Business Start-Up Assistance, Counseling and Mentorship

There is an abundance of resources available to help you take the giant step of becoming a business owner.  Each of the following free resources is vital.
The Pickens Business Assistance Guide is must-read content. Prepared by a local “Entrepreneur Friendly Committee” made up of the City, the Pickens Revitalization Association (PRA), the Chamber of Commerce, the Appalachian Council of Governments, and local business owners, this is a customized guide of local processes, resources, and contacts.  It even includes a section on local market conditions.  Save this document.  Print this document.  Refer to it often.
Contact the Clemson Area Small Business Development Center and/or SCORE(the Service Corps of Retired Executives). Self-guided research for starting a business is essential, but it is not enough.  There is no substitute for expert counseling and mentorship, and these organizations are comprised of experts who assist entrepreneurs at no charge.  They will not write your business plan for you, but they will teach you a lot and help you to avoid mistakes.  You need these types of professionals in your corner.  Contact them.  Make an appointment.
Take advantage of the U.S. Small Business Administration’s free Learning Center. While government websites are not always known for being well constructed, is as good an entrepreneurial resource as you will find on the internet.  The Learning Center includes well over 100 on-line courses, videos, and archived “business chats” led by experts.  Most of these training sessions can be completed in 30 minutes or so, and they are all free.  The Learning Center is worth your time.  Take advantage of it.
The US Small Business Administration (SBA) Resource Guide for South Carolina is another great, comprehensive resource that contains information on all of the above and more.