur Media Inc., $24.95) to order, visit http://www.entrepreneurmag.com
Evaluating Your Options
An important part of business success is a pre-start-up evaluation. Here are a few sample evaluations of different types of businesses from Starting Up: Do You Have What It Takes To Make It In Your Business? (Prentice Hall Press) by David E. Rye and Craig R. Hickman:
BUSINESS VENTURE ALTERNATIVES
INCOME/PROFIT/NET WORTH GOAL
TIME TO REACH GOAL
KEY TO SUCCESS
Management Consulting & Training
Ease of entry
Income of $150,000 per year
Postal & Shipping Franchise
Heavy marketing expenses
Profit of $200,000 per year
Opportunities for innovation
High capital investment
Net worth of $10 million
Software & Multimedia Development
Explosive demand for products
Dominance of large competitors such as Microsoft
Profit of $300,000 per year
Distribution and sales