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Business Meeting

Startup
Road Map

I. Your Business Idea

So you want to start a business in Dover. What ideas did you have? Does your idea fit with with current mix of businesses? Is your business offering something new or unique? Take time to analyze your idea to make sure that it is something that will fill a current need and has room for growth. Be sure to speak with your local Economic Development Department to go over what the current market needs are and where you may fit.

 

You can also utilize the these great tools from the VtSBDC and the Small Business Administration to measure the viability of your new business:

Business Model Canvas

Does it Have Legs Template

Breakeven Calculator

II. Finalize Your Plan

A key piece to your journey starting a business is making sure you have a clear and concise business plan with achievable goals and track-able benchmarks. Your plan should also include estimated budgets and revenues. There are number of resources available locally to assist with your plan. You can contact the Brattleboro Develpment Credit Corp for technical assistance when building you plan. Deb Boudrieau at the VT Small Business Development Center is also available to help you with the process. You can also utilize a business plan template, like the one seen here.

III. Register Your Business with VT Secretary of State

Once you have finalized your plan and chosen your business name and details, it's time to register your business with the Vermont Secretary of State. The VT SoS website will help to walk you through what type of business you should register as, registering for applicable State, employee,  and Federal tax systems, and also any State required permits, or licenses depending on your business type.

IV. Find Your Space

At any given time, the Town of Dover has a broad selection of business spaces available. Whether you're looking for Retail, Dining, Lodging, Shop orOffice space, we can help to set you up with a spot that works for you. To start, take a look at any available inventory on our 'Find a Space' page. If you don't see what you're looking for here, feel free to reach out to us in the Economic Development office and we can help you try to locate the perfect space for you and your new business.

V. Permits, Licenses, Tax

Once you have chosen your space, you will need to make sure that permits that may be required for your business. The first step here is contact the Dover Zoning Department to figure out what is needed on a town level to move forward. At this point, the Zoning Administrator may notify you of additional permits or licenses from the State level that may be required. You can see many of the State Offices here. The next step is to make sure that you have also registered your business with the Vermont Department of Taxes. You can also set up an online account for easy access to your tax information via myVTax.

VI. Utilities

Depending on the space you have chosen for your business, you may need to have utilities added to you space before you open. There are several options for internet and phone, and Green Mountain Power for your electricity needs. Links to their websites below.

Fidium Fiber

Consolidated Communications

Duncan Cable

Green Mountain Power

VII. Find Your Employees

Depending on the type of business you are starting, you may be looking to hire some help. One option for finding help locally is to post your open position on our 'Post/Find a Job' page.

Another option is to look to social media, our local newspapers and radio stations to post the job listing. It is important to let your Economic Development Department know what type of help you are looking for as well as we may have candidates in mind to fill your position.

VIII. Utilize Dover Business Incentives

Dover's Economic Development Department offers several great incentives you should take advantage of for your business.

You find more information on the available programs on our

'Incentives for Business' page

IX. Marketing Your Business

Throughout the process of opening your doors, you will want to be thinking about the marketing of your business. Most marketing these days starts digitally by creating a web and social media presence. There are a number of people locally who can help with this process, just reach out to your Economic Development Department for a referral. From there, you can reach out to  our local Chamber, the Southern Vermont Deerfield Valley Chamber of Commerce. You can also reach out to our local newspaper, the Deerfield Valley News, to discuss your advertising options. Locally, 100.7 The Peak radio station runs throughout the Deerfield Valley and the Southern Vermont region and can be a good way to spread the word as well. There are always ways to tell people about your business, no matter how many advertising dollars you have.

X. Opening Your Doors

When you have finalized all of your planning, permitting, registering, and taken care of your necessities with utilities, employees, and marketing, it's time to open your doors. Depending  on the type of business, you may consider a soft opening to ensure that all your plans and processes are just as you want them to be. When it's time for the grand opening, be sure to let your Economic Development Department know so we can help spread the word by adding you to our 'Dover Business Directory', sharing your business on social media, and to get you on our 'Big Scissor Alert!' page that features newly opened and recently purchased businesses in the Town of Dover.

XI. Stay Engaged

Opening your doors was a big piece of the puzzle, but it doesn't stop there. One of the keys to success is to remain engaged and in contact with your ED Department, your customers, and your  peers in the business community. By doing so, you open your doors to a wide variety of opportunities to learn and grow. Be sure to check the 'Webinars and Trainings' page on this site for upcoming events to broaden your horizons and expand your business. You can also sign up for our Newsletter for updates on business in Dover, upcoming incentives, events and much more.

For more assistance with the process of starting or moving your business in the Town of Dover, be sure to visit our 'Startup Resources' page. You can also contact Eric or Shannon at any time for help with your process.

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