Do an online search for "how to start a business" and you'll find plenty of articles, ebooks, seminars, workshops, and websites with advice.
There are more than 28 million small businesses in the United States, making up a whopping 99.7 percent of all U.S. businesses, according to the  Small Business Administration .
Updated October 5, 2018
SBDC - A 4 Part Guide to Starting Your Business
SBDC Assessment - Evaluate
SBDC Startup Classes -
Part 1 : Research, Research, Research - Research your customers and business competition. Ideas are everywhere. Successful entrepreneurs know that not every idea is a good business opportunity. Before you bet the ranch on your idea, take the time to research who will buy your product or service and what competition you will face.
Ready, Set, Go! How to Begin | No Cost
 Oct 9, 2018   | 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM | Hughesville CSM | or Live Streaming

This FREE workshop is for those who are interested in starting their first business, but want to find out more information on what to expect before they begin their first business. SBDC staff will share resources with you to help you navigate information about legal and licensing requirements, the business plan, different financing options, preparing a marketing strategy and some of the perks and drawbacks that come with the life of an entrepreneur.
Part 2 : Evaluate Idea, Get Feedback & Guidance, Identify the Business Structure that Suits Your Business Concept, Make it Official
Start Right For Success | Cost: $55 
  Oct 26, 2018    | 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM | Hughesville CSM

Knowledge is power in the business arena. As you begin your business venture, attend this course to be sure you are prepared with the facts and resources needed to legally run and successfully compete in your industry. Get help evaluating your business concept and determining the market potential of your products/services. Gain an understanding of your potential customers . Identify the best type of business organization to fit your idea. Determine your record keeping needs and how to create a financial plan . Begin working on the concepts for a business plan. Learn how to use the online tool: "Maryland Express" for registering and filing essential startup 'paper' work . Prepare yourself to effectively use the SBDCs confidential one-on-one counseling to your best advantage.
Part 3 : Plan Your Business - A strategic business plan is the key to a profitable business. A plan in your head is good. A plan on paper is even better.
 Building a Successful Business Plan |    Cost: $83
 Oct 27, 2018   | 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM | Hughesville CSM

This 5 hour program is essential both for the start-up business owner and for the entrepreneur who is preparing to expand a successful business. Seminar leaders will discuss strategic planning, marketing, administration, personnel, finance, and accounting . You will learn to develop an effective business plan to manage your business; to create a marketing action plan that will help you to achieve your sales goals; to prepare financial projections; and to use financial information to make better and more informed decisions. The business plan is the single most important factor in a lender's decision-making process. Make sure your business plan will generate the financing you need and provide the strategies to ensure you will be successful.
Part 4 : Funding Your Business - During the life of most any  business , the owner will need to seek out cash.
 Financing Your Small Business | C ost: $55
Oct 27, 2018   | 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM | Hughesville CSM

Whether you are starting a new business or expanding a successful existing business, it is essential to know the financial sources that are available to you. Evaluate sources of business financing to determine which would best serve your needs. Prepare for the process of securing business financing ; identify the lenders' considerations in granting credit. Discuss federal, state and local loan/loan guarantee programs . Prepare yourself to work with an SBDC counselor to finalize your business plan and loan application.
Free Online Courses
  • Our online courses offer an excellent way to work training into your busy schedule when it's most convenient for you. Best Viewed in Internet Explorer Browser or other browser with flash.
Resource for Veterans . . .
Veterans: VA pays for programs offered by SBDC  
As a Service member or Veteran you now have an opportunity to use your education benefits to learn how to start or enhance a small business.  Individual courses must be specifically approved for VA purposes to use your benefits.  Note that this benefit is not available under the Dependents Educational Assistance program.  Get the VA Entrepreneurship Training FAQ
Project Open DOORS 2018 . . .
Project Open DOORS 2018: A collaboration between the Southern Maryland JobSource and the Maryland SBDC, Southern Region.
· affirming D reams (goals)
· understanding O bstacles & O pportunities
· identifying R esources, and
· outlining S teps within a critical path.
Ellen Flowers-Fields | Regional Director |    Email
Lisa Creason | Program Assistant for Region |    Email     
Bill Hitte | Business Consultant Charles County |    Email
David Jenkins | Business Consultant Calvert County | Email  
Wynne Briscoe | Business Consultant St. Mary's County |    Email
  • Classroom materials are based upon work supported by the U.S. SBA and is partially funded and supported by the U.S. Small Business Administration, the State of Maryland, the University of Maryland, the College of Southern Maryland, Calvert, Charles, and St. Mary's Counties. This funding is not an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. SBDC funded programs are extended to the public on a non-discriminatory basis. Reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities will be made if requested at least two weeks in advance.