The Right Foot Startup Workshop: What’s Covered and Why Should I Come?

“How do I start my business plan?”
“Should I be an LLC?”
“What does the state of Rhode Island require to do business?”
“Is my idea even worth trying?”

In the RISBDC’s goal of helping small businesses, we’re available to begin with just a seed — and there are no silly questions. If you’ve got an idea for a small business but aren’t sure exactly when, where, and how to start, sign up for our free startup workshop, The Right Foot.

Offered about once a month, these small group trainings are a safe place for entrepreneurs to get feedback on their ideas, learn about first (and next) steps, get resources, and ask questions. Below we’ve got a quick rundown from Susan Snyder, Lead Office Administrator, and Dennis McCarthy, Northern Region Director, on what you can expect from attending The Right Foot.

Is it really free?
Yes, attending The Right Foot is free! But you do need to register in advance on our website so that we can prepare enough materials.

Who should attend The Right Foot workshop?
Anyone who wants to get information about the complete process of starting a small business. It’s a great starting point for entrepreneurs in the idea stages, who have never run a small business before, or someone who is in the initial stages of business planning and wants to make sure they have all their bases covered.

Who is The Right Foot NOT a good fit for?
Because it’s geared toward the initial stages of business planning, entrepreneurs who have already successfully launched their businesses may not find the level of detail they are looking for with a specific question or business area. Those small business owners may prefer to schedule a free, one-on-one meeting with a business counselor to more directly address their area of need.

What will I learn at The Right Foot?
Areas covered include:

  • Elements of a good business plan and common mistakes
  • Understanding nuances of business structure options
  • Business idea feasibility and refining
  • Tools to estimate startup costs and ongoing operating expenses
  • A process to project revenues
  • Identifying gaps in your business model
  • Tips on how to think like an entrepreneur
  • Navigating state and local regulatory requirements
  • Identifying business financing options and increasing your chances of success
  • Basic legal considerations

All topics are covered in a general way that can be applied to most small businesses. While we encourage questions, we may not be able to cover all questions about your unique business or situation, but we will always provide resources and referrals to help you know where to go next to get specific, detailed questions answered. When we are able, we have a lawyer available to speak briefly and answer basic questions. Otherwise we provide a basic outline and handouts, and provide resource ideas for more specific concerns.

Does everyone who attends go on to start a business?
Some folks come away deciding that they need to take time to refine their idea, or that now isn’t the time to start a small business — and that’s OK! By giving you a realistic look at what it takes to bring your small business idea to life, we aim to increase the rate of entrepreneurial success in Rhode Island and link you to resources you’ll need to be successful when the time is right.

The Right Foot workshop will provide plenty of “food for thought,” so consider it a starting point — but expect to leave with handouts, links, resources, and a list of next steps on your journey to launch!