Plan your business

Market research and competitive analysis

Market research helps you find customers for your business. Competitive analysis helps you make your business unique. Combine them to find a competitive advantage for your small business.

Market research and competitive analysis

Market research helps you find customers for your business. Competitive analysis helps you make your business unique. Combine them to find a competitive advantage for your small business.

Use market research to find customers

Market research blends consumer behavior and economic trends to confirm and improve your business idea.

It’s crucial to understand your consumer base from the outset. Market research lets you reduce risks even while your business is still just a gleam in your eye.

Gather demographic information to better understand opportunities and limitations for gaining customers. This could include population data on age, wealth, family, interests, or anything else that’s relevant for your business.

Then answer these questions to get a good sense of your market.

  • Demand: Is there a desire for your product or service?
  • Market size: How many people would be interested in your offering?
  • Economic indicators: What is the income range and employment rate?
  • Location: Where do your customers live and where can your business reach?
  • Market saturation: How many similar options are already available to consumers?
  • Pricing: What do potential customers pay for these alternatives?

You’ll also want to keep up with the latest small business trends. It’s important to gain a sense of the specific market share that will impact your profits.

You can do market research using existing sources, or you can do the research yourself and go direct to consumers.

Existing sources can save you a lot of time and energy, but the information might not be as specific to your audience as you’d like. Use it to answer questions that are both general and quantifiable, like industry trends, demographics, and household incomes. Check online or start with our list of market research resources.

Asking consumers yourself can give you a nuanced understanding of your specific target audience. But, direct research can be time consuming and expensive. Use it to answer questions about your specific business or customers, like reactions to your logo, improvements you could make to buying experience, and where customers might go instead of your business.

Here are a few methods you can use to do direct research:

  • Surveys
  • Questionnaires
  • Focus groups
  • In-depth interviews

For guidance on deciding which methods are worthwhile for your small business, the Small Business Administration provides counseling services through our resource partner network.

Use competitive analysis to find a market advantage

Competitive analysis helps you learn from businesses competing for your potential customers. This is key to defining a competitive edge that creates sustainable revenue.

Your competitive analysis should identify your competition by product line or service and market segment. Assess the following characteristics of the competitive landscape:

  • Market share
  • Strengths and weaknesses
  • Your window of opportunity to enter the market
  • The importance of your target market to your competitors
  • Any barriers that may hinder you as you enter the market
  • Indirect or secondary competitors who may impact your success

Several industries might be competing to serve the same market you’re targeting. That’s why you should make sure to differentiate your competitive analysis by industry. There are many methods for doing this, including Porter’s Five Forces analysis. Important industry factors to consider include level of competition, threat of new competitors or services, and the effect of suppliers and customers on price.

Meet clients (and competitors)

John and Kelly looked at the businesses and people in their community to see if they could open a successful auto repair shop.

small business administration

Free small business data and trends

There are many reliable sources that provide customer and market information at no cost. Free statistics are readily available to help prospective small business owners.

Consider these types of business statistics in your market research and competitive analysis:

Focus Goal Reference
General business statistics
Find statistics on industries, business conditions
Consumer statistics
Gain info on potential customers, consumer markets
Demographics
Segment the population for targeting customers
Economic indicators
Know unemployment rates, loans granted and more
Employment statistics
Dig deeper into employment trends for your market
Income statistics
Pay your employees fair rates based on earnings data
Money and interest rates
Keep money by mastering exchange and interest rates
Production and sales statistics
Understand demand, costs and consumer spending
Trade statistics
Track indicators of sales and market performance
Statistics of specific industries
Use a wealth of federal agency data on industries

Write your business plan

Your business plan is the foundation of your business. Learn how to write a business plan quickly and efficiently with a business plan template.

Business plans help you run your business

A good business plan guides you through each stage of starting and managing your business. You’ll use your business plan as a roadmap for how to structure, run, and grow your new business. It’s a way to think through the key elements of your business.

Business plans can help you get funding or bring on new business partners. Investors want to feel confident they’ll see a return on their investment. Your business plan is the tool you’ll use to convince people that working with you — or investing in your company — is a smart choice.

Pick a business plan format that works for you

There’s no right or wrong way to write a business plan. What’s important is that your plan meets your needs.

Most business plans fall into one of two common categories: traditional or lean startup.

