Corrections or additions?
Getting Started: Tactics
These articles by Teena Chandy were published in U.S. 1 Newspaper on January 6, 1999. All rights reserved.
From his A&M Farm and Garden Center in Robbinsville,
Bob Marcinkus delivers more than 1,000 varieties of flowers
and plants to addresses ranging from Delaware to Connecticut. This
year the mums at Rockefeller Center are from A&M, and his other customers
include AT&T and Arco Petroleum.
This family business began as a roadside vegetable stand in 1953.
But when Marcinkus entered the business and decided to grow flowers,
he leveraged help from the United States Small Business Administration
After extensive research, which included flying to Canada and visiting
more than 50 greenhouses, he approached the SBA in 1996 to obtain
an SBA 504 loan to construct a greenhouse. By February 1997, A&M had
a fully operational hi-tech Ridge Vent Glass Greenhouse.
America’s 22 million small businesses employ more than 50 percent
of the private workforce and generate more than half of the nation’s
gross domestic product. The survival rate of new small businesses,
contrary to what a lot of people think, is more than 50 percent, according
to Bruce Kirchhoff of the New Jersey Institute of Technology. So if
you have a dream, pursue it. Go ahead and build the kind of business
you always wanted to work for.
But you cannot build a business without money. This is true for businesses
in the process of growing as well. The Small Business Administration
(SBA) might be able to help. Apply for a business loan at your bank.
If financing is unavailable on reasonable terms, ask the bank to submit
your loan application to the SBA for consideration. The SBA does not
offer direct loans but offer loans through financial institutions.
Most small businesses are eligible and nearly all banks participate
with SBA. SBA programs become valuable when collateral is weak and
a longer repayment term is needed.
But you have to convince them that your business is worthy of a loan.
A business plan is your first step.
One way to write an excellent business plan is to get
The Biz Planner, a workbook and matching spreadsheet template
diskette that sells for $10. Developed by Herb Spiegel and his colleagues
at the Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at Mercer
County Community College, it includes templates for five statements:
the annual income projection, the three-year income projection, cash
flow statement, balance sheet, and the statement on the use of funds.
In the narrative fill in the blanks section on competition, for instance,
you are asked a series of pretty simple questions. List your five
nearest competitors and if their business is steady, increasing, or
decreasing. List up to five reasons how their operations are similar
to yours. List how your business and their business will be different.
The Biz Planner includes a disk of templates for creating the five
basic financial statements on Excel or Lotus. The Small Business Feasibility/Planning
Workbook which includes the BizPlanner is $15. The Small Business
Glossary for those who are new to the world of business is $5 and
the SBDC’s Doing Business in the State of New Jersey is available
free of cost. You can pick them up at the SBDC at Mercer County Community
College or at Trenton Business and Technology Center. To order
call 609-586-4800, extension 3469, or mail remittance to: MCCC-SBDC,
Box B, Trenton, NJ 08690. Add $5 if you are requesting it by mail.
To succeed at obtaining a loan, Spiegel says that you must "absolutely
plan and research, and plan again and research again. The bottom line
is that it is your money and time invested in the process of going
for an SBA loan. Nobody ever suffered from too much information about
their project." The SBDC website (http://www.mccc.edu/~hss)
developed by Spiegel, is a comprehensive source of information about
the SBA and the services provided by the SBDC.
Another way to get beyond the business plan stage is to hire a consultant.
If you have the money, the SBDC can refer you to a competent but reasonable
business-plan consultant. Or you can attend Mercer County Community
College’s Small Business Entrepreneurial Certificate Program.
It deals with the "nitty-gritty of running a business," says
Spiegel. A $50 five-session course, Developing Your Business Plan
will be taught Thursdays, starting March 4 or April 29, at 6:30 p.m.
Enrolling at the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Entrepreneurial
Training Institute (609-292-4890) is another way to accomplish
the writing of your business plan. In an eight-week session ($165
includes course materials), new and prospective entrepreneurs learn
how to operate a business and, at the end, they present their business
plans to a panel of sponsors.
If you have a good business plan, a good idea, and some equity, the
bank or the Economic Development Authority (EDA) will be glad to talk
to talk to you about putting together a loan, says Caren S. Franzini,
executive director of the EDA. The EDA looks more kindly on those
who have taken courses so that they understand what is involved. Courses
like those offered by the EDA gets you started on writing your business
plan with realistic projections on how you would repay a loan.
