Now that you've decided to start a business or non-profit, how do you get there? Writing a business plan can help you formulate your needs, identify resources, plot a strategic direction, and help you get there from here. It also shows others (like financers!) that you know what you're doing.
A thorough guide provided by the Small Business Administration.
Your favorite word processing program may have a template as well!
Market research is an extremely part of starting a business. It helps to identify the needs of consumers, potential competitors, the industry as a whole and much more. Use the following resources to learn more about how to conduct market research:
Communities enter their unique information, which is then mined based on your criteria to provide information regarding the optimal places to locate your business.
Branding is one the most important aspects of any business. Learn more about branding and how to create your brand below. Create your brand and logo, and stake out your website and other social media outlets even if you don't plan to use them right away.
The nature of the startup dictates the extent to which it should rely on an attorney to incorporate, trademark ideas/products, formalize partnership agreements, etc. Here are some starting points for DIYers:
Legal help with starting a business at a reduced cost.
You'll probably start with your own funds, credit, savings, or home equity. You may get a few friends and family to help. Once you get a little way into it, though, you may need other sources until revenues grow enough to cover expenses.
"Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart." A guide from Online MBA that serves as a planning tool with plenty of questions to think about first to make sure you're prepared for the challenges as well as the excitement.