You have a great business idea, you just know it! Now what do you do? Do you find a place? Is it time to look for financing? How do you even get started? These tips should help.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Do not spin your wheel in the planning phase, but definitely enter planning first. This is not some obscure, brainstorming phase. This is the “get the official, professional business plan that will be presented to investors and lenders down on paper” phase. The SBA has a useful template that can help ensure your plan has a professional layout and noting is missing. This is where you determine your budget, do your market research, and sell your business to those you are hoping will fund it. This will include other steps such as finding a location and pricing equipment, as these things will need to be done for budget and research reasons.
Once you have your plan you can start looking for funding. You may have investors, financing, or both. You will have to research your options in each case. Set up meetings to pitch to potential investors and make contact with lenders to find out what they can offer, what you are eligible for, and what the application process involves. You will also want to research what types of financing are available. You will need a small business start up loan, but there are SBA loans for women, veterans, Latinos, and other types of funding. There is also equipment financing and commercial real estate financing. Figure out which products will work best for you.
Work the Plan
Once you have the funding, work the plan. You have all of your steps mapped out in it already. If you don’t, you probably don’t have funding anyway because no one would touch it. Work your plan step by step with the funding you were able to get and look forward to a successful opening day and first day as your own boss.
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