Frequently Asked Questions
Below are a series of questions frequently asked by people interested in starting a new business or expanding on an existing business. Please, take some time to familiarize yourself with the answers we have compiled to keep you informed.
1. How long does it take to get a loan?
How long it takes to get a business loan depends on you. First, you must complete the required Entrepreneur Classes provided by Sharon James, Small Business Development Manager. This is a 9-week course which occurs biannually (Spring and Fall) one night a week from 5:30pm - 8:30pm. Second, you must complete a business plan which outlines your Market Analysis, Marketing Plan, Management Plan, and Financial Data. We have seen one complete the process in 5 months and another take 3 years; it all depends on your time schedule. Our staff are here to assist and guide you through each process as you prepare to start your new business or expand on an existing business.
2. Why do I need a business plan?
A business plan is a fundamental tool, not only to get your business funded, but as an overall evaluation of your business goals and objectives. A business plan helps you understand how your business is put together and assists in properly analyzing your operational plan, management plan, staffing plan, financial projections, and marketing assumptions. In addition, a business plan will help you track progress, business milestones, hold you accountable, and put you in a better position to control your businesses fate. It is your path to success.
3. What do I include in a business plan?
There are several ways to write a business plan; however, the Entrepreneur Program provides a detailed business plan outline. Areas to consider when writing your business plan include: Market Analysis, Marketing Plan, Management Plan, Staffing Plan, and Financial Data. The Small Business Development staff is here to help guide you through the process. Please, contact us in order to schedule an appointment to discuss this process further.
4. Do you provide loans or grants?
The Red Lake Nation Entrepreneur Program provides loans to qualified members who are starting a new business or looking to expand on an existing business and is not a grant-based funding source. The Entrepreneur Program utilizes a revolving loan fund that is a self-replenishing pool of money. As the borrower pays on their loan payment, they are reinvesting that money back into their community and the money becomes available to other entrepreneurs to start or expand their business.
5. Do I have to quit my job?
Quitting your job to start a new business is a risky move and should be considered carefully. Giving up the security of a full-time job may not be the best solution when launching your new business and may add additional stress. Many entrepreneurs experience a fear of uncertainty which is normal; however, if you are considering quitting your job in order to start your business, here is a list of questions you may want to ask yourself:
Do you have any high-end unique expenses that you need to cover?
Does your business need 100% of your time to get started?
How will you raise money to keep the business going?
Have you factored in possible unforeseen costs?
Are you willing to take on multiple roles?
Are you flexible to the unpredicability in your life?
Have you developed a good support and sales network?
Is your support network on board?
Do you have a backup option when the inevitable of irregular paychecks or gaps of paychecks begin happening?
Is working part-time an option?
Resources are available online to help you assess whether this decision is right for you. Please take some time to visit the site, www.entrepreneur.com, to view numerous studies, articles and published researches on the entrepreneurial environment, experience, and industries in business.