Starting or growing a new business can be difficult, but finding an inspiring mentor can make a meaningful difference. Experienced mentors can provide industry-specific knowledge, operations expertise and moral support to help you navigate the day-to-day challenges of running a business.
The City of Mobile partners with organizations like the Mobile Chamber of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center to match you with the right mentor.
Market research helps you determine the demand for the goods or services your business offers. It can help you identify your customers, what they want, and how much they will pay. Market research also helps identify any seasonal or location-specific trends that might affect your business.
Understanding the market is critical to the success of your business. Without adequate market research, you may price your goods and services incorrectly, or target the wrong customers. Conducting market research early on can help you avoid many of the pitfalls facing new or growing businesses.
Market research is a broad topic, but many resources specific to your business or industry are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
A business plan is a roadmap for your business, created by you. No matter what industry you’re in, a business plan can help you clarify what you do, what clients you serve, and how you can best serve them. It can also help you determine your expenses and funding, if necessary.
Besides helping you articulate your own goals and challenges, a business plan is a common requirement to secure a loan from banks and other financial institutions. A business plan will also make it easier for you to work with organizations like Small Business Development Centers and Women’s Business Centers.
The U.S. Small Business Administration is a great resource for business plan templates and answers to other questions you may have.