planning your

Business Startup

Startup Masterclass Series

Start here to start your business.

Are you planning to start a business in Sonoma County? Sonoma SBDC can help shape your ideas and dreams into a practicable plan, helping you from concept all the way through to launch.

We have an entire Masterclass series for business startup to help you from the idea through to the classes – all at no cost to you. Trainings are available in English or Spanish.

Depending on where you are in your start-up journey and the type of business you are starting, take one, two, or all three trainings.

View Upcoming Masterclass Sessions

Minimal Viable Product

If you’re creating a new product or service on the market, start with your MVP.

An MVP will allow you to validate your idea before you invest valuable time & money.

3 Sessions, English & Spanish

Lean Canvas Business Plan

Understand the core areas of writing a 1-page Business Plan.

The Lean Canvas will help you focus on what matters most in the marketplace.

2 Sessions, English & Spanish

Startup in Sonoma County

What does it take to open a small business in Sonoma County?

Learn about business licenses, permits, and all the ‘checklist’ items you need to launch.

8 Sessions, English & Spanish

Masterclass Sessions Overview

#1 Start with your Minimum Viable Product

If you’re creating a new product or service on the market, start with your MVP. This is a product or service with enough features that you can validate your product or service before investing lots of time and money.

It’s a way of testing and improving your business model before you go-to-market.


  • How to test your business model
  • Prototyping and testing your product or service
  • How to create a go-to-market strategy for your product or service
  • How to maneuver startup challenges and more

#2 Write your Lean Canvas Business Plan

Need a plan, but want it simple? Lean Canvas is the 1-page core of your business strategy.

Lean Canvas is an approach to writing your business plan that helps you get your ideas from your head and into a single page with a visual format.

It helps you understand the core areas of writing a business plan and build your idea into key assumptions.


  • How to identify the business problem you’re solving
  • Honing your unique value proposition
  • Creating a competitive advantage
  • How to identify your customer base
  • Planning your distribution channels
  • Creating key revenue streams
  • Understanding your cost structure

#3 How to Start a Business in Sonoma County

Navigate the steps to a successful business launch, learning all of the details you need to start offering your products or services to customers. From business licenses and government requirements to funding and managing your new venture.


  • Honing your concept & business model
  • Financing your startup
  • Planning location & contracts
  • Permits & licenses required
  • Taxes & bookkeeping practices
  • Human resources requirements
  • Managing your business

Upcoming Business Startup Trainings