Ready to start your own business? There are many decisions and paths to take to start a business. There is no “one size fits all”. Every business idea is unique and may require a different approach. Read More
Do you currently own a business? Whether your business has been open for decades or just a few months, our consultants provide one-on-one assistance in a number of areas to help your business reach its potential. Read More
Want to learn more about starting or operating your business successfully? SBDC offers both in-person and online training. Attend training sessions that will prepare you to tackle your real world tasks head-on!
The Abilene center has enjoyed a long history of assisting business owners in starting and expanding businesses. The SBDC center is located in Abilene; however, the service area extends to the 17 counties surrounding Abilene.
The SBDC center provides all consulting services at no cost to the client with a rare minimum fee for certain seminars if workbooks are required. These services are for you the current business owner and the aspiring entrepreneur. We value our client’s comments to help us deliver the quality service you would expect. The SBDC is allowed to provide the no fee consulting, training and research services due to the financial assistance from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Development Corporation of Abilene (DCOA) and the Comptroller’s office via Texas Tech University. These organizations value our services and invest in us with trust and expectations that we will provide you with the assistance you require in starting and running successful businesses. Our goal is to assist in the continuation of the building of great communities.
The center offers research for pertinent information that will assist the established business owner in making informed decisions for the company’s future. The center also offers training courses through seminars provided by an experienced counselor or offerings from individuals with expertise in their respective fields.
Starting Your Business
Why are we FREE?
We are part of Texas Tech University and are affiliated with the Northwest Texas SBDC Region. We receive our financial support from TTU, the United States Small Business Administration, the State of Texas, and other sources.
Consulting services are always offered free of charge and our consultants are prepared to provide small business help for many aspects of your business from advertising to exporting to financing.
Seminars and specialized services are offered at low-cost to attendees and clients and are a great resource for networking with other business owners while brushing up on skills like marketing, copywriting, and human resources.
January 10, 2017
Business Start-Up Basics
January 17, 2017
OSHCON – Emergency Action Plan
January 31, 2017
Hiring and Regulations
Workshop(s) will be held from 6-8pm at the America’s SBDC Training Room located at 749 Gateway Street Ste. 301 Building C Abilene, TX 79602.
Seating is Limited. Please call and reserve your spot today. 325.670.0300
SBDC Business Articles
Tracking On-the-Job Injuries is Easier Than Ever
Knowledge is power, and when it comes to health and safety, knowledge has the power to save lives.
For decades, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration has required companies to provide health and safety reports for review. Starting February 2017, we’ll make that information public on our website. This comes at little burden to employers as they are providing OSHA data that they already collect. The difference is that this injury information will now be public.
Before applying for a job in a hazardous industry, applicants will be able to check employer safety records, and see at which job sites workers most frequently suffer severe injuries. Employers will be able to compare their safety records against those of the top performers in the industry. Journalists, researchers and worker advocates will have more data at their fingertips.
Legally, employers must provide their employees with safe workplaces. Yet more than three million workers are injured at work every year. At OSHA, we take our mission to protect the safety and health of the nation’s workers extremely seriously, but our enforcement staff is often overwhelmed by the sheer number of inspections required throughout the country. Based on current staffing levels, it would take well over 100 years to inspect each of the workplaces under our jurisdiction. Additionally, in comparison to environmental and consumer enforcement agencies, our penalties are low – so low, they often fail to serve as a deterrent.
Employers already maintain injury data in OSHA logs, which help them understand where and why injuries occur so that they can prevent future injuries caused by the same hazards. After scrubbing the data of personally identifiable information, we will post the information to the OSHA website, where all have access.
Exemplary companies that focus on quality generally have low injury rates because the work process is tightly managed. In nursing home environments, for example, elevated injury rates may reflect inadequate staffing or lack of investment in safety equipment. To attract both skilled job seekers and potential patients, the nursing home registering more accidents must improve its safety performance.
