SBDC Programs: What Are These and What Advantages Do They Bring?
Business Law

Small Business Development Center (SBDC) programs are a Federal government resource available to small business startups and entrepreneurs. The goal of the various programs is to create a local impetus for jobs to be created and where existing jobs can be long term situations for the employee. The SBDC does this by making a concerted effort to help small businesses get off the ground and keep them growing and expanding.

When it comes to actual hands on involvement, the SBDC provides individual business advice and training along with other specialized services at no cost to the business. Regardless of whether you are a woman, minority, or veteran, the SBDC is there to help you and all other small business owners get your company off to a good start. There are some SBDC offices located in state universities as a way to connect job seekers with small businesses and education with internship training opportunities.

Some of the services an SBDC offers are:

  • l business plan development essential for creating a viable long term entity
  • l financial packaging and lending which are made possible through the funding and involvement of the Federal government in the entire SBDC program
  • l market research, a necessary part of a long term plan to grow the business
  • l procurement and contracting which are important emphases as small businesses can get the inside track on available Federal contracts
  • l importing and exporting an essential component of being competitive in today’s global economy

But the SBDC is not an organization that remains stuck in government mud, falling behind the times. They are constantly upgrading and improving their services to adapt to a continually changing business environment. For new businesses, this is an absolute must-have because customers and other companies do not want to deal with a new business that is out of date before it opens its doors.

The broad idea behind the SBDC is to make available what is essentially a one-stop place for small businesses and entrepreneurs to go and get a wide range of help on many of their most important concerns. It connects the idea of a single company with the impact it can have on a region, while providing it with support from other businesses in the region. And it creates a long term partnership between the government and business that can impact the economy on a local, regional, and national level.

Owning a Medical Practice: The Basics
Business Law

When starting a medical practice, the general thought process is probably that the hard part is behind you. Going to school for medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, etc. is a difficult process. Attaining your degree in your chosen medical field does not necessarily give you all the tools to start up your own practice, however. Several steps are needed to get up and run when starting out in private practice or with other professionals.

1. Secure Funds

If you are lucky enough to have sufficient funds before starting your practice, then skip this step. For everyone else, you will probably need to consider applying for a business loan. In order to secure a loan, the first step is to have a decent credit score. Assuming that this is under control, writing a business plan is going to be imperative to your cause. The more accurate and detailed your plan is, the better the chances that the bank will be willing to loan you their funds. Be sure to take into account that you will not likely start out with a full load of patients and ask other professionals for help in estimating what your income might be for the first couple of years.

2. Complete the Necessary Documentation

A fair amount of paperwork goes into opening any business and a medical practice is no exception. One small detail that should be taken care of is registering the name of your business. This will not be necessary if your business name and your given name are exactly the same but if your business has a different name, you will need to register with your county clerk.

3. Malpractice Insurance

Today’s society tends to be fairly litigious, so malpractice insurance will be one of the most important steps for a new medical practice. Shop around for an agency that specializes in your branch of medicine and make sure that you get the best possible rate.

4. Locate Office Space

In order to start a practice, you will need to have a location. Find some attractive office space where prospective patients are likely to notice your signage. This will help until you build word of mouth with other practitioners and start to get referrals.

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5. Obtain Federal Tax ID Number, Employer ID Number, and DEA Number

For legal and tax purposes, you will need these numbers (the DEA number only if you are able to prescribe medication). Be sure to get this paperwork taken care of before you attempt to get up and running to avoid legal hurdles.

6. Register with Insurance Companies

If you plan to accept insurance, you will need to register with the companies you will participate with. Do your homework on this end as they do not reimburse all practitioners at the same rate.

7. Hire Staff

Unless you plan to run the entire office on your own, you will need at least a receptionist. It is likely that you will also need someone to handle billing as insurance can be tricky to deal with.

These steps cover the bare basics when it comes to starting a medical practice. Once you have completed your checklist, you will just need equipment and office supplies and you will be ready to see patients.

Opening Your Own Restaurant
Business Law

Opening your own restaurant is a dream many people have. It can be a great business or a dismal failure. Many things need to be considered before you open a restaurant. The first thing you need to consider is your menu. What type of restaurant will it be? Will it be a posh Bistro with patio tables and expensive foods?Or, will it be a burger shop or a pizza parlor? That is the first simple step before it gets tougher.

Location, Location, Location

Where will you locate your restaurant? How important is this? Well, look at it this way, do you want your customers sitting outside, on the patio, and then charge them exorbitant prices next door to a steel mill? A diner or burger shop may do very well in that location but your bistro would likely close up in a month or less. Just a silly example, but it does at least illustrate the need for research. Check out the competition, the neighborhood, the parking, and the activity,at least for the hours you plan to be open. And I recommend all hours of the day and night. You might find the area that bustles during the day is a hotbed of crime later in the evening. Location is the second most important thing to consider when opening a restaurant.

Decor

Decor is one of those often notconsidered details of having a successful restaurant. Again, that will follow what your menu will be. It may also be affected by your location. You may develop a great reputation for food but your decor must fit the food and the location as well. Certain colors have been determined to stimulate eating/hunger responses and affect the potential customers mood to purchase. Then, the question of how much of the budget is to be spent for decor. Can you do it yourself? Must you hire someone to get it done?

Suppliers and Back-up Suppliers

OK, you have your building all picked out and ready to decorate, now, where do you get your food?
You must research the best places to obtain supplies for your restaurant. Quality is important. You, of course, want the best but you have to consider the price. Do they deliver, or must you pick it up? Are they dependable? What happens if they run out of your featured item?Can you find it elsewhere?

Staff

You are going to need staffs such as waitpersons, kitchen staff, bussers, dishwashers, hostess,Maitre’ D, or cashiers.And, there will also be that extra three people you need on staff in case one other person gets sick. Someone, who in a pinch, can fill in whenever needed. Good luck with that… Your staff will be ever changing, trust me.

Other Little Annoyances

Don’t forget such things as utilities, very often requiring a deposit especially for a commercial venture or things like laundry supply for aprons, towels, tablecloths, napkins, or janitorial supplies, and then there are the Health Department inspections. Also, there will always be an irate customer who must be handled properly, and employees that don’t show up for their shift. All of these things must be taken into consideration and planned for in advance.

There are Benefits to Owning a Restaurant
First, I know it fulfills a dream.

It is a place where you can practice your craft and hear the pleasure from someone who may send their compliments to the Chef.

You get to eat for free. That’s right; remember it is your food. If you won’t eat it, then why would you think anyone else would? Besides, you paid for it. And if you have a Chef or Cook, you don’t even have to cook it.

You are for the most part, your own boss. You pull the strings. Of course, you must listen to and accept your customer’s criticisms and suggestions. You probably won’t get rich but you can make a decent living.

And best of all, you can order and eat whatever you want and someone else does the dishes.

I know there is some tongue in cheek in this article. In all seriousness though, running a restaurant is a tough but very rewarding business. It will likely require long hours unless you have someone else to run it for you. And like I said, you may get rich if you hit everything just right. But it is a challenge. I want to encourage you to get started if you want to open a restaurant. There is no better time than now. Just have the confidence to do it. It takes guts to do anything as risky as starting anybusiness. But if you don’t at least try, you will never know. And even if it fails, don’t give up. Failure is a learning experience. My first restaurant never even got off the ground but I learned, and after three tries, I got it right. After all, you have to learn to run a business.