Iowa Edition 2020–2021—U.S. Small Business Admin…

Small Business resource guide IOWA EDITION 2020–2021


Small Business Resource Guide 1

2 U.S. Small Business Administration

CONTENTS Iowa Edition 2020–2021

Local Business Assistance

Funding Programs


28 National Success Story Jennifer and Jeff Herbert’s meadery has expanded into a multimillion dollar enterprise thanks to SBA assistance. 31 SBA Lenders 35 Need Financing? 36 Go Global with International Trade 38 R&D Opportunities for High Growth Startups 40 COVID-19 Economic Recovery 42 Surety Bonds Contracting 44 National Success Story Jennifer Rahn steers the course for Admiral Engineering, succeeding as a small business subcontractor. 48 SBA Certification Programs 49 Woman-Owned Small Business Certification

Local Success Story A dance aficionado, Sabetha Mumm successfully launched her own dance studio with the help of the SBA.

11 Local SBA

Resource Partners


15 Your Advocates 16 How to Start a Business 19 Emerging Leaders 20 Entrepreneurial Resources 22 Opportunities for Veterans 24 Write Your Business Plan 26 10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow Your Brand







ON THE COVER Sabetha Mumm, courtesy of Dance Vision

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I t is my honor to serve as Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, leading a dedicated team of talented individuals across America who are focused on helping entrepreneurs start, grow, and expand their small businesses. The SBA is here to support the prosperity and longevity of our nation’s small businesses with timely and innovative resources to help them thrive in today’s economy. America’s entrepreneurs are innovators, risk-takers, and the catalyst for employment opportunities within their communities, and they are what makes our economy so strong and dynamic. As we enter a new decade of possibilities, small businesses have a remarkable opportunity to continue building upon the success we’ve seen in our economy over the last three years. As the voice for America’s 30 million small businesses, I am eager to advocate on entrepreneurs’ behalf as a member of the President’s Cabinet. Whether it’s seeking access to capital, government contracting opportunities, business mentoring, or assistance with disaster recovery, the SBA is ready and determined to help our customers succeed. The SBA remains committed to continuing our support of America’s entrepreneurs and making an even bigger impact in communities across the country. In particular, the SBA is focused on elevating female entrepreneurs and our military veterans, expanding access to SBA resources

among entrepreneurs in disadvantaged communities, and continuing to prioritize disaster relief. Within this resource guide, you will learn more about the tremendous tools the SBA provides small businesses through our 68 District Offices and numerous Resource Partners, such as our Small Business Development Centers, our SCORE mentoring network, Women’s Business Centers, and Veterans Business Outreach Centers. Featured in this guide are some of the remarkable success stories of entrepreneurs who partnered with the SBA to take their businesses to the next level. The SBA encourages you to also utilize these resources to help strengthen and meet your business goals. Sincerely,

Jovita Carranza SBA Administrator


PUBLISHED BY New South Media, Inc. 304.413.0104 |

PUBLISHER Nikki Bowman,

DESIGNER Hayley Richard,

MANAGING EDITOR Holly Leleux-Thubron,




ADVERTISING SALES Kelley McGinnis, Bryson Taylor

Copyright: New South Media, Inc. Reproduction in part or whole is strictly prohib- ited without the express written permission of the publisher. © 2020 NEW SOUTH MEDIA, INC., ALL RIGHTS RESERVED The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Marketing & Customer Service directs the publication of the Small Business Resource Guide under SBA Contract #SBAHQ-17-C-0018. SBA publication winter 2020 national edition #mcs-0134

WRITER/EDITOR Becky Bosshart (202) 205-6677 DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Paula Panissidi Tavares

The SBA’s participation in this publication is not an endorsement of the views, opinions, products or services of the contractor or any advertiser or other participant appearing here. All SBA programs and services are extended to the public on a non- discriminatory basis. Directory listings do not constitute or imply an endorsement by the SBA of any opinions, products, or services of any private individual or entity.

Printed in the United States of America.

While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that the information con- tained here is accurate as of the date of publication, the information is subject to change without notice. The contractor that publishes this guide, the federal govern- ment, or agents thereof shall not be held liable for any damages arising from the use of or reliance on the information contained in this publication.