One compelling illustration of a similar approach involves the health inspection grades posted in restaurant windows in some cities. It isn’t surprising that many consumers, eager to avoid food-borne illness, take note of these grades when deciding where to dine. After a food hygiene grading program started in Los Angeles, revenues rose at establishments rated A or B, while hospitalizations for food-borne illnesses dropped, as did revenues at the restaurants graded C or lower. Though we are not assigning grades, this is a clear case of providing actionable information to consumers while simultaneously encouraging less sanitary restaurants to clean up their act.v
Just as potential diners can choose to eat at cleaner restaurants, potential employees can choose to apply for work at establishments where they are less likely to be injured. And prospective clients can select better managed establishments.
In short, disclosure of injury rates will make workplaces safer. And that is good for everyone’s bottom line.
Dr. David Michaels is the assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health.
The Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) posting a solicitation seeking entities with the capabilities of administering TxDOT’s Business Development Program (BDP).
Overview of BDP
The purpose of the BDP is to further the development of Disadvantaged Business Enterprises (DBE), including but not limited to assisting them to move into non-traditional areas of work and compete in the marketplace outside the DBE program.
The BDP will evaluate and provide a structured process for DBEs to receive firm specific training and technical assistance to increase opportunities for successful participation as primes or subcontractors on highway related contracts.
The BDP is a two stage program:
- Development stage – Designed to assist the DBE to overcome social and economic disadvantage by providing such assistance as may be necessary and appropriate to enable the DBE to access TxDOT contracts and strengthen their financial and managerial skills. DBEs will be provided various trainings and resources through this stage based on their business needs.
- Transitional stage – Follows the development stage, and is designed to assist the DBE to overcome, insofar as practical, their social and economic disadvantage and to prepare the DBE for leaving the program. DBEs will be provided coaching to assist them to compete in the marketplace in becoming either a prime or subcontractor on TxDOT related highway projects.
The solicitation will be posted on the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts’ Electronic State Business Daily (ESBD): http://esbd.cpa.state.tx.us/.
Secretary of State Kerry Speaks on the Power of Entrepreneurship and America’s SBDC’s at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit
FastCompany.com has an interview with Secretary of State Kerry about the power of entrepreneurship to spread prosperity and stability around the world, and the role of SBDCs in this effort.
Fast Company: What are some of the things that you and the State Department have done to promote entrepreneurship overseas, that people in the U.S. tech and innovation communities would be surprised to learn about?
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry: “One of our standout entrepreneurship initiatives is the Small Business Network of the Americas (SBNA), which President Obama launched in 2012 to strengthen the small business support infrastructure in Latin America and the Caribbean by sharing with these countries the U.S. Small Business Development Center model and methodology to encourage replication of this model abroad, and connecting thousands of these centers throughout the Western Hemisphere. In 2015, there were 118 centers operating in Latin America and the Caribbean based on the U.S. SBDC model. In collaboration with over a dozen other countries in the Western Hemisphere, by 2018 we expect these centers across the region to be serving 100,000 businesses every year.”
To read more:
Where do I get a tax number?
There is more than one kind of tax number so the first thing is to identify what you need one for. You will need a Federal EIN (employer I.D. number) if you will have employees, a business partner other than your spouse, and possibly also to open a business bank account. You can obtain an EIN number at irs.gov. You will need a Texas Sales & Use Tax Permit if you are required to collect sales tax on your products and/or services. That application is completed through the Texas Comptroller’s website at window.state.tx.us/taxpermit.
Am I required to collect sales tax?
In Texas, most products are taxable and some services are taxable. A search of the State Tax Automated Research (STAR) database will help you determine the answer for your business. If you’re unable to locate the answer to your specific question, the Comptroller can be emailed at email@example.com.
What legal structure am I required to use?
You’re free to choose from any legal structure you like. The most popular in Texas are sole proprietorships, general partnerships, and limited liability companies (LLCs).