How to Start

The Eastern Iowa Small Business Development Center exists to cultivate and nurture entrepreneurs throughout our area. We are in the business of creating business.

Managing a business takes skill. A manager must have people skills, financial skills and organizational skills. Managers are resource-driven. The very essence of management is assessing the resources available and maximizing them to achieve the best possible results.

Creating a business is a very different story. Entrepreneurship is a set of skills completely separate from management. Granted, some entrepreneurs possess management skills, but what differentiates them from managers are two very important skills:

  • The ability to question and create
  • The ability to overcome failure and adapt.

Entrepreneurs are not driven by the resources at hand, they are driven by the idea they want to achieve. Our job is to help them find the resources they need to achieve their ideas.

If you are driven by ambition, willing to work hard and not afraid to try, try again, download our "How to Start" materials and get going! After you have reviewed the materials and completed the "Business Plan Inventory", check out our "Class Listing" link to the left. If you feel you are ready for counseling, complete the "Request for Counseling" form linked below.

(You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader. It's a free download.)
Guide to Writing  a Business Plan
Business Plan Inventory
Business Form Chart
Business Start-Up Checklist
SBA Loan Fact Sheet
SBDC Services
Small Business Assistance

Request For Counseling Form

This form is intended for people receiving email or phone counseling, or for those who would like to complete the paperwork prior to an in-person counseling session. Clients are responsible for scheduling all appointments. The Eastern Iowa SBDC will not follow-up on form submissions unless you contact us first. For more information about our counseling services, visit our Counseling site.

In order to deliver counseling to our clients, we must collect certain personal, demographic, and business information. You can submit this information in one of three ways:

1.   Fill out the Request for Counseling ;form electronically (see the link below). Once you submit this form, it will be delivered by email to counselors at the Eastern Iowa SBDC. Email submission is not secure; we cannot guarantee that this information will remain confidential while in transit.
2.   Download the Request for Counseling form(.doc format, 114kb), print and fill it out manually, and either mail or fax it back to us.
3.   Come by our office and fill out a form prior to meeting with a counselor.

The estimated time it will take to complete this form is approximately 5 minutes. All items marked with an asterisk ( * ) in the form are required fields.