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SBA Iowa District Office 210 Walnut St., suite 749 Des Moines, IA 50309 (515) 284-4422 Fax (515) 284-4572 @SBA_Iowa Cedar Rapids Office 2750 First Ave. NE, suite 350 Cedar Rapids, IA 52402 (319) 362-6405 Fax (319) 362-7861

W elcome to the 2020-2021 edition of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Iowa Small Business Resource Guide. The SBA helps make the American dream of small business ownership a reality. We are the only federal agency dedicated to helping our 30 million small businesses start, grow, expand, or recover after a disaster. The SBA Iowa District Office works with an extensive network of business advisers and lenders to help our 270,000 small businesses at every stage of development. Across Iowa in the last year, we empowered the state’s small businesses to: • Find an adviser or mentor via our SBA Resource Partners, which includes Small Business Development Centers, SCORE, Women’s Business Centers, and the Veterans Business Outreach Center. • Access over $168 million in SBA-guaranteed loans using 97 local lenders. These 406 businesses that qualified for SBA-backed financing have hired thousands of new employees, bought needed equipment, and built or renovated facilities. • Gain more than $371 million in federal contracting awards. Stay up to date on SBA events near you and get valuable Iowa business information by following us on Twitter at @SBA_Iowa. Register for email updates at . As our community continues its recovery from the health, social, emotional and economic effects of the Coronavirus pandemic, we hope you know you can continue to count on the SBA for small business assistance. We're in this together.

District Director Jayne Armstrong (515) 284-4026 Deputy District Director Dawnelle Conley (515) 284-4913 Cedar Rapids Branch Manager Jo Eckert (319) 362-6535 Lead Lender Relations Specialist Dave Lentell (515) 284-4522 Lender Relations Specialist Terry Case (515) 284-4560 Economic Development Specialist/ Administrative Officer Lori Hackney (515) 284-4118 Program Support Specialist Sheri Osterkamp (319) 362-6405 Outreach and Marketing Specialist Lori Day (515) 284-4554 Program Support Assistant


Jayne Armstrong Iowa District Director

Samantha Kitch (319) 362-6405

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Sabetha Mumm Owner, Dance Vision Johnston, IA How I Did It

8 U.S. Small Business Administration



dance aficionado, Sabetha Mumm

successfully launched her own dance studio with the help of the SBA. As she worked to grow the business, she again turned to affordable financing provided by the SBA to young entrepreneurs. Starting out in a rented 2,500-square-foot studio, Sabetha’s small business has grown into a custom-designed 12,000 square-foot facility with five studios. She serves over 400 students ranging in age from infants in the Mommy & Me classes to adults. Dance Vision excels in preschool to high school, supporting several national competition teams. The Challenge Managing growth and keeping up with demand have been the challenge, though a welcome one. After 12 years in business in Johnston, we were turning away dozens of clients—many of whom wanted to drive in from 40 miles away. We were out of space and had no instructors set up to offer new classes. I saw an opportunity to grow, but I needed the capital to do it. Lenders are often hesitant to take a risk on young entrepreneurs invested in the creative fields. I wanted to expand here in Johnston to make a greater difference in my community and all the surrounding areas looking for our services. I knew the best way to make this happen was to transition from renting to owning. The SBA Solution My small business secured an SBA- backed 504 Certified Development Company loan using the Iowa Business Growth Co. My banking partner, Jim Langin, and Steve Cruse, with the Iowa Business Growth Co., were extremely knowledgeable—this was exactly the team I needed to navigate the program and help me get the new facility my small business needed with the SBA guarantee. The SBA guarantees loans made by lending institutions to small businesses that cannot find financing elsewhere. I secured a 25-year fixed-rate on the SBA portion of the financing; our banking partner provided 50%. I injected 10%,

significantly less than a conventional commercial real estate loan, which really freed up capital for me to make all those changes to help grow the business into this new studio. The Benefit With the cash flow I freed up from the SBA-backed 504 loan, I hired more instructors. I employ nearly 30 full and part time, many of whom are former students.

We built a state-of-the-art facility from the ground up. Dance Vision has workstations for the students to study between dance classes. We have a healthy food bar to promote wellness, and security cameras in all five studios so parents can watch classes from the lobby area. We have nearly doubled our capacity; we absolutely could not have reached that kind of growth without the 504 loan program.

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SBA Resource Partners No matter your industry, location or experience, if you have a dream, the SBA is here to help you achieve it. Our SBA Resource Partners offer mentoring, counseling, and training to help you start up and thrive at all stages of the business life cycle. These independent organizations operating across the United States and U.S. territories are funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants.

950 + 100 300 + +


Achieve your dream of business ownership and remain competitive in an ever-changing global economy with assistance from your local SBDC. Access free counseling and free or low- cost training on topics like regulatory compliance, technology development, and international trade. Find an SBDC adviser at .


Join the ranks of other business owners who have experienced higher revenues and increased growth thanks to SCORE, the nation’s largest network of volunteer business mentors. Experienced executives share real-world knowledge to fit your busy schedule. SCOREmentors are available for free as often as you need, in person, via email or over video chat. Find amentor at .


Women entrepreneurs receive business counseling and training from this national network of community-based centers. Each center tailors its services to help you navigate the challenges women often face when starting or growing a business. To learn about SBA resources for women visit .


20 +

Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, . Receive procurement guidance to better compete for government contracts. VBOCs also serve active duty service members, National Guard or Reserve members, veterans of any era, and military spouses.

