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small business resources

Before you start investing your time and money in any new venture, the first thing you should do is make sure you have a sound concept and a solid business plan. Hiring a professional business consultant can be worth the money, but you can get plenty of good advice for FREE -- if you know where to look.

Here's a good place to start: the Hawaii Small Business Development Center Network, which is the only state-wide organization that offers free one-on-one counseling to qualified business professionals. They also offer online training and a variety of in-class workshops.

Another tip: Read the Honolulu Advertiser and Star-Bulletin, Pacific Business News (weekly) and Hawaii Business Magazine to see who's doing what, and keep track of potential competition. The internet is great for looking up information, but sometimes you just can't beat "old media" for breaking news. You can subscribe to the Star-Bulletin for as low as $6 per month. Erika Engle's "Buzz" column in the S-B business pages is worth the cost -- plus, she's always looking for local business stories to write about, so you might be able to get her to give your company some press.

Speaking of Hawaii Business Magazine, they ran an article in their September issue on five government resources that can jump start your small biz. Click here to read the Shara Enay piece.

Especially helpful is the link to the Business Action Center, located at the Nimitz Center in Honolulu. It's a one-stop shop that "helps individuals register their businesses, trade names or trademarks; keep up with annual filings for an existing business; obtain their GET licenses, tax forms and tax information; get a federal employer’s ID number; and receive written guidance on unemployment insurance tax, disability, workers’ compensation and prepaid healthcare insurance. The office, run by the state Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, also provides comprehensive information on licensing rules for all governments."

Good stuff!

BTW, that article also includes links to the High Tech Development Corporation, which CCTV will be featuring on upcoming shows. You'll find a link to the HTDC site, as well as other resources for high tech and "green" businesses in our HIGH TECH START-UP HELP section.

Check back with us from time to time for more links, videos and resources.



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