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Steps for Start-Up Success

Steps for Start-Up Success

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50% of small businesses fail in the first five years. We don’t want this to happen to you!

 Beyond the critical First Steps offered on our Starting Your Business handout (available to those who attend one of our First Step: Starting Your Business or First Step Express webinars) here are some tips to help you avoid some of the most common mistakes we see over and over again:

  • Don’t rush to make decisions or sign contracts! There can often be emotional or high- pressure situations when it comes to starting a business. Taking the time to do some planning will help you avoid making decisions that are not in your best interest.
  • Make sure you have enough capital to get started. This includes your own money, money borrowed from others, bank financing, etc. Don’t count on grants! They are very few and far between and are not available to cover the cost of starting a business.
  • Make sure there is a market for your product or service. You are passionate about what you have to offer and that is great! You have to now do the work to make sure people want to buy what you want to offer and you know where those people are and how to reach them.
  • Don’t underestimate the costs to start and operate your business. Trying to severely limit expenses or do things entirely free from the start is not realistic nor is it sustainable. For example, if you plan to market your business entirely for free, you will find yourself spending a ton of time and that time spent is not guaranteed to reach your audience if the platform is in control.
  • Gain experience! If you don’t have any experience with the type of business you are interested in starting or even with specific aspects of starting or managing a small business, there are many opportunities to learn before jumping in.
  • Do a thorough and honest assessment of your competition. Yes, you have competition – everyone has competition whether direct or indirect, obvious or not.
  • Research the pros and cons of your location. Some locations aren’t as ideal as they may initially seem to be, so do the work of evaluating any you are considering. Even plans for a home-based business may not be ideal or even permitted, depending on where you live.

Starting and operating your own business is not quick and easy by any means. It takes time and is challenging and can be extremely rewarding if you put the right amount of work into it.

The great thing is the SBDC is here to help! Talk with your SBDC Business Consultant every step along the way. We have professional staff with tons of knowledge and experience, as well as students who provide excellent support in gathering research and information to help you plan.

If you are interested in learning more about starting a business, visit to view one of our “Starting Your Business” On Demand