Helpful Information, Data & Links
San Juan Islands Information
- Population: San Juan County Population Information
- Employment & Income: Employment & Income Data for Washington State by County
- Real Estate: San Juan County Real Estate Data (courtesy Windermere Real Estate)
- Transportation: Washington State Ferries Ridership Data
County Chamber of Commerce
- Lopez Island Chamber of Commerce
- Orcas Island Chamber of Commerce
- San Juan Island Chamber of Commerce
County Port Authorities
- San Juan Islands Visitors Bureau
- San Juan Islands Conservation District
- San Juan County Marine Resources Committee
- Agricultural Resources Committee of San Juan County
- Northwest Agricultural Business Center
- Friends of the San Juans
- Friday Harbor
- San Juan County
- San Juan Island Parks and Recreation
- Orcas Parks and Recreation
- Access Washington
- Choose Washington
- Washington State: Department of Commerce
- Washington State Department of Revenue
- Washington State Department of Labor and Industries
- Washington State Employment Security Department
- Washington State Department of Licensing
- US Small Business Administration
- US Internal Revenue Service
- US Social Security Administration
- Bellingham & Whatcom County Economic Development Council
- Economic Development Association of Skagit County
- Island County Economic Development Council
- Business Plan Template (.pdf)
- SBA – Business Planning The SBA site with a good tutorial on writing a business plan, viewable or downloadable. It includes a detailed outline and definitions.
- SBA – Business Plan Resources A helpful site from the national SBDC with many links to business plan guides, planning tools, and specific business plan templates for a variety of industries.
- Sample Business Plans Resource Center This is an excellent site for anyone who needs to write a business plan. There are many sample plans, a starting cost calculator, and planning articles.
- Sample Business Plan Components The Business Owner’s Toolkit site with 5 general sample business plans, as well as related articles. The business plans are not complete but are instead a demonstration of the various components found in a business plans.
- Will My Business Make Money A step-by-step guide for conducting a break-even analysis.
Buying Or Selling A Business
- A Consumer Guide to Buying a Franchise – This site, sponsored by the Federal Trade Commission, has a useful article about buying a franchise.
- Selling your Business – This free, membership-based website has tips and tools for selling your business.
- Basic Deal Structures – Discusses the difference between an asset purchase and a stock purchase.
- Top Ten Tips for New Small Businesses – Suggestions to help get your business off to a smooth start and keep it going!
- Selling your business the smart way – How to think positively and devote resources to selling your business for the maximum price.
- Business Valuation Guide – This valuation guide from Inc.com includes articles and valuation charts to help you determine your business´s market worth. Check it out!
More and more Americans suffering from disabilities are going into business for themselves. According to the U.S. Department of Census, people with disabilities are almost twice as likely as non-disabled individuals to start a business (SmallBusinessNotes.com).
Check out the SBA’s resource & tips page for more information:
Human Resources & Personnel
- Employee Handbook Guidelines – This is a great article from the SBA on what to include in an employee handbook.
- Sample Employee Handbooks – This site provides a list of on-line employee handbooks- mostly universities.
- Occupational Safety & Health Administration Homepage – Education, training information and safety standards for the workplace.
- Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance Guide for Small Businesses – ADA Compliance Guide for Small Businesses, from the Department of Justice.
- CCH Inc. Research Network – Human resource and employment law site.
- Small Business Compliance – Searchable database from the Department of Labor for small business compliance publications.
- Small Business Information – Employer information from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
- World at Work – Information central includes reports on attracting and retaining employees, outsourcing and workplace motivation. Membership is required.
- The Pros and Cons of Independent Contractors – Should you hire an independent contractor? This article explains the benefits and disadvantages.
- Workforce Management – Workforce Management analyzes the human resources (HR) trends and provides the tools that drive business results. The site contains links to a variety of articles that are updated monthly. A subscription is required to view some articles.
- Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System – The Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) System is used by the U.S. Department of Labor (Bureau of Labor Statistics) for defining occupations. This site contains links to descriptions of all of the defined occupations. This is an excellant resource for defining positions within a business.
- Health Savings Accounts – The Department of the Treasury explains Health Savings Accounts.
- Guide to Health Insurance – This site allows you to enter in generic business information to find out about health insurance options.
- Sample Job Description Form – A sample job description form and information about job descriptions from Office Depot.
- Dept. of Labor and Industry – The Washington state Deptartment of Labor and Industry. L&I is a diverse state agency dedicated to the safety, health and security of Washington´s nearly two million workers. They provide labor laws and regulations, help employers meet safety and health standards, inspect workplaces, and administrate of the state´s workers´ compensation system.
- Washington State Workplace Rights – The Washington state Department of Labor and Industry site detailing workplace rights.
- Employment Security Department – The Washington State Employment Security Department site. This sites offers a variety of services for businesses, including information on unemployment insurance taxes, finding workers and current wage rates, posting job openings and reporting new hires.
- Marketing Plan Template (.pdf)
- Idea Site for Business – Good site for advice from the marketing experts. Try the Idea-of-the-Day Online Newsletter.
- AGBeat Daily – This newsletter comes from the folks at AGBeat, a part of the American Genius Network. This email is a great source of the latest business and technology news, presented in a very usable way. You don’t need to be a tech genius to understand what they are delivering.