Suite 4200, Princeton 08540. Robert Frawley, president. 609-987-6656;
fax, 609-987-6651. Home page: http://www.njen.-com.
through June, at the Princeton Forrestal Hotel, College Road East.
Cost: $30 or $35 at the door.
Dubbed "the engine," the New Jersey Entrepreneurial Network’s
luncheon buffets are considered the very best on the entrepreneurial
circuit. The cost is $30 for those pre-registered or $35 at the door.
Call 609-279-0010 for information or to register and be on the attendees
lists distributed at the meetings. E-mail email@example.com.
to request to be on the E-mail notification list.
One key mission of the NJEN is to provide contacts and information
about financing and growing technology-based companies in the Garden
State and the mid-Atlantic region. "This is the place to come
and meet investors, successful entrepreneurs, lawyers, accountants,
and others who can help an entrepreneur grow his or her business,"
says Dan Conley, NJEN’s director. Conley has a financing business,
Silicon Garden Angels + Investors Network (732-873-1955).
"Most speakers are venture capitalists, investors and successful
entrepreneurs who want to help educate and assist others," says
Conley. NJEN is sponsored by Smith, Stratton, Wise, Heher & Brennan,
attorneys for emerging companies. Upcoming meetings:
"Venture Capital Panel," moderated by Jim Gunton,
vice president, Edison Venture Fund. Wednesday, February 3.
"Successful Funding Strategies," Wednesday, March
"The Path to Market — How to Get Sales," Wednesday,
"New Jersey Resources: all the advice, services, and financing
alternatives available to small businesses from the state," Wednesday,
Networking reception, Wednesday, June 2
Jeff Milanette, president. 908-789-3424; fax, 908-789-9761. E-mail:
through June, at McAteers, Easton Avenue, Route 527 in Somerset, just
south of Route 287’s exit 10. Cost: $45 at the door. Attendees receive
many valuable tools and material as take-aways to further their capitalism.
The Forum’s mission is to educate and help entrepreneurs flourish.
It hosts the "Entrepreneurs University" to help teams grow,
refine their business plan, recruit talent and advisors, cross-train,
develop their financing strategy and help capitalize their companies.
Jeff Milanette, NJEF’s president, is a principal with Innovative Partners
Inc. Upcoming meetings:
"Protecting Your Intellectual Property: inventions, new
technology processes, computer software, and Internet-related issues,"
A. Jared Silverman Esq. and Diane Frenier and Douglas Worthington,
both of Smith, Stratton et al, Thursday, January 14.
"What Venture Capitalists Want: How to be an Extraordinary
Entrepreneur," Thursday, February 11.
"Venture Fair Workshop," Thursday, March 11.
"Crunching Numbers," Thursday, April 8.
"Virtual vs Traditional Companies," Thursday, May
"Alumni Success Stories," Thursday, June 10.
07962-1982. Jay W. Trien CPA, president. 973-631-5680; fax, 973-984-9634.
and investors, also 973-267-4200, extension 193.
The Venture Association of New Jersey is the largest networking group
in the state and boasts an impressive cadre of sponsors and entrepreneurial
service provider specialists (funding intermediaries). Visitors are
advised to come early to the monthly luncheon meetings, scheduled
on third Tuesdays from noon to 2 p.m. at the Governor Morris Hotel,
now the Westin, on Route 510 in Morristown. Meetings are $45 or $55
"When There Are Stars in Your Eyes, Why Prepare for Chapter
11," attorney David Raven, Ted Kompa of Business Alliance Capital,
and Fred Rice, Nauset Business Evaluation. Tuesday, January 19.
Also February 16, March 16, and April 20. Register by calling
Clara Stricchiola, of the accounting firm, Trien Rosenberg "Cyber
of New Jersey (http://www.nmanj.com) which runs a monthly
evening networking event called CyberPub, on third Thursdays from
7 to 9 p.m., also at the Westin.
08807. Al Warr, director. 908-526-1500; fax, 908-526-1501. Home
stage of growth and development, including start-up, fund raising,
and tax problems — employing client referrals, meetings, seminars,
presentations and other means of assistance.
