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The small business is the backbone of the American economy. In a sense, it always has been. From the first shopkeepers of the thirteen colonies to the local restauranteurs of today, small business has been the one constant economic force in America. Today, fully one half of all workers in the private sector are employed by the nation's twenty-two million small businesses.
Corporations, partnerships and sole proprietors of every size and importance generate half of our country's Gross Domestic Product. Small Office/Home Office (SOHO) businesses are ever increasing parts of this business mix. The importance of small business is not lost on you because you have made the first crucial decision: to start one.
Right now is possibly the best time ever to start a small business. The availability of good business quality personal computers and software has never been better or cheaper. The fax, modem, Pentium-based PC, Windows programs and the Internet all give small businesses a much more level playing field with the larger companies than ever before. Today, even the smallest business can generate a big business look and appearance with technology, software programs and the Internet. Couple the information and technology booms with the excellent economy, low interest rates, current and future federal small business reform, and relative political/social stability and you get the perfect climate in which to start a small business.
Because of all the changes in technology, the economy, communications and government, this might be the best time ever to start a small business. We do not mean to deny the fact that every business faces immutable problems and challenges that remain constant over time, and with more people starting small businesses, especially home-based businesses, competition is fierce. But now is an excellent time to start a business.
Part I: Business Start-Up
Chapter 1: Are You Really Ready?
Chapter 2: The Eight Great Steps
Chapter 3: Beginning the Process
Chapter 4: Your First Business Plan
Chapter 5: Your Business Options
Chapter 6: How Do I Do This?
Chapter 7: Franchising
Chapter 8: Money: The Root of All Business
Chapter 9: Unpleasant Business
Chapter 10: The Ties That Bind
Chapter 11: Planning for Tomorrow
Chapter 12: Resources, Resources and More Resources
Part II: State Requirements from all 50 states, plus D.C.
Appendix A: Small Business Administration Publications
Appendix B: State Tax Rates
Appendix C: Worksheet: Vital Start-Up Information