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Lincoln Community Foundation - Making Lincoln a More Affordable Place to Live

Community collaboration moves the needle on affordable housing efforts.  CDR is expanding its mission and services to include affordable housing.

New Year - New Business? "Planning" is the First Step!

By Wayne Bell, Acting Regional Administrator, U.S. Small Business Administration

 You want to start a business! You are passionate about the product or service you want to sell!  Maybe you even have a hobby with a customer or two already – and this makes you so passionate you want to start right away!

 Passion is good, and often the most successful small business owners express this deep-felt desire to start a business. Sometimes, though, doing some upfront planning can mean the difference between success and failure. So what can you do as a first step to increase your chances of success?

 Many first-time entrepreneurs are surprised to find out the first step recommended to entrepreneurs by the U.S. Small Business Administration on its website.  It is not picking a business name and business structure, calculating start-up costs, writing a business plan or finding financing, although each of those steps have a place.

 The SBA recommends doing research.  And we recommend the two types briefly explained here. 

Market Research

First, SBA recommends conducting market research to see if your idea might have potential customers in the area in which you hope to do business.  This step helps you determine whether the body of your knowledge about your product or service really has strong enough legs to walk your endeavor towards success as you consider the answers to many questions.

 By researching the market, you may find that potential customers aren’t in the area in which you had hoped to start your business.  But you can find out where they are and whether you can devise marketing methods to reach them.

 Competitive Analysis

The second research task involves analyzing the businesses like yours in your market area.  It is called a competitive analysis and is necessary because a potential customer base is not limitless. You may very well believe your product or service can be offered more innovatively, conveniently, less expensively or is just the best…but unless you know who you are up against you don’t really know that for sure.

 Through competitive analysis you can find out who your competition is serving, whether they are serving those customers well and whether there will be a growing demand for your product or service as indicated by business trends.

 “Planning” is something you can do right now.  You can find an in depth explanation of these research types, outside research websites where you can find information and even an online tool which will give you beginning data at  in the “Plan Your Business” section.

U.S. SBA Recognizes CDR as National Small CDC of the year for 2013

Community Development Resources of Lincoln was named a National Small Certified Development Company of the Year for 2013 and selected for an Award of Excellence by the U.S. Small Business Administration.  [Link to Journal Star Article May 31, 2013]  SBA Director Karen G. Mills congratulated Exec. Director Rick Wallace and Community Development Resources on May 6th 2013.