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SBA’s Resource Partners are independent organizations funded through SBA cooperative agreements or grants. Our Local SBA Resource Partners Small Business Development Centers America’s SBDC Iowa State Office State Director Lisa Shimkat Iowa State University Ivy College of Business 1805 Collaboration Place, suite 1332, Ames (515) 294-2030 or (515) 408-6370 Fax (515) 294-6522 SBDC Eastern Iowa Regional Director Joel Youngs

Eastern Iowa Community College Urban Campus East, room 161 101 W. Third St., Davenport (800) 462-3255 x3401 or (563) 336-3401 Fax (563) 336-3479 SBDC Indian Hills Regional Director Bryan Ziegler Indian Hills Community College 15330 Truman St., Ottumwa (800) 726-2585 x5127 or (641) 683-5127 Fax (641) 683-5296 SBDC Iowa State University Regional Director Dave Biedenbach Iowa State University Ivy College of Business 1805 Collaboration Place, suite 1332, Ames (515) 296-7828 Fax (515) 294-6522

Arthur and Sandra Johnson, owners of 21 Short Stop in Georgia, received assistance from their local Small Business Development Center and SCORE chapter.

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O'Connor Belting, a Delaware family-owned business, expanded with the help of an SBA-guaranteed 7(a) loan.

Veterans Business Outreach Center Veteran entrepreneurs or small business owners can receive business training, counseling and mentoring, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, . This is also the place to receive procurement guidance, which can help your business better compete for

government contracts. Director Darcella Craven 2700 N. 14th St. St Louis, MO (314) 531-8387

Fax (877) 825-4190

SBDC Iowa Western Regional Director Sue Pitts Iowa Western Community College Ashley Hall, suite 121 2700 College Road, Council Bluffs (800) 432-5852 x3350 (712) 325-3350 Fax (712) 325-3408 council-bluffs SBDC Iowa Kirkwood

SBDC North Central Iowa Regional Director Kimberly Tiefenthaler 217 S. 25th St., suite C-12, Fort Dodge (515) 576-6242 Fax (515) 576-6447 SBDC North Iowa Area Regional Director Brook Boehmler North Iowa Area Community College 500 College Drive, suite 120A, Mason City (888) 466-4222 x4342 or (641) 422-4342 Fax (641) 422-4129 SBDC Northeast Iowa Regional Director Jay Wickham Northeast Iowa Community College Schmid Innovation Center 900 Jackson St., suite 110, Dubuque (563) 588-3350 Fax (563) 588-8033

SBDC Northwest Iowa Regional Director Michael Wampler Iowa Lakes Community College 1900 Grand Ave., suite B-1, Spencer (712) 262-4213 Fax (712) 262-4047 SBDC South Central Iowa Regional Director Ethan Pitt Southwestern Community College 1501 W. Townline St., Creston (641) 782-1483 Fax (641) 782-1334 SBDC Southeastern Regional Director Janine Clover Southeastern Community College River Park Place 610 N. Fourth St., suite 209, Burlington (319) 208-5381 Fax (319) 752-3407

12 U.S. Small Business Administration Regional Director Scott Swenson Kirkwood Community College 1770 Boyson Road, Hiawatha (319) 377-8256 Fax (319) 398-5698 rapids-hiawatha SBDC Mid-Iowa Regional Director Jenica Johnson Valley Junction 318 Fifth St., West Des Moines (515) 331-8954

SBDC University of Iowa Regional Director Paul Heath University of Iowa BioVentures Center, W140 2500 Crosspark Road, Coralville (319) 335-3742 Fax (319) 467-4550 city-coralville SBDC University of Northern Iowa Regional Director Amy Dutton University of Northern Iowa 8120 Jennings Drive, suite 13, Cedar Falls (319) 273-4328 Fax (319) 273-4343 waterloo-cedar-falls

Quad Cities Chapter 0432 Serving Clinton, Muscatine and Scott counties, IA and Bureau, Henderson, Henry, Lee, Mercer, Rock Island, and Whiteside counties, IL 331 W. Third St. Davenport (309) 797-0082 South Central SCORE 0398 Serving Appanoose, Davis, Jefferson, Lucas, Mahaska, Marion, Monroe, Van Bure, Wapello, Wayne counties Ottumwa Chamber of Commerce 217 E. Main St. Ottumwa (641) 814-5907 Greater Omaha SCORE Serving Council Bluffs and western Iowa 10675 Bedford Ave., suite 100 Omaha (402) 221-3606

