Research & Planning​

Business Plan & Research


    • CREATE a business plan. This will help you determine your business's strengths and weaknesses. This also comes in handy when you're ready to apply for business loans, or start a bank account for your business. BUSINESS PLAN TEMPLATE courtesy of score.org
    • DISCOVER the competition. Research and prepare yourself for competitors. Our partners at Richland Library and the South Carolina State Library, provide a lot of resources for conducting market research.
  • NETWORK with your community. In a world of technology, nothing beats word-of-mouth. Get out there and spread the word about what you do and what you have to offer. Our partners at 1 Million Cups Columbia are great at connecting the dots for SC's entrepreneurial community. 
  • FOLLOW & LIKE our social media pages. Keep up to date with small business news, legislative changes, updates from partner agencies, and tax/registration due dates. We're also just cool in general so you should follow us based on that fact.




Mentoring & Learning Opportunities

Chances are that wherever you're located in South Carolina, there's a Small Business Development Center near you. With more than 30 years under their belt, the SCSBDC continues to provide learning and mentoring opportunities to small business owners for FREE. Yes, FREE. This is a great organization to consult with if you'd like step-by-step assitance with starting your business. Check out their statewide map to find a location near you.
The Census Business Builder is a suite of services that provides demographic and economic data from the Census Bureau. This info is tailored to specific types of users in a simple format. The Small Business Edition is built primarily for small business owners who need key data for their business plan or to better understand their potential market. It presents data for a single type of business and geography at a time. Get more info from census.gov.
My Own Business Institute (MOBI), Santa Clara University Course
This is a FREE in-depth step-by-step course on what it takes to start a business, and some of the pitfalls to look out for. Topics include characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, financing, cash flow, e-commerce, home based businesses, buying an existing business or franchise, and plenty more. START COURSE