Want to start a new business? Timing is everything

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The first few months of the year are when many people who are thinking of starting a business take the initiative to make it happen. But Michael Ryan, business consultant for the Penn State Small Business Development Center, believes timing is critical to success.

“We always see an increase in both workshop attendees and new clients at the beginning of the year,” Ryan said. Resolutions include realizing a dream or improving one’s quality of life — and starting a business can certainly be a part of that.”

Ryan said choosing the correct point in time to open a new business is essential and college towns, in particular, can also be tricky.

“There are many different factors that must be considered. I worked with a client who planned to open a restaurant in downtown State College on May 1,” Ryan said. “The majority of their target market would have been out of town for the next three months.”

The timing of registering your business with the appropriate authorities is also important. It will affect your income tax returns and sales tax returns, which are due on a quarterly basis in Pennsylvania. Choosing and forming the appropriate business structure should involve the use of an attorney, which can take a few weeks.

Those are just some of the tips the Penn State SBDC will offer in a workshop for entrepreneurs who want to kick off the new year with a new venture. “The First Step of Starting a Business” will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2017, at Innovation Park.

Renee Frank, co-owner of Energy Rehab Wellness and Training, LLC., worked with the Penn State SBDC before taking clients.

“The SBDC has helped us in countless ways. Maria Spencer is our consultant and was literally there with us trudging through the initial business setup. She helped us to develop a solid business plan, find someone to work on our website, develop an employee manual and so much more,” Frank said. “I continue to email or call her on a regular basis when I have a question. She and the SBDC are very responsive and highly competent.”

The cost to participate in “The First Step of Starting a Business” workshop is $20. To register or for a list of other events, visit the Penn State SBDC online.

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Last Updated December 09, 2016