By Clare McNeeley

You have had a dream of creating your own business for so long; why not make your dream into reality? Maybe you have a vision of providing valuable products or services to your community or perhaps you just want to be your own boss and decide your hours. Either way, if you have passion, commitment and a strong work ethic, it may be time to jump.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, there are a few critical steps to take in order to bring your idea to life.

The Plan

First, research and learn everything you can about the industry you envision joining; learn about potential competitors and consumers.

Once you have an understanding of the market, you need to create a business plan. This is the start of it all: writing out your idea on paper. This is the step where you may find flaws in the original plan, and that’s okay! You will work through them. Your business plan should outline how you want the company to be perceived and what you want to accomplish.

Brand Image

Your brand image is the consumer’s perception of your brand. To control your brand image is to control how you want your company to be perceived by the public.

Decide on a company name and create a logo. The name should stick with a person that hears it for the first time. The colors and fonts that are associated with your brand should bring the whole visual image of your company together. Never get discouraged if your original idea needs to be adjusted a little to be more successful – that’s all part of the process.


You need to know the cost of start-up, including all capital needs. You also need to figure out the cost of annual operation, including all employees and vendors. If you have private backing or can start the company without financial help, that’s great! If not, you will need to approach a bank or venture capitalists for underwriting.


Depending on the type of business, you will need to be aware of all license, permit and tax requirements. For example, to hire employees and pay federal and state taxes, you will need to get a federal and state tax ID.

Ask for Help and Use Resources

Check out your local Chamber of Commerce, look into coworking and entrepreneurial centers in the business of helping new companies grow, join SMB and entrepreneurial email lists, Facebook Groups and more. Surround yourself with talent and advice and learn from others who once stood where you now stand. The input will be invaluable.

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