Getting Started

Keys to Successfully Starting a Business

1.  Have a plan.

A business plan is the most important tool there is to secure resources.  Your business plan is created to communicate the vision you have for your business, convince others that your concept can be successful and that you-alone or collectively-posses the expertise to make it successful and profitable.

Your business plan will become your calling card for potential investors, lenders or anyone who can help you in launching your business.  It is more than a document, it is a process that will help you focus on exactly what you are trying to achieve, where you want to go and how you are going to get there.  It integrates all the functional elements of marketing, sales, operations and finance.

Where can I get help locally?

The Nevada County Economic Resource Council (ERC) is a non-profit, economic development corporation. As a public/private partnership comprised of business, government, and education, it represents the County’s best efforts to support local job creation and economic opportunity.  The ERC offers at no charge general business assistance along with education and training.  It also serves as an informational hub with information on job and resume postings, demographic data and other information and statistics that can be used to drive business decisions.  For more information call (530) 274-8455.

Small Business Development Center offers one-on-one, confidential, business management counseling at no charge!  The Sierra College SBDC is a top-rated Center in California with a diverse and talented team that have all started and managed their own profitable businesses, so they understand what you are going through.  For more information call (916)-781-6235.

Sierra Economic Development Corporation (SEDCorp) is a private non-profit organization devoted to supporting the economic development of the rural communities north and east of Sacramento.  SEDCorp supports the region’s businesses with a variety of training events ranging from single-subject sessions on such topics as bookkeeping and local business resources to intensive three-day business “boot camps” to teach the fundamentals of sound business planning from inception to retirement.  Some of the classes are no charge while others have a fee.  For more information call (530) 823-4703.

For over 100 years, the Nevada County Chamber of Commerce has historically provided local businesses with an added measure of security by hosting opportunities for sharing business advice, etc. The Chamber is committed to promoting the development of local businesses and their employees and sponsor business seminars throughout the year.  For more information call (530) 273-4667.

2.  Find a Mentor.

The ERC and NCNBN has brought together an esteemed group of proven successful business professionals who are eager to mentor Nevada County’s next generation of entrepreneurs.  Interested?  You should be.  The information and experience these folks have is invaluable and they are willing to share it with you for free.

3.  Join a Group or Network.

Networking is about building mutual beneficial connections and professional relationships.  It helps in promoting your product or services on a personal level, but it also allows you to share business ideas and opportunities and tap into a support system.

What local groups are there to join?  Here are just a few.

The Exchange is a group of peers collaborating on the social network and economic development of our Western Nevada County for tomorrow.

Sierra Commons is a business incubator that provides a platform for small businesses to commercialize and market their products and services. Their goals are to support emerging businesses, build community and business acumen through peer mentoring and networking, and strengthen the local economy through job creation and retention, and increased local revenues.

The 49er Rotary Club was officially chartered on November 6, 1990, with 42 charter members. The goal was to provide a morning club for the area, which met for one hour. Since it’s charter, the club has grown to over 90 members and is quite active in the community, as well as internationally.

Rotaract is an international program founded by Rotary International for adults ages 18 to 30. There are more than 7,000 Rotaract clubs in 162 countries with some 165,000 members.

Soroptimist International is a worldwide organization for women in management and professions, working through service projects to advance human rights and the status of women.  There is a very active charter in Grass Valley.


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