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Prepare

Careful planning may still not insure success, but lack of preparation means failure. Spend time before you spend money or other resources. Here are a few basic considerations. The Office of the Governor's Economic Development and Tourism also offers its own guide.

Define the Product or Service

What do you want to build or sell? Is this a true "invention?" Or is someone else already providing the thing? Can you make the widget better? Cheaper? How many people might buy it?

Write a Business Plan

The plan tells not just what you want to do, but exactly how you will proceed.

The plan develops a highly detailed forecast which itself becomes a schedule. You describe each part of the process and how to measure performance along the way: what to do first, then next, and how to know whether you have in fact finished each task. The length of time needed to complete different phases of the plan should be realistic--and followed closely. The plan imposes deadlines. Discipline evident in the plan, and the ability to execute accordingly, is crucial to convince others: buyers, suppliers, investors, and creditors.

The business plan should contain cost estimates and projected cash flows. Do you have enough money to build the product and wait until you sell it? And receive payment after some delay?

Secure Financing

There are many different ways to finance a new business.

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