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Start-Up Information

Start-Up Information

Entrepreneurs, innovators, and small businesses are key players in the economy of Louisiana. They make up most of the employer firms in the state, and their contribution is indispensable.

The LSBDC at McNeese can assist you in your preparations for opening your own business. Once a month we present a seminar with valuable information to help you toward this goal. The "Starting and Financing a Small Business" seminar is presented at various locations in the Southwest Louisiana region and is a very good first stop in planning your business venture.

In addition to this seminar, the LSBDC offers free one-on-one counseling in our offices on the McNeese campus and at other locations in Southwest Louisiana. Counselors can help you with tasks such as writing a business plan, guiding you in marketing or accounting strategies, or directing you toward local resources.

Two very important sources of financing for small businesses are commercial banks and the U.S. Small Business Administration. Many entrepreneurs don't consider other funds available to them such as home-equity loans or savings.

The better prepared a business owner is for operating and managing a business, the better their chance of being a success and not part of the failure statistic. The best strategy for avoiding termination of your business dream is to plan BEFORE opening your doors. Have a good business plan in place as your roadmap to the future of your business. Have all licenses and certificates up-to-date and on record with the appropriate agencies. Be sure your business taxes and personal finances are separate and fully accountable.

To make an appointment, please call our office during business hours or you may email us with your request.

Association of Small Business Development Centers
Eleven Tips for Start-Up Entrepreneurs
  1. Follow your passion. If you are passionate enough about the other facets of the business, you will put up with what you don't particularly enjoy. If you find something you love, your work will be considerably easier.

  2. Have a clear idea about what you want to do. As a small business owner, you must understand what your customer wants. You must also have a realistic view of what your start-up costs will be. And most important, you must focus on your core business.

  3. Find a niche. In today's competitive marketplace, it's not possible to be all things to all people.

  4. Be the best you can be. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it eloquently when he said, "If a man is called a street cleaner, he should sweep the streets even as Michelangelo painted or Beethoven composed music or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts in heaven and earth will pause to say, 'Here lives a great street sweeper who did his job well.' "

  5. Make a difference. Find something to do with a purpose that goes beyond just earning a living, beyond just supporting yourself. This is what will drive you to do your very best.

  6. Keep it simple. Stick to the basics. It's easy to get sidetracked by distractions. The secret is to do what you do best and stick to it.

  7. Watch your overhead. Credit offers the temptation to overspend. Simply put, don't do it. Establish a budget and stick to it.

  8. Go with your instincts. If you have to work too hard to sell yourself on an idea, it's probably not a good idea. Is intuition always right? Of course not. No entrepreneur is ever 100% right. If you're always right, then you're not taking enough risks.

  9. Value your time and be a good time manager. Most people waste more time than they spend working. Once you realize what a precious commodity time is, it's amazing how much you can get done.

  10. Brush up on your computer skills. For anyone starting a business today, your computer skills are essential. We live in a computer-driven business world, and computer skills will play an even bigger role in the future.

  11. It's only a business. When I got wrapped up in the business, it was hard to take a breather and unwind. Fortunately that's what I eventually learned to do. Thinking that it was only a business put things in perspective. My family was my number one priority. They are the reason why I started the business. Sure, on rare occasions I became so focused on a pressing problem that I momentarily put the business before my family. But it happens rarely, and whenever I catch myself falling into that trap, I say to myself, "Doris, it's only a business." Then I feel at peace with myself again.

Doris Christopher, The Pampered Chef: The Story of One of America's Most Beloved Companies. 2005. Random House, Inc. p. 41-48.

For assistance in helping you make that dream a reality, contact the Louisiana Small Business Development Center at McNeese State University.

(337) 475-5529 LA Small Business Development Center

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The LSBDC at McNeese State University is a partnership program with the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and is a member of the Louisiana Small Business Development Center network. Any opinion, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in any SBDC publication or workshop are those of the author(s) or speaker(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the US Small Business Administration. SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis.

The LSBDC at McNeese is partially funded by the Louisiana Small Business Development Center, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Louisiana Economic Development, and McNeese State University. SBA's funding is not an endorsement of any product, opinion, or service. All SBA funded programs are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

Wheelchair SymbolAll McNeese State University Small Business Development Center services shall be rendered on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made, if requested at least two weeks in advance. Contact the Center at (337) 475-5529 or (800) 622-3352, extension 5529 or via email to

Copyright 2006 McNeese State University