Traditional business plans are more common, use a standard structure, and encourage you to go into detail in each section. They tend to require more work upfront and can be dozens of pages long.

Lean startup business plans are less common but still use a standard structure. They focus on summarizing only the most important points of the key elements of your plan. They can take as little as one hour to make and are typically only one page.

 

A traditional business plan

Traditional business plan


This type of plan is very detailed, takes more time to write, and is comprehensive. Lenders and investors commonly request this plan.

A lean business plan

Lean startup plan


This type of plan is high-level focus, fast to write, and contains key elements only. Some lenders and investors may ask for more information.

Traditional business plan format

You might prefer a traditional business plan format if you’re very detail oriented, want a comprehensive plan, or plan to request financing from traditional sources.

When you write your business plan, you don’t have to stick to the exact business plan outline. Instead, use the sections that make the most sense for your business and your needs. Traditional business plans use some combination of these nine sections.

Executive summary

Briefly tell your reader what your company is and why it will be successful. Include your mission statement, your product or service, and basic information about your company’s leadership team, employees, and location. You should also include financial information and high-level growth plans if you plan to ask for financing.

Company description

Use your company description to provide detailed information about your company. Go into detail about the problems your business solves. Be specific, and list out the consumers, organization, or businesses your company plans to serve.

Explain the competitive advantages that will make your business a success. Are there experts on your team? Have you found the perfect location for your store? Your company description is the place to boast about your strengths.

Market analysis

You’ll need a good understanding of your industry outlook and target market. Competitive research will show you what other businesses are doing and what their strengths are. In your market research, look for trends and themes. What do successful competitors do? Why does it work? Can you do it better? Now’s the time to answer these questions.

Organization and management

Tell your reader how your company will be structured and who will run it.

Describe the legal structure of your business. State whether you have or intend to incorporate your business as a C or an S corporation, form a general or limited partnership, or if you’re a sole proprietor or LLC.

Use an organizational chart to lay out who’s in charge of what in your company. Show how each person’s unique experience will contribute to the success of your venture. Consider including resumes and CVs of key members of your team.

Service or product line

Describe what you sell or what service you offer. Explain how it benefits your customers and what the product lifecycle looks like. Share your plans for intellectual property, like copyright or patent filings. If you’re doing research and development for your service or product, explain it in detail.

Marketing and sales

There’s no single way to approach a marketing strategy. Your strategy should evolve and change to fit your unique needs.

Your goal in this section is to describe how you’ll attract and retain customers. You’ll also describe how a sale will actually happen. You’ll refer to this section later when you make financial projections, so make sure to thoroughly describe your complete marketing and sales strategies.

Funding request

If you’re asking for funding, this is where you’ll outline your funding requirements. Your goal is to clearly explain how much funding you’ll need over the next five years and what you’ll use it for.

Specify whether you want debt or equity, the terms you’d like applied, and the length of time your request will cover. Give a detailed description of how you’ll use your funds. Specify if you need funds to buy equipment or materials, pay salaries, or cover specific bills until revenue increases. Always include a description of your future strategic financial plans, like paying off debt or selling your business.

Financial projections

Supplement your funding request with financial projections. Your goal is to convince the reader that your business is stable and will be a financial success.

If your business is already established, include income statements, balance sheets, and cash flow statements for the last three to five years. If you have other collateral you could put against a loan, make sure to list it now.

Provide a prospective financial outlook for the next five years. Include forecasted income statements, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and capital expenditure budgets. For the first year, be even more specific and use quarterly — or even monthly — projections. Make sure to clearly explain your projections, and match them to your funding requests.

This is a great place to use graphs and charts to tell the financial story of your business.

Appendix

Use your appendix to provide supporting documents or other materials were specially requested. Common items to include are credit histories, resumes, product pictures, letters of reference, licenses, permits, or patents, legal documents, permits, and other contracts.

Example traditional business plans

Before you write your business plan, read these example business plans written by fictional business owners. Rebecca owns a consulting firm, and Andrew owns a toy company.

Example business plans

Before you write your business plan, read these example business plans written by fictional business owners. Rebecca owns a consulting firm, and Andrew owns a toy company.

Lean startup format

You might prefer a lean startup format if you want to explain or start your business quickly, your business is relatively simple, or you plan to regularly change and refine your business plan.

