March 8, 2010 — Tom Shirreffs of the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at San Jacinto College visited the campus of Texas Chiropractic College (TCC) March 1 to discuss with interns how to start a business.
Shirreffs is a business consultant for SBDC, whose offices are located near each of the San Jacinto College campuses. SBDC provides free, private counseling and low-cost workshops to help small business owners start and grow their companies. He gave pertinent business advice to students who will soon graduate and possibly start their own practices or join as an associate to an existing practice.
Shirreffs described in detail how to assess startup feasibility, financial analysis tools, legal requirements of starting a business, how to create a good business plan, and loan requirements. During his talk on startup, Shirreffs emphasized the importance of market research before you begin to make plans for a new business.
One of the tools Shirreffs offered the interns were financial analysis worksheets where they could plug-in their numbers for income and various expenses to see if it’s practical for them to make loan payments and manage the cash flow of a business. He also gave them a worksheet for the projected costs of their business’s finances including items like inventory, insurance, telephone installation and much more.
Attaining the proper licenses and permits to operate a business is something all new business owners need to know. These vary from state to state and county to county. Also an important legal requirement is business structure or a business agreement. Shirreffs emphasized signing such an agreement when entering into a partnership.
Shirreffs warned the students that without a legal agreement, a partner could take advantage of the situation.
The next thing to do as a potential new business owner is to decide whether to move forward or not. After considering market research, finances and legality, if things are not looking great, it’s time to reconsider.
Source: Texas Chiropractic College, www.txchiro.edu