Quick: How many small businesses operate in this country?
If your guess was close to the 21.5 million total that the U.S. Small Business Administration estimates, you also may know that that figure is up 50 percent over 1982.
Small businesses provide about 67 percent of first-job opportunities and are responsible for most of the initial on-the-job training in basic skills, according to the SBA.
As the U.S. economy adds 25 million jobs by 2005, the small-business sector will contribute some 68 percent, with a concentration in the service industries.
To recognize the impact and potential of small firms on the nation’s economic well-being and quality of life, President Bill Clinton has declared the week of April 30 to May 5 Small Business Week.
Yet, despite impressive numbers, the reality remains that most small firms struggle mightily to survive, especially in the early years. Though the number of corporations begun reached a record 706,540 in 1993, most will not make it to their 10th–or even fifth–anniversaries.
To help more local firms beat the odds, the Rochester Business Journal has compiled a resource package to help small-firm owners and managers increase their chances of surviving and prospering.
Our main story–“Eleven steps to creating a winning enterprise,” beginning on page 34–details the key areas that every young enterprise must address. Other stories–choosing a legal entity and writing a business plan, for example–elaborate on the need for organized, thorough thinking and tapping the advice of professionals.
Our Resources section, beginning on page 40, lists dozens of not-for-profit organizations that offer advice to small firms, plus SBA publications and videos on business topics.
This special issue, co-sponsored by Preferred Care, will go to our regular subscribers and will be available on newsstands and at the local offices of the state Department of Economic Development and SUNY College at Brockport’s Small Business Development Center.
To order more newsprint copies of this Resource Guide, call 546-8303.
Page 34 — Eleven steps to creating a winning enterprise
Though following these 11 steps will not guarantee success, they will put your business well on the way to viability
Page 38 — To incorporate or not to incorporate, by Ann Fox
When weighing which legal form to adopt–sole proprietorship, partnership or corporation–consider the benefits and limitations of each.
Page 38 — Trade-show trade-offs, by Bruce Beardsley
Exhibiting at trade shows long has been an effective tool for large companies with products to display. But for small, limited-budget firms or consultants, does the investment pay off?
Page 39 — The all-important business plan
Developing a clear, detailed outline of your business’ goals is as essential for obtaining financing as for keeping the firm on the right track amid the chaos of the marketplace. Simply thinking through the planning process and committing goals to paper are valuable activities for any business owner.
Page 39 — Assessing your business personality
No amount of planning, attention to detail or killer marketing ideas will compensate for a bad fit between owner and business. If you cannot honestly describe yourself as take-charge, hardworking and full of initiative, any business you start likely will not survive.
Page 40 — Resources
Page 41 — SBA publications
(Editor: Rose Ericson; cover design: Patricia A. Beckmann)