START A BUSINESS

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STEPS TO GET STARTED

There are 4 steps to starting a business:

  • STEP 1

    IDENTIFY YOUR DREAM BUSINESS

    Do you want to open a Bakery? Do you have a great invention that could be manufactured in Wood County? Before our initial meeting, ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Is there a demand for any of the businesses that you are considering?
    2. Get an understanding of how said business will work. What supplies do you have to purchase and how much capital you will need to move forward?
    3. What is your target audience?
    4. Do you want to operate a home-based business? An online store? Bricks and mortar?

    IS THERE A MARKET FOR YOUR BUSINESS IN WOOD COUNTY?

    At our initial meeting, we can discuss your business idea(s) to gather as much information as possible to see if there is a market for it in Wood County. Our office is happy to put you in contact with one of our many partners to conduct a market study to ensure that Wood County is a place where your business can be a success!

  • STEP 2

    PLANNING YOUR BUSINESS

    Before you seek out investors or funding for your upcoming business, be sure to create a business plan. Business plans are required by lenders and allow you to showcase your credentials and generally projects 3-5 years ahead while outlining the route a company intends to take to grow revenues. Need help getting started with your business plan?

    - SCORE.org offers business plan templates for a variety of industries. Visit the site, complete a questionnaire and it builds a plan for you.

    Prefer more hands-on assistance? West Virginia University at Parkersburg has a fantastic Small Business Development Center that can assist you with the following:

    - Business Consultation
    - Pre-Venture Counseling
    - Capital Formation
    - Business Plans
    - Training Programs
    - SmallBizU

    To take advantage of the services offered by WVUP’s Small Business Development Center, please contact Marsa Myers at 304-424-8213 OR by email.

    ALREADY HAVE A BUSINESS PLAN?

    Great! Now is a great time to decide on the legal format of your business. Many businesses choose the Limited Liability Corporation (LLC) format due to the legal protections it provides. Consult with a legal professional for advice on which legal format is best for your business.

    Once you have chosen a format and incorporated, you will need to filed for an IRS Employer Identification Number (EIN) and file your business with the West Virginia Secretary of State.

  • STEP 3

    FUNDING YOUR BUSINESS

    Now that you’ve completed your business plan and have filed for a business license, it’s time to start thinking about how you will fund your new business! Capital access can be one of the more challenging processes when an entrepreneur starts a new business or is even in the process of growing one.

    We are here to help you discuss your options which include:

    TRADITIONAL LOCAL AND REGIONAL BANKS

    Wood County has a number of small and large banks that all have a different approach to lending. Often, we encourage entrepreneurs to start with traditional banks to see what can be done before seeking out other sources of funding. We are happy to assist you in scheduling appointments and making contacts with your local bank.

    CREDIT UNIONS

    Some Credit Unions have started small business lending programs. Unlike a traditional bank, credit unions are member-owned and have different approaches to lending.

    ANGEL FUNDS AND VENTURE CAPITAL

    Angel funds are groups of investors who will combine financial resources to either invest in a business individually or individually. Venture Capital is a type of equity financing where the investors provide money in exchange for equity in the company and manage that equity through active participation in the company. These can be longer term investments than angel funds or even traditional banks and are not considered debt because they are equity capital.

    MID-OHIO VALLEY REGIONAL COUNCIL REVOLVING LOAN FUND

    The RLF program is loan used for any business need including:
    - Business Expansion
    - Working Capital
    - New Construction
    - New EquipmentThese loans range from $2,000-$250,000 and can fund up to 75% of projects; however, RLF money cannot be used to refinance existing debt. To apply for the MOVRC Revolving Loan Fund, click here.

  • STEP 4

    LOCATING YOUR BUSINESS

    Business plan? Check! Funding? Check! Now it’s time to begin property shopping. Let us help! Click here to visit our commercial and industrial database of properties that are for sale or for lease in Wood County!

    We are here as a resource to YOU. Need help contacting a landlord? Need assistance finding out who owns a vacant building? Email us.

Interested in becoming a member? We love to help businesses grow.

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