SCORE Visit to start working on your business goals. Contact your local office to schedule an appointment. Des Moines Chapter 0005 Serving Adair, Boone, Clark, Dallas, Decatur, Grundy, Guthrie, Hardin, Jasper, Madison, Marshall, Polk, Poweshiek, Ringgold, Story, Tama, Union, Warren counties Re/Max Complex 6600 University Ave., suite 157 Windsor Heights (515) 274-8593 East Central Iowa Chapter 0227 Serving Allamakee, Benton, Black Hawk, Bremer, Buchanan, Cedar, Chickasaw, Clayton, Delaware, Fayette, Howard, Iowa, Jackson, Johnson, Jones Linn, Keokuk, Washington and Winneshiek counties 2750 First Ave. NE, suite 350 Cedar Rapids (319) 362-6943

SBDC Western Iowa Tech Regional Director Todd Rausch

Western Iowa Tech Community College 4647 Stone Ave., room B113, Sioux City (712) 274-6454 Fax (712) 274-6455

Fax (402) 221-3680

Women’s Business Center Iowa Women’s Business Center Iowa Center for Economic Success 2210 Grand Ave. Des Moines (515) 283-0940

Fax (515) 283-0348

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14 U.S. Small Business Administration


Your Advocates The SBA offices of advocacy and ombudsman are independent voices for small business within the federal government.

To report how a proposed federal regulation could unfairly affect you, contact . To submit a comment about how your business has been hurt by an existing regulation, visit comments .

Advocacy When you need a voice within the federal government for your interests as a small business owner, SBA advocates are here to assist. They analyze the effects of proposed regulations and consider alternatives that minimize the economic burden on small businesses, governmental jurisdictions, and nonprofits. The office, , helps with these small business issues: » if your business could be negatively affected by regulations proposed by the government » when you need economic and small business statistics The SBA Office of Advocacy also independently represents small business and advances its concerns before Congress, the White House, and federal agencies.

Ombudsman Entrepreneurs who have an issue with an existing federal regulation or policy receive assistance from the SBA national ombudsman. The ombudsman’s office helps you: » resolve regulatory disputes with federal agencies » reduce unfair penalties and fines » seek remedies when rules are inconsistently applied » recover payment for services done by government contractors Make your voice heard by participating in a Regional Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Roundtable or a public hearing hosted by the SBA national ombudsman. These events are posted periodically on the ombudsman website, .

To submit a comment or complaint through the online form, visit ombudsman/comments . Your concerns will be directed to the appropriate federal agency for review. The SBA will collaborate with you and the agency to help resolve the issue.

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Adriana Medina, owner of Fuerte Fitness, in Seattle, WA, received counseling from a SCORE mentor and a Women's Business Center adviser. How to Start a Business in Iowa Thinking of starting a business? Here are the nuts & bolts.

The Startup Logistics Even if you’re running a home-based business, you will have to comply with many local, state, and federal regulations. Do not ignore regulatory details. You may avoid some red tape in the beginning, but your lack of compliance could become an obstacle as your business grows. Taking the time to research regulations is as important as knowing your market. Being out of compliance could leave you unprotected legally, lead to expensive penalties, and jeopardize your business. Market Research View consumer and business data for your area using the Census Business Builder: Small Business Edition, sbe . Filter your search by business type and location to view data on your potential customers, including consumer spending, and a summary of existing businesses, available as a map and a report.

Business License & Zoning Licenses are typically administered by a variety of state and local departments. It is important to consider zoning regulations when choosing a site for your business. Contact the local business license office where you plan to locate your business. You may not be per mitted to conduct business out of your home or engage in industrial activity in a retail district. » Iowa Business License Information Center (800) 532-1216 Name Registration Register your business name with the county clerk where your business is located. If you’re a corporation, also register with the state.

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» Iowa Secretary of State Business Services Lucas Building, first floor 321 E. 12th St., Des Moines (515) 281-5204 Taxes As a business owner, you should know your federal tax responsibilities and make business decisions to comply with tax requirements. The IRS Small Business and Self-Employed Tax Center, , includes information on paying and filing income tax and finding an Employer ID Number. As the IRS continues to implement some of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act provisions, your tax obligationsmay change. For the latest tax reformupdates that affect your bottom line, visit . » IRS Tax Assistance Centers Des Moines 210 Walnut St. Call (844) 545-5640 for an appointment Cedar Rapids 3205 Williams Blvd. SW Call (844) 545-5640 for an appointment State Taxes » Iowa Department of Revenue If you have any employees, including officers of a corporation but not the sole proprietor or partners, you must make periodic payments, and/or file quarterly reports about payroll taxes and other mandatory deductions. You can contact the IRS or the Social Security Administration for information, assistance, and forms at (800) 772-1213 or visit . You can file W-2s online or verify job seekers through the Social Security Number Verification Service. Employment Eligibility Verification The Federal Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986 requires employers to verify employment eligibility of new employees. The law obligates an employer to process Employment Eligibility Verification Form I-9. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service offers information and assistance through 9-central . For forms, see . For the employer hotline call (888) 464-4218 or email E-Verify is the quickest way for employers to determine the employment eligibility of new hires by verifying the Social Security number and employment eligibility information reported on Form I-9. Visit , call (888) 464-4218 or email Health & Safety All businesses with employees are required to comply with state and federal regulations regarding the protection of employees, Hoover State Office Building 1305 E. Walnut St., Des Moines (800) 367-3388 or (515) 281-3114 Social Security

