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Five Essential Steps to Start your Business

Corporate Photography by Mark Skalny

You have a brilliant idea for a new business. The easy part is done! Now, it’s time to dig into the more challenging aspect of entrepreneurship: the five essential steps that get you from idea to reality and, of course, profit.

Do the research.
It’s important to understand what you’re getting into before you start. Research similar businesses to understand how they’re prospering – or why they’re not. Know the market, and the appetite and needs of your audience. Understanding these needs early on will naturally help you with the next step.

Build a business plan.
When you’re building a business, it’s important to plan for the unplanned. Know where your money is going and understand your overhead expenses; it’s not just the cost of your product, it’s everything that goes into supporting your business that often gets overlooked. A solid business plan will incorporate all aspects of your initiative, from financing and costs to growth strategy and marketing.

Seek a mentor.
The ideal mentor will have experience running a business in your industry, so they can provide informed guidance and answer specific questions. If you don’t have a mentor in mind, tap into an organization like SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives), which offers a network of volunteer mentors – C-level executives who provide expert guidance and advice to entrepreneurs.

Partner with trusted experts.
You will need a host of experts to call on as you work on building your business. From legal counsel to an accountant and a trusted financial institution, vet your options. Choose experts who will do more than just provide a service – they’ll be a trusted partner every step of the way.

Build a network.
Networking is the step that will truly get your business off its feet. Not only will you meet potential investors, partners and resources, but you’ll find your fair share of future customers this way. Networking is akin to grassroots marketing – develop an “elevator pitch” and share it with everyone you meet. Working with an organization like Local First Arizona makes this step easy. Attend local business events and watch how fast your network grows!

OneAZ Credit Union offers a full suite of tailored financial products and services for any business size. From business checking and savings to credit cards, loans and merchant services, achieve your business goals with our local, high-quality relationship banking. Learn more at OneAZcu.com/business. Insured by NCUA. FBN

By Corey Rankin


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