Lean startup formats are charts that use only a handful of elements to describe your company’s value proposition, infrastructure, customers, and finances. They’re useful for visualizing tradeoffs and fundamental facts about your company.

There are many versions of lean startup templates, but one of the oldest and most well known is the Business Model Canvas, developed by Alex Osterwalder. You can search the web to find free templates of the Business Model Canvas, or other versions, to build your business plan.

We’ll discuss the nine components of the Business Model Canvas version here.

Key partnerships

Note the other businesses or services you’ll work with to run your business. Think about suppliers, manufacturers, subcontractors and similar strategic partners.

Key activities

List the ways your business will gain a competitive advantage. Highlight things like selling direct to consumers, or using technology to tap into the sharing economy.

Key resources

List any resource you’ll leverage to create value for your customer. Your most important assets could include staff, capital, or intellectual property. Don’t forget to leverage business resources that might be available to womenveteransNative Americans, and HUBZone businesses.

Value proposition

Make a clear and compelling statement about the unique value your company brings to the market.

Customer relationships

Describe how customers will interact with your business. Is it automated or personal? In person or online? Think through the customer experience from start to finish.

Customer segments

Be specific when you name your target market. Your business won’t be for everybody, so it’s important to have a clear sense of who your business will serve.

Channels

List the most important ways you’ll talk to your customers. Most businesses use a mix of channels and optimize them over time.

Cost structure

Will your company focus on reducing cost or maximizing value? Define your strategy, then list the most significant costs you’ll face pursuing it.

Revenue streams

Explain how your company will actually make money. Some examples are direct sales, memberships fees, and selling advertising space. If your company has multiple revenue streams, list them all.

Example lean business plan

Before you write your business plan, read this example business plan written by a fictional business owner, Andrew, who owns a toy company.

Business plan tool

The SBA’s Business Plan Tool provides you with a step-by-step guide to create your business plan. You can save your plan online and update it any time, or download it as a PDF file.

small business administration

Calculate your startup costs

How much money will it take to start your small business? Calculate the startup costs for your small business so you can request funding, attract investors, and estimate when you’ll turn a profit.

Calculate your business startup costs before you launch

The key to a successful business is preparation. Before your business opens its doors, you’ll have bills to pay. Understanding your expenses will help you launch successfully.

Calculating startup costs helps you:

  • Estimate profits
  • Do a breakeven analysis
  • Secure loans
  • Attract investors
  • Save money with tax deductions

Identify your startup expenses

Most businesses fall into one of three categories: brick-and-mortar businesses, online businesses, and service providers. You’ll face different startup expenses depending on your business type.

Storefront

Brick and mortar

Computer

Online

Toolbox with a ruler, shovel, and hammer

Service

There are common startup costs you’re likely to have no matter what. Look through this list, and make sure to add any other expenses that are unique to your business.

  • Office space
  • Equipment and supplies
  • Communications
  • Utilities
  • Licenses and permits
  • Insurance
  • Lawyer and accountant
  • Inventory
  • Employee salaries
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Market research
  • Printed marketing materials
  • Making a website

Estimate how much your expenses will cost

Once you have your list of expenses, you can estimate how much they’ll actually cost. This process will be different for each expense you have.

Some expenses will have well-defined costs — permits and licenses tend to have clear, published costs. You might have to estimate other costs that are less certain, like employee salaries. Look online and talk directly to mentors, vendors, and service providers to see what similar companies pay for expenses.

Add up your expenses for a full financial picture

Once you’ve identified your business expenses and how much they’ll cost, you should organize your expenses into one-time expenses and monthly expenses.

One-time expenses are the initial costs needed to start the business. Buying major equipment, hiring a logo designer, and paying for permits, licenses, and fees are generally considered to be one-time expenses. You can typically deduct one-time expenses for tax purposes, which can save you money on the amount of taxes you’ll owe. Make sure to keep track of your expenses and talk to your accountant when it’s time to file your taxes.

Monthly expenses typically include things like salaries, rent, and utility bills. You’ll want to count at least one year of monthly expenses, but counting five years is ideal.

Add up your one-time and monthly expenses to get a good picture of how much capital you’ll need and when you’ll need it.

Use your startup cost calculations to get startup funding

It’s a good idea to create a formal report of your expected startup costs.

