Start Your Business
Have you dreamed of being your own boss for many years, but don't know where to start? Do you ask questions like “How do I turn my good idea into a successful business?” “What kind of forms and licenses do I need?” “Where can I find financing?” “Where is the best place to open my business?” “How do I prepare a business plan?”
For over 35 years, the Clarion University Small Business Development Center (SBDC) has provided consulting and training designed to teach prospective and new entrepreneurs the basics of starting and successfully operating their own businesses. In 2016, the Clarion University SBDC met with 513 existing and preventure businesses and provided over 6,810.00 hours of consulting assistance. Last year, the Clarion University SBDC helped 54 businesses purchase or start a business. The Clarion University SBDC assisted 36 clients seeking capital with total capital acquisition of $14,868,571. With the help of the Clarion University SBDC your dream can become a reality.
- Get answers to Frequently Asked Questions for new businesses
- Review the Starting a Business Checklist
- Read Entrepreneur magazine's Top 10 reasons to start a business in a recession
SBDC Clients Succeed
The best way to prevent business failure is to plan your business properly from the start. The Clarion University SBDC has the knowledge and experience you need to make your dream work. Studies have shown that 80% of SBDC assisted firms are still in business 8 years after their start-up date. Businesses started with SBDC assistance survive longer and grow faster than the average firm.
For examples of Clarion University SBDC client success go to our Success Stories page.
The First Step Workshop
The Clarion University SBDC offers First Step workshops to help entrepreneurs start their own business. This workshop assists entrepreneurs in starting down the path to successful business ownership – evaluating business ideas, developing a business plan, and exploring financing options.
To get started we recommend attending a SBDC First Step workshop where you will learn:
- What unique lifestyle requirements are involved in owning a business
- How to assess the feasibility of your business idea
- Differences between business organization structures
- How to develop a business plan?
- How to obtain financing
- How to market your product or service
- The applications and licenses needed to start your company
- How to conduct research on your industry, market and competition
- Regulations governing a business
- Environmental regulation compliance
- Other resources that you can use to help you plan and succeed
First Step workshops are offered on a regular basis in all counties across the Clarion University SBDC region. In addition, the SBDC has an online tutorial that covers these topics, available to you at any time (no fee, registration required).
- Find and Register for a First Step Workshop near you
- View or print First Step brochure
- Learn more about the Online Tutorial for Starting a Business
The Next Step
The next step to growing your new business is to take advantage of the SBDCs’ one-on-one consulting and information services. After completing a First Step workshop, you will be able to meet confidentially with an SBDC consultant at no cost. Your consultant can help you with all of the issues you learned about in your First Step workshop, tailoring their advice to your business idea and needs in mind.
A great source for information pertaining to starting and expanding small businesses
in the Clarion University Small Business Development Centers's ten county region is
the Clarion University SBDC Business Resource Guide.
More information on starting and growing a business can be found in The Entrepreneur’s Guide: Starting and Growing a Business in Pennsylvania, a state publication that provides practical tips and helpful information on all aspects of business ownership. To request a hard copy, contact the Center for Entrepreneurial Assistance at (800) 280-3801.
The Clarion University SBDC has many other resources that you can use to help you plan and succeed in starting or expanding your new small business.
Already in business? Find out how SBDC services can help you grow your business.
Learn about some of the businesses that have opened their doors thanks to SBDC assistance by reading the stories below.