Guide to Starting a Business
“At any point in time, about 10% of the population is thinking about or starting up a new business.” ~ E. J. Reedy, Kauffman Foundation
Guidelines for Successful Business Planning
As you begin to plan for your future business, we advise that you follow these steps to assure success:
- Summarize your business idea
- Identify the market your business will fill/area or need that your business will meet - the more specific you can be the better
- Research the business and the potential marketplace you will enter. Identify competitors, suppliers, regulations, licensure requirements, etc.
- Choose a good location for your business
- Verify that the type/nature of your business is allowed in that location (talk with your local governmental office to verify that your type of business is allowed in a desired location)
- Verify that the needed exterior signage is allowed in the location (contact your local governmental office for details and verification)
After you have completed the above steps:
- Create you business plan - Free business plan guides are available upon request at the AAEDC
- Build your financial projections
- Consult professionals - Accountant, Lawyer, Insurance Agent, etc
- If needed, discuss financing options with a lender/lenders of your choosing
- Choose a business structure
- Discuss business structure advantages with the above listed professionals
The AAEDC is available to assist you through all portions of the business planning process confidentially and free of charge. In addition, the AAEDC can refer you to many business resources which may be able to provide you with additional assistance.
Disclaimer: The Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission has gone to great lengths to ensure that the information provided throughout the business planning process is accurate and complete. Because no two businesses or business situations are the same, information needs and requirements may vary.
Starting a Business Booklet
In an effort to assist individuals in the research and planning stages of starting a business, the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission has created a Business Start-up Booklet, which includes information on: Basic steps of going into business, business plan outline, collateral analysis, financing sources, a certificate of assumed name application, and state and federal tax identification number certificates. Please contact the AAEDC at firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free copy of this pubication (available in hard copy or on CD-ROM).
For additional assistance and resources, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) publishes A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota which can be received free of charge by contacting the AAEDC at email@example.com.