You want it in a format that’s clear and easy to understand. Investors and lenders compare expected costs to projected revenue and determine the potential for your business to profit.

See what it will cost to start your business.


Download this fillable PDF spreadsheet to calculate your small business startup costs.

Fund your business

It costs money to start a business. Funding your business is one of the first — and most important — financial choices most business owners make. How you choose to fund your business could affect how you structure and run your business.

Determine how much funding you’ll need

Every business has different needs, and no financial solution is one size fits all. Your personal financial situation and vision for your business will shape the financial future of your business.

Once you know how much startup funding you’ll need, it’s time to figure out how you’ll get it.

Piggy bank

Self-funding

Man in shirt and tie

Investors

Bank and money

Loans

Fund your business yourself with self-funding

Otherwise known as bootstrapping, self-funding lets you leverage your own financial resources to support your business. Self-funding can come in the form of turning to family and friends for capital, using your savings accounts, or even tapping into your 401k.

With self-funding, you retain complete control over the business but you also take on all the risk yourself. Be careful not to spend more than you can afford, and be especially careful if you choose to use tap into retirement accounts early. You might face expensive fees or penalties, or damage your ability to retire on time — so you should check with your plan’s administrator and a personal financial advisor first.

Get venture capital from investors

Investors can give you funding to start your business in the form of venture capital investments. Venture capital is normally offered in exchange for an ownership share and active role in the company.

Venture capital differs from traditional financing in a number of important ways. Venture capital typically:

  • Focuses high-growth companies
  • Invests capital in return for equity, rather than debt (it’s not a loan)
  • Takes higher risks in exchange for potential higher returns
  • Has a longer investment horizon than traditional financing

Almost all venture capitalists will, at a minimum, want a seat on the board of directors. So be prepared to give up some portion of both control and ownership of your company in exchange for funding.

How to get venture capital funding

There’s no guaranteed way to get venture capital, but the process generally follows a standard order of basic steps.

  1. Find an investor 
    Look for individual investors — sometimes called “angel investors” — or venture capital firms. Be sure to do enough background research to know if the investor is reputable and has experience working with startup companies.
  2. Share your business plan
    The investor will review your business plan to make sure it meets their investing criteria. Most investment funds concentrate on an industry, geographic area, or stage of business development.
  3. Go through due diligence review
    The investors will look at your company’s management team, market, products and services, corporate governance documents, and financial statements.
  4. Work out the terms 
    If they want to invest, the next step is to agree on a term sheet that describes the terms and conditions for the fund to make an investment.
  5. Investment
    Once you agree on a term sheet, you can get the investment! Once a venture fund has invested, it becomes actively involved in the company. Venture funds normally come in “rounds.” As the company meets milestones, further rounds of financing are made available, with adjustments in price as the company executes its plan.

No treasure map necessary

When John and Kelly didn’t have enough money to open their auto repair shop, they got an SBA-backed loan to help start their business.

Use crowdfunding to fund your business

Crowdfunding raises funds for a business from a large number of people, called crowdfunders. Crowdfunders aren’t technically investors, because they don’t receive a share of ownership in the business and don’t expect a financial return on their money.

Instead, crowdfunders expect to get a “gift” from your company as thanks for their contribution. Often, that gift is the product you plan to sell or other special perks, like meeting the business owner or getting their name in the credits. This makes crowdfunding a popular option for people who want to produce creative works (like a documentary), or a physical product (like a high-tech cooler).

Crowdfunding is also popular because it’s very low risk for business owners. Not only do you get to retain full control of your company, but if your plan fails, you’re typically under no obligation to repay your crowdfunders. Every crowdfunding platform is different, so make sure to read the fine print and understand your full financial and legal obligations.

Get a small business loan

If you want to retain complete control of your business, but don’t have enough funds to start, consider a small business loan.

To increase your chances of securing a loan, you should have a business planexpense sheet, and financial projections for the next five years. These tools will give you an idea of how much you’ll need to ask for, and will help the bank know they’re making a smart choice by giving you a loan.

Once you have your materials ready, contact banks and credit unions to request a loan. You’ll want to compare offers to get the best possible terms for your loan.