visit and . The Occupational Safety and Health Administration provides information on the specific health and safety standards used by the U.S. Department of Labor. Call (800) 321-6742 or visit . » Iowa Division of Labor 150 Des Moines St., Des Moines (515) 242-5870 OSHA Des Moines 210 Walnut St., room 815 (515) 284-4794 Employee Insurance Check your state laws to see if you are required to provide unemployment or workers’ compensation insurance for your employees. For health insurance options, call the Small Business Health Options program at (800) 706-7893 or visit . Association Health Plans allow small businesses, including self-employed workers, to band together by geography or industry to obtain healthcare coverage as if they were a single large employer. For information, visit association-health-plans . » Iowa Workforce Development State assistance is available for small businesses that must comply with environmental regulations under the Clean Air Act. State Small Business Environmental Assistance programs provide free and confidential assistance to help small business owners understand and comply with environmental regulations and permitting requirements. These state programs can help businesses reduce emissions at the source, often reducing regulatory burden and saving you money. To learn more about these free services visit . » Environmental Protection Agency Small Business Division » US EPA region 7 (913) 551-7003 » Environmental Action Line (800) 223-0425 » IowaDepartment of Natural Resources Wallace State Office Building 502 E. Ninth St., fourth floor, Des Moines (515) 725-8200 Accessibility & ADA Compliance For assistance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, call the ADA center at (800) 949-4232 or the Department of Justice at (800) 514-0301. Direct questions about accessible design and the ADA standards to the U.S. Access Board at (800) 872-2253, TTY (800) 993-2822, or visit . 150 Des Moines St., Des Moines (515) 725-4120 or (800) 645-4583 Environmental Regulations

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Chambers of Commerce Visit to find your local chamber. Economic Development IA SourceLink (866) 537-6052 International Trade Office (515) 348-6242 Iowa Economic Development Authority

Child Support Employers are essential to the success of the child support program and collect 75%of support nationwide through payroll deductions. You’re required to report all new and rehired employees to the State Directory of NewHires. If you have employees in two or more states, youmay register with the Department of Health and Human Services to report all your employees to one state. Find electronic income withholding orders and the Child Support Portal, which can be used to report information to nearly all child support agencies, at . Send questions to » Iowa Department of Human Services Intellectual Property Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are types of intellectual property that serve to protect creations and innovations. For information and resources about U.S. patents and federally registered trademarks consult , call (800) 786-9199 or visit the Elijah J. McCoy Midwest Regional Office in Detroit, Michigan, . There are three types of patents: • Utility patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement. • Design patents may be granted to anyone who invents a new, original, and ornamental design for a manufactured article. • Plant patents may be granted to anyone who invents or discovers and asexually reproduces any distinct and new variety of plant, other than a tuber propagated plant or a plant found in an uncultivated state. A trademark or service mark includes any word, name, symbol, device, or any combination, used to identify and distinguish the goods/services of one provider from others. Trademarks and service marks can be registered at both the state and federal level. Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as computer software. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. Visit . Copyrights protect original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical and artistic, and certain other intellectual works, such as computer software. Copyrights do not protect facts, ideas, and systems, although they may protect the way they are expressed. For general information on copyrights, contact: » U.S. Copyright Office U.S. Library of Congress James Madison Memorial Building 101 Independence Ave. SE Washington, DC (202) 707-3000 or toll free (877) 476-0778

(515) 348-6333 or (515) 348-6200 Main Street Iowa (515) 348-6184 Targeted Small Business Program (515) 384-6159

USDA Rural Development 210 Walnut St., room 873 Des Moines

(515) 284-4663 Export Assistance New Orleans U.S. Export Assistance Center 504) 589-6730 U.S. Department of Commerce Director Catherine Muth U.S. Commercial Service Iowa 210 Walnut St., suite 749 Des Moines (515) 284-4590

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Learn the skills to grow your small business in this seven-month course.

Accelerate Growth Small business executives looking to grow their business, create jobs, and strengthen their communities will find their next challenge

in the SBA Emerging Leaders program. This seven-month course offers about 100 hours of training and provides the opportunity for high-potential small business owners to work with experienced coaches and mentors while developing connections with peers, local leaders, and the financial community. How it benefits you Since the start of the program in 2008, Emerging Leaders graduates have reported creating over 6,500 jobs, gaining more than $300 million in new financing, and securing over $3.16 billion in government contracts. Participants produce a three-year strategic growth plan that connects them with the necessary tools and resources to reach major performance targets. What you learn The curriculum is research-based and nationally scalable, enabling you to engage in focused development and expansion strategies, including options for accessing new capital and securing government contracts. Who’s eligible Small businesses having annual revenues of at least $250,000, in business for at least three years, and with at least one employee.

HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED When April Broderick wanted to expand into government contracting, she turned to the SBA. A&A Fire and Safety Co. in Cabot, AR serves the fire protection and service needs of businesses, schools, and fire departments across Arkansas. She took over from her father, Alan, in 2014, becoming one of the few women executives in her industry. With the help of the SBA Emerging Leaders program, April received business training and networking opportunities to help her better compete in the public marketplace. April committed to the program because she wanted to develop a three- year growth plan with business experts. Since graduating from Emerging Leaders, she has grown her business to six full-time employees, seven part time, with a projected 2019 revenue of $1.7 million.

Get involved To register online, visit emergingleaders .

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Entrepreneurial Resources

Online Learning Find free short courses and learning tools to start and grow your small business at . The SBA’s free Online Learning Center is a great resource for every entrepreneur,

Native American Workshops Native American, Alaska native, and native Hawaiian entrepreneurs are eligible to receive free training on how to start and grow their business from experienced industry leaders in the field of Native American business development. The SBA Office of Native American Affairs, naa , works with Sister Sky Inc. and RedWind to reach as many locations as possible. Network with native peers and get connected to business assistance in your area. To register for a workshop near you, visit or .

especially rural business owners looking for easy access to vital business training. Courses include: • writing your business plan • understanding your customer • buying a business • marketing to win customers

• legal requirements • financing options • disaster recovery

Small businesses power our economy.

The SBA powers small businesses.

During these uncertain times, we’re still here for you. Whether you’re in need of financial assistance or reworking your business plan, SBA has your back… because small business is our business.

Contact to learn how to move your business forward with confidence.

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What business structure is right for you?





Company not taxable Owner subject to self employment tax Owner provides capital

Owner has full control

Personally liable for all debts/obligations


Separate and independent from its owners General partners have unlimited liability Limited partners’ liability is limited to what they agree to contribute

Profits are taxed as income based on ownership percentage or other criteria in the partnership agreement General partners have no limits on profit dividends Partners pay self-employment taxes

Limited partnerships can only have 1 general partner, general partners have greater control


Members set up LLC agreement

Members are not typically held liable for debts/obligations

Income passes through to members Members may sell interests, but subject to agreement and securities laws may apply


Based off percentage of shares Shareholders elect directors who manage business

Shareholders are not typically held liable for debts/obligations

C corps are taxed at corporate rate and then again if distributed to shareholders in dividends S corps allow profits and some losses to be passed to shareholders’personal income, avoiding corporate tax rate; but not shareholder distributions. Shares of stock are sold to raise capital, securities laws apply

Visit your local SBA office or resource partner for more information on business structures and incorporating. Consult with your tax and/or legal adviser to choose the structure that works best for your business. Visit for the latest tax updates and forms.

Small Business Resource Guide 21


HOW THE SBA HELPED ME SUCCEED U.S. Navy veteran Roberto Ortiz puts his 40 years of aviation management experience to use as a small business owner in Chesapeake, VA. Bert expanded AVMAC Inc. into the government sector fulfilling aviation and maritime logistical services with the help of his local SBA Veterans Business Outreach Center. VBOCs are the first stop for military community entrepreneurs looking to start, grow, or expand a small business. The VBOC located at Old Dominion University helped Bert obtain government contracting business certifications. With support from his local VBOC, Bert has strategically positioned AVMAC in the federal marketplace to better compete for large-scale government contracts. From AVMAC’s first contract in 2010, this veteran-led company has nearly doubled in revenue and grown to over 400 employees.

AVMAC President/CEO Bert Ortiz, left, and fellow U.S. Navy veteran and electrician Ken Morey manufacturing a power panel bracket.

Opportunities for Veterans

Military community members become more successful entrepreneurs with the help of the SBA.

Who’s eligible? Service members transitioning out of active duty and military spouses. Boots to Business: Reboot, for veterans, National Guard or Reserve members and military spouses, teaches this entrepreneurship curriculum off base in communities. Register for either B2B program at . For women veterans Receive entrepreneurial training geared toward women veterans, service

members, and spouses through these SBA- funded programs: » Veteran Women Igniting the Spirit of Entrepreneurship in Syracuse, New York

Entrepreneurship training In Boots to Business, explore business ownership and other self-employment opportunities while learning key business concepts. Walk away with an overview of entrepreneurship and applicable business ownership fundamentals, including how to access startup capital using SBA resources. Boots to Business is conducted on all military installations as part of the Department of Defense’s Transition Assistance Program.

