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I would like to start a recording studio business in California. I have a business partner that has a list of potential customers. I would employ a full time receptionist. I would need a fairly large sum to build the studio but the operating cost to run the business would be minimal.
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Dear Mr. Q:
I actually believe that when we start on a venture there is no one perfect way to get there and you can't even design the correct path until you get there. We each have to start on the best of the choices that are before us and follow that path until you see a better path. And I believe that you will see a better path once you start. So, here is where you start:
Every state has a number of money programs for people to start or expand a business in their state.Governors compete with other governors to see who can create the most jobs, and that's why they offer money for people who create jobs in their state. You don't even have to be a resident of the state. You can live in one state and put your business in a state that offers you more money. States also offer special money for entrepreneurs to put their business in certain areas of the state or in certain areas of a city. There are also other money programs to build buildings or renovate old buildings. Some of this money comes from federal sources which is given to the states and distributed to entrepreneurs in the state. Other money is generated from local taxes. And some states use the winnings from their lottery money to give to entrepreneurs to create or expand businesses.
Many states offer programs from more than one agency. So it may take some time to find all the programs in a given state. A good place to start is your State Government Office of Economic Development located in your state capital. Contact your state at: California Business Portal at www.calbusiness.ca.gov
You can actually get up to $1,000,000 in grants and or loans to open or expand a business from the U.S. Federal Government alone. There are over 100 different money programs available from offices ranging from the U.S. Small Business Administration to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to the U.S. Department of Commerce. For the best source identifying all federal only government money programs available, look at a government published book called The Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance published by the U.S. Government Printing Office (www.gpo.gov) or look at it for free on the web at www.cfda.gov. Another good starting place to find anything in the federal government is a free service called the Federal Information Center at 1-800-FED-INFO or www.pueblo.gsa.gov/call .
The California Small Business Administration Office delivers a variety of programs and services, such as startup and operational assistance through small business training and counseling, financial assistance for startups, operational and disaster help, business opportunities, such as government contracting, subcontracting, procurement, and much more. For information on how the Small Business Administration programs maybe of help to you contact: Small Business Administration (SBA), Los Angeles District Office, 330 N. Brand, Suite 1200, Glendale, CA 91203; 818-552-3210 or 818-522-3260; www.sba.gov/ca
Question: Do you know what is better than a $100,000 government grant? Answer: A $100,000 government contract. Because with a grant you are most likely to get it once and with a contract you can keep getting it over and over again. Question: Do you know who buys more of anything than anyone else in the world? Answer: The government, including federal, state, local and county.
Someone has to sell all those products and services to the government and it might as well be you. You just have to find out who in the government buys your product and figure out the paperwork on how to get paid.
But don't worry too much about the work required and the paperwork involved because there are offices that will help you do all this and they will do it FOR FREE. Here is where you can turn for help:
But remember one thing: selling to the government is like going elephant hunting. When you bag one of these babies you have meat for a long time.
The government will give you:
The money is in the form of tax credits on your federal and/or your state income taxes. If you are paying any taxes then this is truly free money because it is taken right off your tax bill. To find out about every tax credit at your state level contact your state Department of Revenue by calling 411 and asking for the state capital operator, or go to www.govengine.com and click on your state and start looking for the Department of Revenue. For information on all federal tax credits contact Internal Revenue Service, 202-622-5000 or 800-829-1040 (Business Tax Questions) or go to www.irs.ustreas.gov/formspubs/. You can also turn to the California Development office for help: A good place to start is your State Government Office of Economic Development located in your state capital. Contact your state at: California Business Portal at www.calbusiness.ca.gov
Maybe you don't need a bunch of money to get your idea off the ground. Maybe all you need is just a few thousand dollars to get your idea to go. Well, there are hundreds of non-profit organizations that offer small grants and easy loans aimed at people who would never be able to get money from traditional sources. It is difficult to locate all of these groups around the country, but two good starting places are: 1) Association for Enterprise Opportunity at 703-841-7760 or http://www.aeoworks.org/index.php/site/page/category/find/ and 2) The Foundation Center at 212-620-4230 or www.fdncenter.org
If you are out of work, you may be able to get money to live on as well as money to pay for entrepreneur training in order to run your own business.These programs are run with federal money and state money. Each state has different rules and the main idea is that they have money for you to train to get a better job along with money to live on while you are training. And your new job can be starting your own business. These programs are run through your state One-Stop Career Center located in your state capital, but will have additional offices all over your state. You can find your local office by calling 411 and asking for the state capital operator in your state capital. Ask for your local "One-Stop Career Center." Or go to http://www.servicelocator.org/
Remember, these are just starting places. We have an entire book and DVD training program on this called Free Money For Entrepreneurs and you can check our website, www.myamericanbenefitsplan.com, and look under Business for more sources.
It is important to follow up as many sources as possible and if those sources cannot help you ask them for leads on who can. Also keep your mind open to other opportunities you never even thought about as you are investigating these sources. Maybe you can rent someone's existing studio and give them part of the money you bring in. This way you learn how to get customers and run a business without having to pay for everything. The most important part of starting any business is getting a customer. Without that you are not in business.
Good luck and keep your dream alive. And keep finding more ways to fan the fire when the flames start to dwindle.
Matthew LeskoBest Selling Author and Entrepreneurwww.lesko.com