Suite 312, Verona 07044-1399. John Sarno, executive director. 609-393-7100;
fax, 973-239-0904. Home page: www.eanj.org.
A nonprofit association that provides employee relations services
including salary and wage benchmark data.
Campus, c/o Center for Applied Psychology, Box 5062, New Brunswick
08903-5062. David Niemeyer, director. 732-445-7504; fax, 732-445-7970.
Will Grondski, president. 609-419-9094; fax, 609-419-9095. E-mail:
Plan It to help small businesses and entrepreneurs achieve goals.
Robbinsville 08691. Cynthia Angelini, administrator. 609-584-9000;
fax, 609-584-9575. Home page: http://www.yeo.org.
with meetings open only to members.
Street, Princeton House, Trenton 08608. Debbie Hart, director. 609-890-3185;
fax, 609-581-8244. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
for the state’s biotechnology industry.
Princeton Junction 08550. Robert J. Britting, CEO and president. 609-720-1722;
fax, 609-720-1723. E-mail: email@example.com. Home page: www.internetassociation.com.
of high-tech programming and Internet professionals for both retail
and high-tech companies. Also http://www.centerforhealthinfo.com.
200, Princeton 08540. Maxine Ballen, president. 609-452-1010; fax,
A statewide group that provides recognition, networking, information,
and services for the state’s technology businesses.
the NJTC has the reputation of being the largest and fastest growing
entrepreneurial group on the Atlantic seaboard. "It hosts interesting
and valuable meetings covering all aspects of commerce and enterprise,"
says Conley. "The NJTC is the primary vehicle for the New Jersey
Venture Fair, an annual event organized for many years by the NJTC’s
president, Maxine Ballen."
The NJTC also organizes and runs the New Jersey Capital Conference
(scheduled this year for January 29), the New Jersey Public Company
Showcase, the New Jersey Software Forum (2Q99), and most
recently, a Utilities Communications and Deregulation Convergence
Conference, set for January 21 at the Princeton Plasma Physics
Laboratory. Upcoming meetings:
"Employee Compensation for Technology Companies,"
David L. Sears of D.L. Sears, and Natalie Brooks of Raymond Karsan
Associates. $30. Tuesday, January 12, 5 p.m. At Dendrite International,
1200 Mt. Kemble, Morristown.
"Doing Business on the Internet, Part I," Charles
Levin of Pathfinder Consulting Group LLC, $175 or $300 for two half-day
sessions. Tuesday, January 19, and Tuesday, February 2, 8:30 a.m.
At 500 College Road East.
"Where Utilities, Communications, and Deregulation Converge,
conference, $200. Thursday, January 21, 8 a.m.
"Maximizing Insurance Coverage for Year 2000 Problems,"
Philip Sellinger and David Jay of Sills Cummis Zuckerman et al. $30.
Tuesday, January 26, 8 p.m. At Somerset Hills Hilton, 200 Liberty
Corner Road, Warren.
"1999 Healthcare Forecast," Michael Hathaway of PricewaterhouseCoopers
and Gordon Schatz of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay. $45. Wednesday,
January 27, 4 p.m. At JFK Conference Center, 70 James Street, Edison.
"Capital Conference ’99." Scott Baxter, president
and CEO, Icon CMT. Corp., keynote. Panels on state tax credits, private
equity, sales and mergers as exit strategies, IPO outlook, financing
technology companies, growth by acquisition, and joint ventures/strategic
partnering. $140. Friday, January 29, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. At NJHA
"Electronic Deliverables — Is Your Company Up to the
Task?" $30. Environmental Industry Track. Wednesday, February
3, 4 p.m.
High Tech Heroes breakfast honoring John Bailye, president
and CEO, Dendrite International Inc. Friday, February 5, 8:30 a.m.
"Y2K: Business Issues that All Companies Should Anticipate
and Address," Software Industry Track. Tuesday, February 9,
"Developing a Marketing Plan," Sales and Marketing
Peer Track. Thursday, February 18, 8:30 a.m.
"The Management Information Dashboard," Henry Lubas
of Amper Consulting, Electronics Industry Track. $30. Monday, February
22, 4 p.m. At Amper Politziner Mattia, 2015 Lincoln Highway, Edison,
New Jersey Venture Fair. Monday, March 29.
08540. Cathryn A. Mitchell, president. 609-921-3322; fax, 609-921-0459.
of technology in the greater Princeton area.