Use Lender Match to find lenders who offer SBA-guaranteed loans

If you have trouble getting a traditional business loan, you should look into SBA-guaranteed loans. When a bank thinks your business is too risky to lend money to, the SBA can agree to guarantee your loan. That way, the bank has less risk and is more willing to give your business a loan.

Use Lender Match to find lenders who offer SBA-guaranteed loans.

Small Business Administration investment programs

Small Business Investment Company (SBIC)

SBICs are privately owned and managed investment funds licensed and regulated by the Small Business Administration. They use their own capital, plus funds borrowed with an SBA guarantee, to make equity and debt investments in qualifying small businesses. Learn more about SBICs to see if your business might qualify.

Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program

This program encourages small businesses to engage in federal research and development that has the potential for commercialization. Find out if the SBIR’s competitive awards-based program makes sense for you.

Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program

This program offers funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arena. Small businesses who qualify for this program work with nonprofit research institutions in the early and intermediate stages of starting up. Find out if the STTR program makes sense for your business.

Buy an existing business or franchise

It can be hard to start a business from scratch. Starting a business from scratch can be challenging. The good news? You don’t have to start from scratch to have your own business. Consider franchising or buying an existing business.

Know the difference between franchising and buying a business

Before you decide if one of these options is right for you, make sure you know the basics of franchising and buying an existing business. The main difference between franchising and buying an existing business is the level of control you’ll have over your business.

Franchising gives you more guidance but less control

A franchise is a business model where one business owner (the “franchisor”) sells the rights to their business logo, name, and model to an independent entrepreneur (the “franchisee”). Restaurants, hotels, and service-oriented businesses are commonly franchised.

Two common forms of franchising are:

  • Product/trade name franchising: The franchisor owns the right to the name or trademark of a business, and sells the right to use that name and trademark to a franchisee. This style of franchising normally focuses on supply chain management. Typically, products are manufactured or supplied by the franchisor and delivered to the franchisee to sell.
  • Business format franchising: The franchisor and franchisee have an ongoing relationship. This style of franchising normally focuses on full-spectrum business management. Typically, the franchisor offers services like site selection, training, product supply, marketing plans, and even help getting funding

When you buy a franchise, you get the right to use the name, logo, and products of a larger brand. You’ll also get to benefit from brand recognition, promotions, and marketing. But, it also means you have to follow rules from the larger brand about how you run your business.

Buying an existing business gives you more control but less guidance

Buying an existing business is exactly what it sounds like. The buyer typically takes over full ownership of the business. The largest advantage is having an existing blueprint that can include important factors like an established customer base, defined operating expenses, and fully trained employees. Regardless of business type, almost any kind of business could be bought or sold.

When you buy an existing business, you typically get complete control over its direction. However, with no set vision, infrastructure, or external guidance, your business could struggle as you figure out the best way to run things.

Consider 3 factors before franchising or buying a business

Though the business models differ, there are three common steps to take that will help you determine whether you should franchise or buy a business.

  • Quantify your investment: Review your financial landscape and decide how much you’re willing to spend to purchase — and ultimately manage — the business. This will help you determine what type of businesses or brands are best for your budget.
  • Consider your talents and lifestyle: Be honest about your skills and experience, as they can help you eliminate unrealistic business ventures. For example, if you prefer hands-on assistance, then franchising might be best for you. On the contrary, if you’re an experienced business owner, you may want to consider buying an existing business.
  • Review the full landscape: Look at the existing infrastructure and make sure you understand everything that comes along with the purchase. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about contracts, leases, existing cash flow, and inventory. The more you know, the better equipped you’ll be to make a sound decision.

Computer

Quantify your investment.

Woman and thought bubble

Consider your talent and life.

Binoculars and documents

Review the full landscape.

Pick the right franchise or existing business for you

Once you know whether you want to franchise or buy a business, you’ll need to evaluate each specific opportunity. In short, it boils down to this: do your due diligence.

Your research should help you understand the business from both a financial standpoint and in the overall landscape.

If you’re interested in franchising, you should explore the following:

  • Any and all existing reports: Now’s the time to put your detective hat on. To start, get a Uniform Franchise Offering Circular (UFOC). This form contains vital details about the franchise’s legal, financial, and personnel history.
  • Associated rules and regulations: Every franchise is different. Confirm that you’ll have the right to use the franchise name, trademark, and do business in an area protected from other franchisees. You can also find out if you’ll get training and management help from the franchisor, and be able to use the franchisor’s expertise in marketing and advertising.
  • Contracts: The contract between the two parties usually benefits the franchisor more than the franchisee. The franchisee generally needs to meet sales quotas and buy equipment, supplies, and inventory. Make sure you understand it all before signing.

