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Frequently Asked Questions
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Find Answers to Common Questions
External Link: Free Online Small Business Training
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2012 North Texas SBDC of the Year
North Texas SBDC of the Year »
Best Southwest named 2013 North Texas SBDC of the Year
2012 North Texas SBDC of the Year
Texas Small Business Assessment »
Optimism and Challenges Among Small Businesses in Texas
The 2014 Small Business Awards Winners
The U.S. Small Business Administration congratulates the following recipients:

Arlington Chamber Small Business of the Year

SBDC of the Year
Best Southwest SBDC
Loletha Moore, Acting Director

SCORE Chapter of the Year
Fort Worth SCORE Chapter 120
Mike Reid, Chair

Region VI Prime Contractor of the Year
David Shutler
Utility Systems Solutions, Inc.


Galactic Performance Solutions
Daniel Mohore

Southern Flair Photography
Dwayne Lee


Dental Health Arlington
Nancy Minion Blinn


iKids Pediatric Dentistry
Dr. Randy Hamilton

U.S. Small Business Administration Awards

Minority Small Business

Francine D. Hawkins-Alegeh
F.D. Hawkins Painting & Remodeling

Woman in Business
Rebecca Ann Hicks
Hicks Law Group

Financial Services
Jimmy Bennett
Jimmy Ray Bennett, CPA
Arlington City Council

Veteran Small Business
Jim Reid
Momentum Texas, Inc.

Home-based Business
Gregory Jackman Sakwa
Greycon, Inc. DBA Grey Construction

Entrepreneural Success of the Year
Evan Shelan

Family-owned Business of the Year
Marvin Groves, Jr.
Marvin Groves Electric, Inc.

Young Entrepreneur of the Year
John Lee Stoiloff
Stoiloff Insurance Company

Small Business Exporter of the Year
Gregg Cobb
Precise Energy Products, Inc.

Small Business Person of the Year
Nick Pencis
Stanley's Famous Pit BBQ, Inc.


Frequently Asked Questions

NOTE: Experiences and opinions vary among business advisors and writers. Also, the rules, laws and practices in different jurisdictions are subject to variation. It is therefore important that you verify the information presented here with local sources before you rely on it for important business decision making. Verification and further information can be obtained from your local SBDC, local accountants and attorneys, county and state business assistance agencies and offices, libraries, colleges and universities, and recently published materials.

Four Most Commonly Asked Questions: Show only questions | Show all answers

I want to start a small business; where do I begin?
First, make an appointment to receive business advising, free of charge, from your local SBDC. Among other talents, our advisors are adept at helping you write a business plan, the "roadmap" for your venture. If you or your business is in north Texas, use our search box along the left of the page to find your local SBDC.
How much money will I need to start?
You will need two pots of money. One pot will pay for the things you need just to get your new business started. The other pot is to pay your operating costs until your business reaches break-even – that point where you are taking in the same amount of money you are paying out.

To estimate the first pot of money, make a list of all the things you will need to just get open. This might include equipment, tools, inventory, fixtures, lease costs, office supplies, vehicles, signs, pre-opening advertising, fees and permits, and everything else you can think of. Opposite each of these items, put an estimated cost. If you don’t know the cost, find out. If you have uncertainties, estimate on the high side. Add up the amounts and you have the size of this first pot.

The second pot of money, to be used for operating expenses, involves estimating your cash outflow for all the things you will have to pay for after you start your business. This might include such things as rent, utility bills, gas for vehicles, supply replacement, payroll, payroll taxes, advertising, insurance, bookkeeping or legal fees, etc. If you will estimate each of these items for one month, you can multiply the months’ totals by the number of months you think it will take you to reach cash break-even.

When you will reach cash break-even is a judgment call by you based on what you know about your business and like-type businesses. If you are going to err, err on the side of conservatism. It will be far better to have too big a pot of operating money than to run out of operating money.

The sum total of these two pots is the amount of money you will need to start your business. Do not start before you have this amount or know where it will be coming from. For more information on this topic, see your local SBDC.

Can I get a grant?
Contrary to popular belief, grants of cash for business are virtually nonexistent. There are rare instances where a cash grant has been given for some highly specialized type of business or for some unusual situation, but for the great majority of business situations, there are no cash grants.

There are many government grants designed to assist business, but these usually don’t go directly to the business. Instead, they go to agencies and organizations that perform some service for business or benefit business in some way. The Small Business Development Centers throughout the United States operate partly on a grant from the federal government.

The books and late-night television infomercials that tout government grants for business are usually exercises in cleverly misleading entrepreneurship. Read the fine print carefully and "buyer beware." For more information on this topic, see your local SBDC.

Where can I get help in starting a small business?
Go to the people who know about small business. This includes Small Business Development Centers. There are over 950 in the United States and their business advising services are free.  S.C.O.R.E., which is staffed by retired business executives, is another free source of help. Colleges and universities often have specialists in small business and business topics. Private seminars, books and videos are readily available. Public libraries carry many books on small business.

Some CPA’s specialize in advising small businesses. The Small Business Administration has significant information available, as does the Internet. Type in "small business help" or "free business assistance" on any of the Internet search engines and you will get more information than you could ever read.

Some banks have small business specialists and are glad to help. Chambers of commerce, economic development associations, and other community agencies offer information and contacts. Most states have agencies devoted to assisting small business. Private consultants in small business and business topics are everywhere. Check your phone book.

Finally, people who have been in small business or are presently in small business are excellent sources of information. Some will gladly help you learn and gather information. For more information on this topic, see your local SBDC.

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