Avenue, Suite 222, Denville 07834. John Daghlian, executive director.
973-627-5330; fax, 973-627-8410. Home page: http://www.research-nj.org.
in the state.
110, Princeton 08540. Grace Polhemus, president. 609-419-4444; fax,
609-419-1888. Home page: http://www.technologynj.org.
companies to information, resources and power. The current series
of breakfast meetings, at 8 a.m. on Tuesdays at the Hyatt, is devoted
to E-Commerce. Meetings are free to members, $30 for guests:
"Electronic Commerce: Log On, Link Up, and Save Big!"
Melvin Powell, regional sales manager of Commerce One, and Jack Dooley,
of PricewaterhouseCoopers. $30. Tuesday, January 12.
"Electronic Commerce: Toys ‘R Us Case Study," Deb
Kimball, manager of toysrus.com; and "Creating Customer Database
for Loyalty and Data Warehousing Activities," Jack M. Kaplan of
Datamark Technologies Inc. Tuesday, January 19.
"Multimedia Interactivity, the Next Wave in E-Commerce,"
Will Clark, director of marketing and sales, Kandu Inc.; and "E-Commerce
Web Hosting: Does It Matter Where I Go?, Jack Foster, Verio. $30.
Tuesday, February 2.
State Street, Box 832, Trenton 08625-0832. David Eater, acting director.
609-984-1671; fax, 609-292-5920. Home page: http://www.state.nj.us/commerce/scitech.html.
Development with authority to develop policies and programs. The 1999
application deadline for technology transfer grants is January 25.
(See page 59). Other possible helps:
Through a Washington, D.C.-based technical liaison, Michael Miller,
the NJCST offers help with strategies, market planning, customer development,
and draft proposal review (703-354-1102; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Also find out about federal research contracts through the Small
Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program, which requires agencies
with large external R&D budgets to earmark a percentage of these funds
for competitive grants for small companies. Call the Help Desk (see
below) or the NJCST directly.
Apply for seed-stage capital to Early Stage Enterprises (609-921-8896;
fax, 609-921-8703) partially funded by NJCST.
Avenue, Suite D-1, New Brunswick 08901. Lorraine Allen, technology
help desk manager. 800-432-1832; fax, 732-545-0120. E-mail: email@example.com.
Home page: http://www.nj.com/smallbusiness.
Small Business Development Center of Rutgers Graduate School of Management,
and U.S. Small Business Administration, this state staple helps commercialize
new technologies and grow technology based businesses. It offers a
centralized telephone and electronic gateway to information, assistance,
and resources that can help New Jersey’s small businesses and entrepreneurs
find answers to their managerial, technological, and financial problems
service providers in New Jersey. The Desk can usually provide phone
numbers for any of these sources within 15 minutes. And for companies
that need longer lists of contacts, or answers to technical questions,
the Desk’s staff will get back to you within 72 hours or a lot sooner.
Desk is an authorized distribution agent for Department of Defense
funding. The Help Desk has published an information package describing
SBIR and other federal R&D grants, as well as the services and resources
available to assist New Jersey entrepreneurs in pursuing these opportunities.
venture capital firms such as Early Stage Enterprises. "Entrepreneurs
frequently fail to realize the importance of a strongly written summary
in making a first impression and in receiving further consideration
from prospective investors. Good ideas can be rejected if they are
poorly presented," says Harmon.
is available at http://www.nj.-com/-small-business.. The
Help Desk also publishes a newsletter and sponsors lunchtime presentations.
Call 800-432-1TEC to start getting on the newsletter list.
Trenton 08608. 609-396-8801; fax 609-896-8603. (http://www.mccc.edu.he.net/~ic2000/sbdc).
Call Dan Stombom.
Incubator , County Route 530, Pemberton 08068. Frank Keith, director.
609-222-9311, extension 7906; fax, 609-439-0154. Focusing on electrical
devices, software, and communications companies.
fax, 973-643-4502. Home of nearly 30 small businesses and nonprofits.
Call Stash Lisowski or Lou Gaburo.
