In the past few weeks, many threads have been started by people thinking of getting into the business, or are just getting started. It is great to ask questions, but the nature of some of the questions gives others reason to believe that some fundamental groundwork has not been laid. Here are two resources that come to mind that could prove to be helpful to somebody new in a business, the new business owner, or the one thinking of being a new business owner. SCORE http://www.score.org The organization (Service Corps Of Retired Executives) is part of the Small Bussiness Administration. The organization has offices across the country and is devoted soley to helping new business owners, both before startup and thereafter. It is staffed by men and women (volunteers) who are retired, but have "been there, done that." They are prepared to help develop business plans, evaluate new ideas, review strategies, etc. They won't help you do the legwork, rather help you with your plans and ideas. I don't think they will help in getting capital either. They work a couple of ways (it has been about 13 years since I worked with them, so maybe my info is outdated). First, they offer periodic day-long seminars, covering a vareity of necessary topics for a new business (e.g. accounting, insurance, taxes, etc). The topics are general to all businesses, not industry unique. Second, they will assign a person to work with you individually. In individual meetings, they will help you one-on-one, providing evaluation and advice. They offer an objective, third-party view of your ideas. The seminar is a nonimal fee (used to be $75). The individual help is without cost. All relationships are confidential. The second resource is Startupjournal.com. http://www.startupjournal.com This is an off-shoot of the Wall Street Journal suite of business offerings, intended for new businesses. The first page even has some appititude tests to take to help you understand if you are even a candidate for business ownership. Also, you will see on the left side, an icon for business plans. I have not gone through the process, but the link takes you to a page that will help you set up the basics of a business plan. Often, the topic of business plans are discussed in this section of Lawnsite, but I don't recall any links being offered on where to get started. Perhaps this is a good place to start for some of you. Maybe some will poo-poo these ideas. However, the turnover rate for small business ownerships is huge. I have read about great expectations from some on this page. I have read about really far-out ideas that indicate the person considering starting their own business is not a fit candidate. Remember being a business owner is far more than wanting to jump on the best ZTR (whatever that might be for you!), and mowing xx acres of grass per day. Being successful for the long-term involves being a good business owner first, then being a skilled worker to get the jobs done. Maybe these two ideas will be helpful to one person, if so, great. For those who know "all about it," great, just skip the thread and move on.