- Customer Satisfaction Survey Form – The Business Owners Toolkit is an excellent site for all small business information. This link is to a customer satisfaction survey that you can use yourself to see what your customers are thinking.
- Catalog Production Tips – A brief article about basic considerations when producing a catalog
- Sample Business Letters – This site contains over 500 different business letters.
- Ultimate Trade Show Resource – Search for trade shows, suppliers or venues.
- Marketing Plan for the Independent Inventor – This tutorial on writing a marketing plan covers topics such as understanding the purpose of a marketing plan, identify strategies for conducting market research, target markets, competition, pricing strategy, promotional strategy and advertising strategy.
- American Marketing Association – Great site for marketing articles, links and templates.
- Make the Most out of Trade Shows – This article defines some easy ways to make a good impression at trade shows. It is geared toward a company willing to spend time and plenty of money to make trade shows a worthwhile endeavor.
- Follow-Up Marketing – A study done by the Association of Sales Executives revealed that 81% of all sales happens on or after the fifth contact. If you’re a small business owner and you’re only doing one or two follow-ups imagine all the business you’re losing. This article describes a follow-up system which details types of follow-ups and useful marketing tools.
- QuickMBA Marketing ResourcesQuickMBA is an online knowledge resource for business administration. This page details a variety of useful links to marketing resources.
- Hoover’s – Hoovers on-line delivers comprehensive company, industry, and market intelligence that drives business growth. This database consists of 12 million companies, with in-depth coverage of 40,000 of the world´s top business enterprises.
- Public School Demographics – Demographics provided by the Superintendent of Public Schools.
- What´s Your Signage? – Good signs make good business, but what makes a good sign? Too often, signage is an afterthought. Visit this site and learn about how to create the most effective signs to help your bottom line, as well as enhance your community. See the many factors to be considered when making a sign that works for you.
- Negotiating Commercial Leases – Negotiating a good lease can save you money. Learn where landlords are willing to make concessions.
- Understanding Commercial Leases – Before you rent space for your business, be sure you understand these basic facts about commercial leases.
- Commercial Lease Checklist – The checklist includes many items that are often addressed in commercial leases.
- Real Property Lease Checklist – The real property lease checklist addresses the most common issues that you need to consider when you negotiate a real property lease. This comprehensive checklist identifies the terms and clauses that need to be addressed in a real property lease. It also contains questions under each term or clause that flush out the most important issues pertaining to that term or clause. It´s a good tool to use when you have a real property lease in hand from the property owner and you want to know whether the lease covers all that it should cover so that you´re properly protected.
- Landlord/Tenant Law – Contains a brief introduction to landlord tenant law from the Wasington State Attorney General’s Office.
- Top Ten Tax Deductions for Landlords – Tax advantage of all the tax deductions for owning rental property!
EDASC’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) Program is designed to assist companies who are interested in doing business with the government.
- They can assist you in finding opportunities to do business with Federal, State or Local Government Agencies.
- They can assist you with necessary Government registrations and paperwork.
- They hold seminars and workshops on Government Procurement subjects such as Internet Procurement Opportunities, Subcontracting, How to Respond to a Bid, and Local Procurement Opportunities.
- They can provide information about how to obtain Government designations such as Historically Underutilized Business Zone (HUBZone) certification, Women or Minority owned certification, or Small Disadvantaged Business (SDB) certification. These certifications can increase a company’s chances to win certain Government bids.
- They can assist clients with questions they may have during the bid process.
- They can provide clients with access to bid opportunities through a network that provides screened and targeted bids delivered to them via email.
Tax & Internal Revenue Service Links
- IRS Employment Taxes – Answers to all your employment tax questions, including how to determine whether workers are independent contractors or employees.
- Self-Employed Individuals Tax Center
- IRS Small Business & Self Employed Tax Center – This section offers a broad range of resources across federal and state agencies, as well as industry/profession specific information for self-employed entrepreneurs, employers and businesses.
- IRS Small Business Video and Audio Presentations – The IRS Video portal contains video and audio presentations on topics of interest to small businesses, individuals and tax professionals. You will find video clips of tax topics, archived versions of live panel discussions and webinars, as well as audio archives of tax practitioner phone forums. In addition, please visit the Virtual Small Business Tax Workshop page for instructional, interactive lessons designed to help new small business owners learn their tax rights and responsibilities.
- SBA – Financial Statements – The SBA offers a very thorough discussion of financial statements, how to use them and several templates for financial management.
- Database of QuickBooks Pro Advisors – Is your QuickBooks a mess and in need of an overhaul? Input your zip code for a list of Intuit ProAdvisors in your area. Also, we recommend using the Search on the website for FREE, on-line QuickBooks trouble-shooting.
- IRS Recordkeeping – An IRS list of records to keep for your business and how to keep them.
- Accounting and Bookkeeping Forum – Have a question about bookkeeping or accounting? Would you like to browse articles about accounting topics? Universal Accounting is for you!
- QuickMBA Accounting Resources – QuickMBA is an online knowledge resource for business administration. This page details a variety of useful links to accounting and bookkeeping resources.