Road, Dover 07801. 201-442-6400; fax, 201-724-2934. By agreement with
the federal R&D center at this arsenal, tenants can work with federal
equipment and personnel by paying money or by in kind exchange of
Brunswick. Call Michael B. Francois, of the New Jersey Economic
Development Authority at 609-292-0369; fax, 609-292-6164. For technology
companies that have outgrown incubation spaces, this center links
with Rutgers for enhanced research services.
A new one-stop call center guarantees to help any entrepreneur
or business owner negotiate the regulatory maze. "We deal with
any question or problem regarding state regulation," says Charles
Jones, director of the Department of the Business Advocate and
Informationat the state commerce commission. He promises to return
every phone call within 24 hours and to process routine information
requests within seven days.
"The most common complaint is that entrepreneurs don’t know where
to go," says Jones. We have set up a one-stop service, a call
management center, copied from the private sector. We have a "No
Wrong Door" policy. We replicate the private sector. With one
phone number, 609-777-0885, we handle all calls. We are here to answer
any callers’ request, whether it is germane to the Commerce Commission
or not. We try to listen to the customer. Unlike any other state department
we actually process all customer requests as one unit."
His department manages its own License and Certification database,
which covers more than 300 professions. With a phone call to 800-533-0186
discover what professional licenses might be needed for certain types
of businesses or professions. The database runs the gamut from funeral
directors to pet shop owners and everything in between, and it provides
county and municipality licensing contacts.
This department helps businesses coordinate projects that require
approvals from more than one state agency. Within 15 working days
of the office receiving a completed application form, the client will
receive information identifying all required state agency construction
permits along with application forms, instructions, and the names
of the appropriate contact persons for each identified permit and
Call Jones at 609-777-0885; fax, 609-777-4097, or write to him at
New Jersey Commerce and Economic Growth Commission, Department of
Business Advocate and Information, 20 West State Street, Box 839,
of Development for Small Business and Women and Minority Businesses ,
to find out if your small business, minority-owned business, or women-owned
business is eligible for set-aside contracts. (David Byrd, director,
609-292-3860; fax, 888-239-1288.)
abroad are offered by International Trade & Protocol, Carlos
Kearns, director (609-633-3617).
The state of New Jersey has an excellent website that
can get you started on what forms to file for a new business. You
can access it best by going to http://www.state.nj.us and clicking
through to all the entrepreneurial information from there. For registering
your business through the Division of Commercial Recording, you will
end up at http://www.state.nj.us/state/dcr.
Pay attention to the caveat at the top of the page: just having the
form in your hand does not guarantee you will fill it out correctly.
You probably need to consult an attorney. But from the web site you
can get copies of any form you need — incorporation, nonprofit,
forprofit, authority, LLC, dissolution, or amendment (changing the
business name), and more. When you get such a form off the Internet
it tells you which of the fields are mandatory. Print out the form,
fax it by noon that day, and with expedited service you’ll have the
results by 5 p.m. If you don’t have a depository account you can use
a credit card.
The forms offered on the Internet are also available by fax, through
the Fax on Demand service, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Call
609-530-4992 from the handset of your fax machine and follow the instructions.
For complete details, check the Web site.
Here’s an example of the available forms: the C100 Certificate of
Incorporation, profit; C101 Certificate of Incorporation, Nonprofit,
C100P Certificate of Incorporation, Professional Service, C113A Application
for an Amended Certificate of Authority, C150 Registration of Alternate
Name, C104G Change of Office and Agent, LP100 Limited Partnership
Certificate, and the C159A Dissolution Before Commencing Business.
Call the Automated Commercial Recording Information System (CRIS),
at 609-530-6400, to check on the statewide availability of a corporate
or business entity name. It costs about $15 to search for one name,
and you pay to reserve your name for up to 120 days.
You can also get detailed status reports on corporations at http://www.accessnet.state.nj.us.
This information used to be accessible by voice mail only. The information
is useful for those awarding contracts, making investments, tracking
down delinquents — a multitude of reasons. The reports include
the name of the corporation, whether it is in New Jersey or out of
state, the date papers were filed with the state, the status (active,
dissolved, or voided), the agent’s name and address (the lawyer, accountant,
or president), and the main business address.
If you want to pay for these reports by credit card, call 609-530-6408
to get set up for credit card charges. Then, the computer can give
you a report verbally and fax it to you. Or you can fax a request
to 609-530-6433. The service is automatic, available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,
seven days a week, and the reports are updated regularly.
Corrections or additions?
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