Steps to Start-Up & Succeed in Business
Quick Assistance Links:
Prefer the following information on paper? Print the handout HERE
Step #1 – Plan for Success
Get your ideas on paper! Brainstorm, scribble, dream, and write until you have a clear picture of what your business looks like
Choose a Business Structure
Talk with a lawyer to check laws and regulations - If your business will employ five or fewer people and you cannot afford an attorney to help you establish your company you may be eligible for assistance from the Community Economic Development Clinic at Creighton University. Details of the services available can be found here. Click on micro-enterprise.
Draft a Business Plan
Writing a business plan is a fairly intense process. But, the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it. The research you conduct in order to write a business plan, either gives you confidence or minimizes pain. Confidence comes when the plan you have on paper provides a healthy income.
- SBA Guide to Business Plan
- Get a Professional Opinion – Schedule a One-on-One Consultation with PCDC, SCEDD, or NBDC to evaluate your business plan. See Business Assistance Partners list at the top of the page.
This requires you to get more specific about your intended product or service, allows you to analyze the competition, gets you thinking about the costs of doing business, and makes you cognizant of the marketing involved.
Meet with a Financial Planner
- Business Valuation (transitions only)
- Create an Asset Inventory
- Estimate your Start Up Costs
- Draft an Anticipated Budget
Step #2 – Take Action
- Meet with your Bank
- Apply for a small business loan through REAP– Craig Eberle, Business Specialist
Phone: (402) 736-4417 firstname.lastname@example.org www.cfra.org/reap
- Contact PCDC for Gap Financing
Find a Location
- Talk with a local Realtor
- Search the Phelps County Commercial Inventory
- Contact PCDC for a list of Vacant Buildings
Organize Book-keeping Systems or hire a CPA
Fulfill Tax Responsibilities
Hire and Document Employees
Create a Website
Launch Advertising Schedule
Step #3 - Find Support
Your fellow business owners can be a great resource for working through strategies and avoiding pitfalls. Networking can make the difference between success and a mediocre business.
Find a mentor
regional or friendly competitor
Join the Chamber
to find new ways to network and grow your business
Attend Business in Motion Network
to connect and learn with other local business owners monthly. Hosted the second Tuesday of every month.
Subscribe to Entrepreneur.com
Join the Better Business Bureau
Partner with GROW Nebraska
to expand retail market access
Hire a CPA
to handle your finances more strategically
Roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years due to: lack of experience, insufficient capital (money), poor location, poor inventory management, over-investment in fixed assets, poor credit arrangements, and unexpected growth. If you start to struggle pull out your business plan, resource list, and start asking for help.
Step #4 – Plan your Exit
Believe it or not, it’s never too soon to start planning your exit. Business valuation relies heavily upon actual performance. Businesses who creatively hide earnings from Uncle Sam find that the business is easily undervalued when a buyer is on the line. Business owners who let their inventory get old or defer building maintenance find themselves in a precarious position as retirement looms. A strong plan will allow you to take the profits with you into retirement rather than locking the door and walking away from your investment.
Work with your Financial Planner
- Develop a transition plan
- Start a retirement fund
to help you increase the value of your business before selling
Consider an apprenticeship
by applying for an InternNE Grant
Identify your successor
at least 10 years in advance