I have three recommendations:
1. Go through your contacts and talk to people you personally know who have started a business. Set an appointment. Let them know what you are doing and ask them if they'd give you an hour of mentoring.
If possible, go there in person. Show up with specific questions written out in advance. Send them the questions so they know what you are looking for prior to the meeting.
When you meet, be sure to focus on those questions, write down the answers and stick to the time frame that you promised. If the conversation goes well, ask if you can meet with them again in the future. Follow this process with two or three people that have opened a business successfully. You will find this to be very valuable.
2. Find a business coach who has experience with startup businesses. Hire them to coach you through the process.
3. Read, read, read. There are a lot of books out there on opening a business. I have personally reviewed many of the books published by Entrepreneur Press on starting a business and they are excellent.
I wish you the best of luck. I have owned my own business for almost 30 years. I don't think I would ever go back to work for someone else.
Question added to topic Franchises • December 1, 2010
Where can I connect with people who can help me open my business?
I'd love to network with like-minded individuals.