» LiftFund in San Antonio, Texas For service-disabled veterans Learn how to start and grow a small

business using these SBA-funded programs: » Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans with Disabilities in Syracuse, New York

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» Veterans Entrepreneurship Program at the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, Oklahoma » Veteran Entrepreneurship Jumpstart at St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania » Dog Tag Inc., affiliated with Georgetown University in Washington, DC

Financing Employee called to active duty?

You can receive funds that enable your business to meet ordinary and necessary operating expenses when an essential employee is called up to active duty in the military reserve. Ask your local SBA specialist or lender about the Military Reservist Economic Injury Disaster Loan. Government contracting Veteran-owned and service-disabled veteran-owned small businesses that want to better compete in the public market receive training from the Veteran Institute for Procurement, . VIP Start Enter the federal market and become ready for procurement. VIP Grow Strategize to expand and operate within the federal marketplace. VIP International Enter or expand your federal and commercial contracting opportunities overseas. Get certified Learn about the service-disabled veteran- owned small business certification program on page 50. Need assistance? Veteran and military entrepreneurs receive business training, counseling, and referrals to other SBA Resource Partners at a Veterans Business Outreach Center, . For veterans business information visit .

Small Business Resource Guide 23

LOCAL BUSINESS ASSISTANCE Write your Business Plan Lay the foundation for success with a concise business plan.

TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN FORMAT When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan template. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Executive Summary Briefly summarize your company and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing. Company Description Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific as to audience and location. List out the consumers, organizations, or businesses your company plans to serve. Explain the competitive advantages you have that will make your business successful. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths. Market Analysis Demonstrate a solid understanding of your industry outlook and tar- get market. This is where it pays to partner with an experienced busi- ness counselor fromyour local Small Business Development Center, SCORE, Women's Business Center, or Veterans Business Outreach Center—all these SBA Resource Partners provide free or low-cost business assistance. Competitive research will showwhat other busi- nesses are doing and their strengths. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now's the time to answer these questions. Organization and Management

Business plans help you run your business. A good business plan guides you throughmanaging your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you—or investing in your company—is a smart investment. Brain storm with a business counselor (visit one of our SBA Resource Partners detailed on page 10) and write a traditional business plan , which uses a standard structure and detailed sections. Once you've got it all down, you can then condense it to a lean startup business plan, which typically contains key points on only one page.

Explain how your com- pany will be structured and who will run it. Describe the legal structure of your busi- ness. Statewhether you have or intend to incor- porate your business as a C or an S corporation, forma general or limited partnership, or if you're a sole proprietor or limited liability company.

Want to see an example of a business plan? View examples of business plans at write-your-business- plan-template

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LEAN STARTUP PLAN FORMAT Write a lean startup plan if requested from an investor, or if your business is relatively simple or you plan to regularly change and refine as you go. Lean startup plans use more visual organization tools and only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualiz- ing your company's fundamental facts. Your business counselor can help you edit down into the Business Model Canvas, used here—the most well known style, or another lean startup template. Key Partnerships Note the other businesses you’ll work with, such as suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors, and strategic partners. Key Activities List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Will you sell direct to consumers or use technology to tap into the shar- ing economy? Key Resources List resources you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets include staff, capital, and intellectual property. Leverage business resources that might be available to women, veterans, Native Americans, and HUBZone–certified businesses. Value Proposition Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market. Customer Relationships Describe how customers will interact with your business. Think through the customer experience from start to finish. Is it auto- mated or personal? In person or online? Customer Segments Name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody; it’s important to have a clear sense of who you serve. Channels List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Cost Structure Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face. Revenue Streams Explain how your company makes money: direct sales, member- ships fees, selling advertising space? If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.

Use an organizational chart to show the hierarchy. Explain how each person’s experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including CVs of key members. Service or Product Line Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it ben- efits your customers and the product lifecycle. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you're doing research and development for your service or product, explain it. Marketing and Sales Your marketing strategy should evolve and change to fit your needs in each context. Describe how you'll attract and retain customers. Show how a sale will actually happen. You'll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so be thorough. Funding Request If you're asking for funding, outline your funding requirements. Specify whether you want debt or equity and the terms you'd like. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and how the investment will be used. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Explain how ❒ Executive summary ❒ Company description ❒Market analysis ❒ Organization and management ❒ Service or product line ❒Marketing and sales ❒ Funding request ❒ Financial projections ❒ Appendix TRADITIONAL BUSINESS PLAN CHECKLIST

you'll pay off the debt. Financial Projections

Supplement your funding request with a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Show how your business will be a financial success. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly—or even monthly—projections. Explain your projections and match them to your funding requests. If your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. List collateral you could put against a loan. Use visual organization tools--graphs and charts—to tell your business's financial story. Appendix Here you'll attach supporting documents or other requested materials. Common items to include are credit histories, CVs, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, patents, legal documents, and other contracts.


