/ Getting Started
Prospera offers educational and professional grants for Hispanic start-ups. Their Spanish-speaking experts connect business owners to subject matter experts in legal, accounting, planning, and marketing. Learn more about their free professional business development services.
Twenty-six percent of Small Business start-ups are as a result of individuals stating they are ready to be their own boss. Being your own boss and managing a business takes more than a concept. Your business plan is a critical component of starting a business. For women entrepreneurs developing their business plan, the Women’s Business Center of Charlotte is available to review and offer feedback on written business plans. Learn more and schedule your one-on-one appointment now!
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers sample business plans, business research tools, searchable databases and much more. Visit them online to learn more, or better yet, visit the second floor of the Main Library to get started!
Certified SCORE Mentors can help you develop your plan and offer expert advice for starting your business. The best part? It’s all free and confidential. Find the right mentor for you! For more information, register for the Charlotte SCORE course on startup basics, which covers the basics of starting and planning for a small business.
Create A Business Plan
Get tips for writing a successful business plan through online training with SBTDC. Learn more here!
Create A Digital Marketing Strategy
This guide is designed to provide a basic understanding of what digital marketing is and how your business can begin and/or increase your digital marketing efforts. The guide includes worksheets and other tools to help businesses through the process. Click here to get started.
Through a step-by-step process, the SBA has a tool that will guide you through writing a business plan at your own pace. Create an account, and take the first step to having a great plan!
It all starts with a plan! And when it comes to business planning, the Small Business Center offers courses and seminars to help you research and write a sure-to-succeed business plan. The best part? Many of these seminars are free! View their schedule of free seminars here. If you are interested in more comprehensive training view their course schedule here.
Solving the “I don’t know what I don’t know about HR” dilemma upon joining, Catapult Members are guided through a comprehensive new member launch meeting where they are connected with vital “getting started” resources.
Ready to hire employees? The SBA can guide you through the process, as well as the laws surrounding employment. Grow your team with the SBA!
HR Organizational Assessment
No matter what stage of growth you are in, brand new or established, as a new Member you will take a quick survey about your organization, and they will assess your areas of strength and those that need work via the HR Compliance Snapshot tool. Then, you have the option to review the results with a member of their HR Advice Team, who will advise you on moving your organization forward.
Employee Handbook Template and Review
You are given their attorney-reviewed template for creating your employee handbook; when it’s ready, you submit it to their HR Advice Team for review. An HR Advisor will meet with you to review the findings and recommendations.
BLNC has compiled a list of requirements for business owners who plan to hire employees in North Carolina.
There’s no doubt about it — starting a business is an investment. With the SBA, you can learn why having business insurance is important, tips for buying insurance, types of business insurance, and much more. Access business insurance information from the SBA!
From taxes to insurance, SBTDC has created a startup guide that includes information on starting a business, including the legal considerations and requirements.Access the PDF now!
How to Choose Your Legal Structure: When it comes to the legal side of starting and running a business, the Central Piedmont Small Business Center offers courses and seminars on a wide variety of topics, including how to choose your legal structure. View their current course schedule on their website!
Business Structures Comparison Chart: With this Business Structures Comparison Chart, you can quickly learn the advantages (and disadvantages!) of different business structures.
BLNC provides you with a brief overview of basic business structures and helpful links to help you with business formation in North Carolina.
When it comes to Charlotte’s population, economy and industry trends, the Charlotte Chamber gives entrepreneurs access to the research and data they need to start and grow their business.
- Charlotte Demographics: The Charlotte Region is diverse in population and workforce. To
learn more about our local population, projected growth demographics and more, check out this interactive dashboard, created by the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance.
- Mecklenburg County Economic Indicators: Charlotte’s a banking town, right? While Charlotte is the nation’s second-largest banking center, what might surprise you is that finance is not the largest industry or employment sector. Thanks
to the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance, you can learn more about the factors driving Charlotte’s economy here.
- Charlotte Chamber Research Team: For even more information about economic and demographic trends in Charlotte, contact the Charlotte Regional Business Alliance’s research team. Custom research is available for Charlotte Regional Business Alliance member businesses at the board of advisor level and more!
If you need to find information about your market and its consumers, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has just what you need. Use Reference USA to find competitors.SimplyAnalytics can be used to discover local demographics. And, of course, ABI/INFORM is available to help you search for industry trends. View all of the Library’s resources here!
For information on what’s happening in Charlotte’s workforce, look no farther than Charlotte Works. They’re your single source for any industry, occupational, demographic or economic data you might need. Instead of handing you a spreadsheet, they’ll provide the perspective and forecasts you need to help you make the most informed decisions about starting a business in Charlotte. Access your in-depth analysis here!
The Small Business Center is a member of the IBIS World community so that it can provide expert industry research reports to the clients it serves. To receive no cost targeted industry reports to help you understand industry trends visit the Small Business Resource Center or meet with a business counselor.
If you’ve got an innovation that could serve national and global markets, it’s important to undergo customer discovery and validations before you create your business plan. Ventureprise Launch, supported by NC IDEA, is a cohort-based, selective initiative that guides entrepreneurs through customer discovery and business model generation. Learn more to determine if this is right you!
No matter what, taxes can be tricky, but this is especially true for small business owners. The SBA has tools to help you find out if your business needs a tax ID, as well as what the benefits and requirements are. Learn more about small business taxes from the SBA!
Taxation for small businesses can be simple or complex depending on size and business structure. BLNC has compiled basic information to help businesses understand tax requirements in North Carolina.
Prospera hosts workshops throughout the year that deliver in-depth information from experts in Spanish, on a variety of topics that are essential to every business owner. See a full schedule of workshops on their event calendar!
City Startup Labs teaches, coaches and advises individuals and teams on how bring an idea to market. Get the ball rolling by scheduling a meeting!
The Western Women’s Business Center is an initiative established by Carolina Small Business Development Fund to provide start-up and existing women-owned businesses with access to resources and support. Through one-on-one assistance, in-depth business coaching and counseling, educational opportunities, access to capital and more, the WWBC works to meet the needs of women entrepreneurs. From drafting a business plan to marketing your business, the WWBC helps women entrepreneurs like you achieve your business dreams.Find more information here!
The Women’s Business Center of Charlotte proudly supports MWSBEs with one-on-one business counseling to help women entrepreneurs start, grow, and to manage sustainability in their business. They also host various free seminars and classes focused on a variety of key business topics, such as marketing, finance, certification, branding, business plan development, and more. Visit them online to learn more about their programs and training opportunities!
The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library offers a variety of classes to help you get your business up and running.Register for a course here! Other resources includeLynda.com, which allows you to learn a new skill online, as well as Universal Class, which gives you the opportunity to continue your education online.
Are you ready to start a business? Find out with online training from SBTDC!