Tools

1) These are my choices of websites when planning or just researching questions and problems.  Lots of free advice available so check these out first before spending any money.   RI and MA   and     Websites for business planning.

2) Loan Checklist from financial consultant and former banker, John W. Nelson III. Preparing for a bus loan check list

3) Personal Financial Sheet required by banks and SBA for all owners w/20%+ ownership. SBA Personal Financial Statement

4) Business Plan template from SEED Corp. Business Plan outline-SEED – can download application, forms and template directly from. And apply online! The SBA has its own online business plan template. Save it, share it, download it!

5) Business Plan writing tips from Professors Thombs and Hough of Salve Regina U. MGT490_BP Writing Tips.  Great tips for anyone writing a business plan!

6) SBA Lenders w/loan programs offered. Contact the RI SBA for up to date reports for RI Participating Lenders and Bank Rank sheet. Rhode Island District Office, 380 Westminster Street Room 511, Providence, RIPhone: 401-528-4561.

7) Business Plan checklist for start ups.  Business Plan Outline-SDC Growth Resources. This is my checklist…can use it as a business plan template or carry it around with you and check things off as you go through each step. SDC Growth Resources clients receive a Start Up Action Plan to work with.

8) Competitive Analysis from SCORE.  Insert this right into your business plan.SCORE Competitive Analysis.  Edit the categories to fit your needs. www.score.org for hundreds of free templates! Also, us their Financial Model: SCORE Financial Projection Model which allows you to create your own financial statements for your plan.

9) RI Dept. of Labor Employer Handbook. Check out the website for all your RI questions.  Business owners can ask to meet with a representative from netWorkri to discuss their issues or learn more about the programs.  Workshare offers wage assistance, rapid response can help with lay-offs and transitioning, labor and the labor market info page has statistics, publications and industry information.  Great website, full of resources to help you plan for growth!

10) Financial Management Workbook from SCORE and Visa who collaborated to create this great in-depth business planning tool/workbook.

11) Loan Analysis Tool from the National Business Organization – First Step is a screening tool to help smaller businesses (with less than 100 employees and annual sales of less than $5 million) determine the likelihood of success in gaining an SBA LowDoc guaranteed loan. There is also an Operating Plan Forecast tool to utilize.

12) 5 Must-Have Apps for Small Business – “There’s a veritable smorgasbord of both useful and bizarre apps cropping up these days — there’s even one that lets you simulate smashing your phone screen, as if there weren’t enough opportunities to do that in real life.” Includes: Dropbox, Hootsuite, Expensify, Trello and Evernote.

13) Ripoff Report  – whenever something sounds to good to be true I check out this website to see what others have to say.  It’s saved me a lot of money on business related products…books, associations, resources of various types that I may have otherwise checked out.

14) Great Inc.com article by Jeff Haden full of links and tips to start your business: 65 Free Web Resources for Starting Your Own Business.

15) Best Examples of Company Mission and Vision Statements from The Marketing Blender. Great blog with valuable advice including choosing your words carefully and specifically to the products and services you offer.