10 Steps to Venture Success


1. Self-Assessment
2. Business Idea
3. Market Analysis
4. Management Skills
5. Business Planning
6. Forecasting
7. Financing
8. Support Help
9. Venture Launch
10. Monitor Progress
Graduation Certificate

What If?

What if I could start my own retail business?
What if I could be a communication consultant?
What if I could launch my own computer service company?
What if I could succeed at running my own franchise venture?
What if I could make money running a fitness center?
What if I could talk to someone about my business ideas?

What if there were no limits to your ideas and dreams? What if there was a way for you to participate in an innovative program where you could test out your ideas for being your own boss and making money selling your own products, services, talents or inventions? What if you could connect with an experienced business advisor along the way who could respond to your questions and help guide your business development efforts?

Why Not?

Read on to discover how this no-cost program offers a thorough, step-by-step framework for developing business skills, knowledge and a support network for successfully launching your own business venture.

By the end of the course you will have put together most of the components that you'll need to actually start your own business!


Welcome. . .
Getting Started

By taking this course, you are already taking the first step of what is an exciting and rewarding adventure for many. For others, starting and running their own venture is a bad choice. The reality is that most businesses will be out of business in less than 5 years after they get started - and most of these because they failed. The sad truth of the matter is that most of these business failures can be avoided. That is the purpose of this course - to help you avoid the pitfalls that can limit a business's success or even make it fail, and reinforce the strengths and decisions that can lead to success.

The course is a methodical 10-step process that begins with a self-assessment of suitability for being in business and concludes with a blueprint for implementing the new business venture. Each component of the program introduces a critical aspect of the entrepreneurial process and provides instructional and background material followed by self-testing tools to allow you to assess your own skills relative to the key issues of that course component. This interactive feature will productively lead you through the venture planning and preparation process.

Each step of the program builds on the prior step. At every stage, we introduce the issues that need to be addressed, the questions that need to be answered, and the additional resources that are available to assist with supporting a successful business venture.

The program is self-paced - you proceed to the next session when you are ready.

It is critical to spend time with the exercises. They are designed to provoke your thinking and the answers may not be immediately evident. We encourage you to read the materials presented thoughtfully. For once, there are no predetermined right or wrong answers - the right answers are the ones that work for you. The worksheets are in an interactive format. This means that you can complete the worksheet in your computer and then e-mail it to yourself (and anyone else you feel might be interested - your friend, counselor/consultant, or spouse, for example). We encourage you to set up a folder so that you can archive these forms once completed, forwarded to your email and printed in hard copy form. This process will help you to measure your progress, as well as provide an immediate and valuable source of reference as you move forward.

It is valuable to have someone to discuss the various worksheet results with. There are really no right or wrong answers - instead, the right answer is the one that makes most sense for you. That is why using someone else as a sounding board can help determine whether it all really makes good sense.

If you are not already working with a local business counselor or adviser such as a Small Business Development Center, Women's Business Center, or SCORE, visit www.BUZGate.org to find an experienced virtual business mentor. The BUZGate website will also provide you with a range of additional free resources based on your own interests, including young entrepreneurs, veterans, women, minorities, and manufacturers.

In addition to encouraging you to work with an experienced business mentor, this 10 Step Program will introduce you to a variety of other local business assistance agencies that offer free and low-cost help in practically all areas of business management including import/export, funding, marketing, site location, workforce development and government contracting. These are listed in BUZGate as well. Contact these resource providers to not only gain more insight and skills based on your own particular entrepreneurial needs and interests, but to also begin building your support network for the longer term.

The Program

Session 1: Self-Assessment
Am I suited for running my own business?

Session 2: Business Idea
Do I have a viable business idea?

Session 3: Market Analysis
Is there a market for my business idea?

Session 4: Management Skills
Do I have the skills needed to make this work?

Session 5: Business Plan
Do I have a complete business plan?

Session 6: Forecasting
Do I have a realistic forecast of revenues and costs?

Session 7: Financing
Am I aware of my business financing needs?

Session 8: Outside Resources
Do I understand what assistance may be available from public agencies?

Session 9: Venture Launch
Do I have the licenses, approvals and other issues covered that are needed for actually starting the new business?

Session 10: Monitor Progress
Am I prepared to monitor and control operations once started?

By following the program systematically and completely, a great deal of confusion about what to do next will be eliminated and the chances of your business success will be greatly increased.

Good Luck as you start on this exciting adventure!!

Now on to Session 1: Self-Assessment

Click here to start