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You’ve got a great idea. Now, make a plan to turn it into a great business!

1. Idea

What service/product are you offering and what makes it unique?

2. Understand Your Market and Competition

Websites such as can help you understand how your proposed business compares to similar businesses in the region.

3. Business Plan

A business plan will help you determine how your business will operate before applying for your business license. This will serve as a road map for how to prepare for the rest of the business setup process and will be helpful in securing loans to start or grow your business. The following website has a number of free templates to get you started: Sample Business Plans

4. Calculate Your Startup Costs

Office space, equipment and supplies, insurance, and inventory are some of the common startup costs you’re likely to incur no matter what type of business you choose to operate. Calculate the startup costs for your small business so you can request funding, attract investors, and estimate when you’ll turn a profit. The following website is a good place to start: Calculate Startup Costs

5. Funding Sources

Through partnerships with local organizations and state programs, California helps small business owners access the funding they need to manage their businesses.


Small Business Administration (SBA)
The SBA works with lenders to provide loans to small businesses. The agency doesn’t lend money directly to small business owners. Instead, it sets guidelines for loans made by its partnering lenders, community development organizations, and micro-lending institutions.


6. Mentorship Assistance

Business And Entrepreneurial Success Team – BEST
Feeling overwhelmed? Have a lot of unanswered questions? Need direction? The Paso Robles Chamber of Commerce offers a free service that will answer your questions and pair you with a customized team of local professionals and businesses. We call this the Business and Entrepreneurial Success Team or BEST. Email or call 805-238-0506 to set up a meeting.


Mission Community Services Corporation (MCSC)
Mission Community Services Corporation is dedicated to enhancing opportunities for potential entrepreneurs and small business owners to become self-sustaining, successful contributors to their communities with special assistance for women, low-income, minority, veterans, and non-profit businesses in San Luis Obispo County.


SCORE is the nation’s largest network of free, expert business mentors. SCORE offers assistance with getting a business started including writing a business plan, budgeting, mentoring, and education. Their website includes a digital library of helpful business templates, eguides, checklists, and videos.


California Manufacturing Technology Consulting (CMTC)
The CMTC offers a California Manufacturers Accelerator® (CMA) program designed for small and medium sized manufacturers providing a free fresh review of your business, bringing technical expertise and leadership to identify and solve problems. Each year our advisors assist hundreds of manufacturers in identifying and implementing solutions to remove barriers to growth.

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