❒ Key partnerships ❒ Key activities ❒ Key resources ❒ Value proposition ❒ Customer relationships

❒ Customer segments ❒ Channels ❒ Cost structure ❒ Revenue streams

Small Business Resource Guide 25


10 Tips to Help You Build and Grow a Stand-Out Small Business Brand Build a better business with these time-tested tips.

Elliot Henry, who received SBA- backed 7(a) and 504 loans, runs UnlimitedWater Processing in St. Louis, MO.

The United States loves small businesses. That’s according to a survey by the Pew Foundation reported by Small Business Trends, , which found that 71% of Americans view small business more favorably than any other institutions, including religious organizations. Why is this? Well, small businesses are seen as a positive influence. But it’s more than that. Small businesses are in a unique position to create valuable customer experiences. Their products and services are often

niche, the target customer is very defined. Business operations are agile and unconstrained by corporate rules and processes. Small businesses are also trusted for their integrity, community engagement, and customer service. When was the last time you called a small business and got put through to an automated call center? These things come together to create a hugely competitive value proposition, the linchpin of your brand. But what can you do to leverage these experiences and grow the appeal of your brand without breaking the bank?

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1 What is Your Brand? It’s important to understand that your brand is much more than your logo, merchandising or products. It is all the experiences customers have with your business, including the visual elements of your business. It also includes what you do, how you do it, customer interactions, and your marketing. All of these elements help establish the trust and credibility of your business. 2 Stand Out If your brand is going to be strong, you need to be able to pinpoint what makes you different from competitors. A SCORE mentor, , can help you use competitive differentiators to build your business brand. Don’t forget to weave your differentiators into your company’s messaging and marketing. 3 Have Great Products and Services Word of mouth is often a small business’s greatest lead generator, so having great products and services that people talk about is a critical part of your brand. Even the most outgoing and charming small business owner is not going to succeed in bringing customers back unless the product or service they provide delivers and exceeds expectations. Don’t lose sight of your product, keep refining it, testing new offerings, and making sure you always put product first. 4 Make Sure Your Customers Know the Face Behind the Product One of the biggest reasons that small businesses fail is because of the persistent absence of the business owner. You only need to look at a few episodes of business makeover TV shows to witness what can go wrong when a business is left to run itself. Without an actively engaged owner, employees lose motivation and structure, which can quickly lead to sloppy service, a poor product, and customer churn. Yes, your business needs to be able to function without your constant presence, but it’s important to strike a balance. Find ways to make sure your customers know you and connect with the face behind the business. Businesses thrive when the energy of the owner is present. 5 Get Your Name and Logo Right It’s important to get this right the first time because changing your name and logo later can be costly. Your logo and name should be easily recognizable and reflect the nature and tone of your business as well as appeal to your target market. I’m a dog owner, and two of my absolute favorite small businesses cater to pet owners: my local provider of dog walking services and a healthful pet food store. When I see their logos, it makes me feel good; I feel an affinity with them. That’s what you need to shoot for.

6 Have a Distinct Voice

A great way to ensure your distinct brand message is delivered consistently across your business is to focus on how you and your employees interact and

communicate with customers in person, on the phone, and on social media. Not sure what your “voice” should be? Look to other brands. What do they do that you’d like to emulate? How do they greet and interact with you? What is it they do that makes you feel good about doing business with them? 7 Build Community Around What you Do A successful brand is one trusted and respected by customers. Building a strong community online and off can help you achieve this. You don’t have to spend a lot of money to do this. In fact, many successful brands concentrate almost exclusively in online and offline community building. Offline participation in community activities, such as local events, fundraisers, and charities, as well as hosting your own events, such as workshops or loyal customer events, can all help you build community and extend the trust your brand has earned. 8 Be an Advocate for Your Business— Not Just a Salesman You don't have to be the greatest salesman to succeed in business. Selling takes many forms, and being a brand advocate gels them. For example, many small business owners strive to be the number one salesman, the number one cheerleader, and the number one fan of their own business. If you are passionate about your business, be an advocate for it. Invite people in! 9 Be Reliable Letting your customers down by failing to live up to your own promises and brand standards can be particularly harmful for small businesses that depend heavily on referrals. The foundation of brand loyalty lies in great service; a happy customer is a loyal customer. Make sure you aren’t making promises that you can’t keep, whether you run a pizza business and pledge to deliver within 30 minutes, or you’re a painting contractor who promises to start a job on a Monday at 9 a.m. sharp. Stand by your promises. 10 Have a Value Proposition Value, not to be mistaken with price, can help define your brand and differentiate you from the competition. This goes back to my second point about standing out. What niche do you serve? What do you do well in that niche that makes you different from everyone else? What are the emotional benefits of what you do? The answers to these questions will help define what your value is to your customers. It could be your great customer service, product quality, innovation, or a combination of these.

written by Caron Beesley , contributor

Small Business Resource Guide 27

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