If you are starting a business in Colorado, there are free resources available that you might not be aware of. The Colorado SBDC publishes The Colorado Business Resource Guide annually. A printed version is available at local SBDC offices and also at the Loveland Business Development Center. You can also find this publication online (that can be downloaded) at the above highlighted link.
This is a guide that should be read cover to cover. If you read the guide online, you can search for specific information that includes hyperlinks to sites like the Colorado Secretary of State, Colorado Department of Revenue, IRS and licensing bureaus. It is wise to work with an attorney and a CPA when starting your business. Reading this guide prior to making an appointment with these professionals will help you to better understand the best entity type for your business and other legal requirements of being a business owner.
The business guide includes a section on writing a business plan. You may think you don’t need a plan if you aren’t seeking financing. That is a fallacy. Two key portions of your business plan are your cash flow projections and your marketing plan. If you need assistance in these areas, there are free resources available. The Larimer SBDC and the Loveland Business Development Center (LBDC) both offer free business consulting services. Working on your cash flow projections can be a daunting experience. It is fortunate that we have consultants at our centers that love financials and love to help you understand the numbers for your business.
There are some basics of marketing that really don’t change over the years – people like doing business with people they KNOW, LIKE AND TRUST. Finding ways to get face to face time with potential clients will remain a primary goal for a business owner. There are other areas of marketing that are constantly changing. You will need to embrace that change and find the best avenues for your particular business. The Larimer SBDC and the LBDC have consultants that are marketing specialists. You can meet with a specialist, without charge, up to three times. The LBDC offers free networking events 4 to 5 times a year. Most of these networking events spotlight a new Loveland business. The Larimer SBDC offers free industry specific educational BAH events every month and also free lunch n’ learn events. They routinely offer panel discussions on financing options.
Although not free, the workshops offered by the Larimer SBDC and LBDC are low cost and taught by experts in their fields. The class, So You Want to Start a Business, is a good starting point for working with our programs and offers more free resources.