If you’re interested in buying an existing business, here’s what to look into:

  • Licenses and permits: You’ll need to get any needed licenses and permits from the current owner or apply for them yourself. Find out which federal, state, and local permits and licenses you’ll need to run your business.
  • Zoning requirements: Zoning requirements may affect your business. Make sure your business follows all the basic zoning laws in your area.
  • Environmental concerns: If you’re buying real property along with the business, it is important to check the environmental regulations in the area.
  • The value of the business: There are many different methods to determine a fair price for the sale of the business. Here are a few:
    • Capitalized earning approach: This method refers to the return on the investment that the investor expects.
    • Excess earning method: Like the capitalized earning method, except it separates return on assets from other earnings.
    • Cash flow method: This method is typically used to determine how much of a loan the business’ cash flow can support.
    • Tangible assets (balance sheet) method: This method values the business by the tangible assets.
    • Value of specific intangible assets method: This method compares buying a wanted intangible asset versus creating it.

Get ready to buy your franchise or business

Once you’ve found a franchise or business to buy, it’s important to conduct a thorough, objective investigation.

At this stage, you’ll probably want professional help. Consider hiring an attorney and an accountant. The tax rules surrounding franchises in particular are often complex. A specialist in franchise law can assist you with evaluating the franchise package and tax considerations. An accountant can help you determine the full costs of purchasing and operating the business, and even help estimate potential profit.

An attorney and an accountant together can help you create and evaluate important documents. Typically that includes:

  • Letter of intent
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Contracts and leases
  • Financial statements
  • Tax returns
  • Sales agreement
  • Purchase price adjustment

Be sure to visit the Federal Trade Commission’s Bureau of Consumer Protection for a wide range of resources and guides to help you buy a franchise.

Pick your business location

Your business location determines the taxes, zoning laws, and regulations your business will be subject to. You’ll need to make a strategic decision about which state, city, and neighborhood you choose to start your business in.

Research the best place to locate your business

You’ll need to register your businesspay taxes, and get licenses and permits in the place you choose to locate your business.

Where you locate your business depends in part on the location of your target market, business partners, and your personal preferences. In addition, you should consider the costs, benefits, and restrictions of different government agencies.

Region-specific business expenses

When you calculate your startup costs, take into account the way different expenses might cost more or less depending on your location.

Costs that can vary significantly by location include standard salaries, minimum wage laws, property values, rental rates, business insurance rates, utilities, and government licenses and fees.

Local zoning ordinances

If you buy, rent, build, or plan to work out of a physical property for your business, make sure it conforms to local zoning requirements.

Neighborhoods are generally zoned for either commercial or residential use. Zoning ordinances can restrict or entirely ban specific kinds of businesses from operating in an area.

You might have fewer zoning restrictions if you base your business out of your home, but zoning ordinances can still apply even to home-based businesses.

Zoning laws are typically controlled at the local level, so check with your department of city planning, or similar office, to find out about the zoning laws in your area.

Location, location, location

John and Kelly looked at what they needed in a business location and found the best spot to open their auto repair shop.

State and local taxes

Consider the tax landscape for the state, county, and city. Income tax, sales tax, property tax, and corporate taxes can vary significantly from place to place.

In fact, some states are well-known for creating tax environments that are very friendly to certain kinds of companies. That’s part of the reason why tech startups, financial institutions, and manufacturing tend to concentrate in certain areas of the country.

Visit state and local government websites to find out what the tax landscape for your area looks like.

State and local government incentives

Some state and local governments offer special tax credits for small businesses. You might also find state-specific small business loans or other financial incentives.

Incentive programs and benefits are often related to job creation, energy efficiency, urban redevelopment, and technology.

Visit local SBA Offices, Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers state and local government websites to find more information.

Federal government incentives

The federal government offers benefits to small businesses that contract with the government and are based in underutilized areas. Check into the Historically Underutilized Business Zones (HUBZone) program to see if you qualify for preferential access to federal procurement opportunities.

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