From the June 2006 issue of Startups

We here at Entrepreneur have been in the business of helping people start businesses for almost three decades. Over the years, we've seen startup trends, methods and catchphrases come and go. One of the most ubiquitous--and dangerous--phrases asso-ciated with startup is "get rich quick." It's foolish to think you can start a business and instantly make millions, as if you had just hit the lottery jackpot. In reality, traveling the road to business success--and business riches--takes vision, passion, and good, old-fashioned hard work.

On the other hand, it's smart to know you can start a business the easy way. Too many people have great ideas but get so bogged down by the steps and obstacles to startup that they give up before they even start. Their mistake: They do everything the hard way. Wouldn't it be great to know the secrets of making startup as simple as possible, and getting your business up and running as quickly as possible? We've uncovered these secrets and devoted this issue of Entrepreneur's StartUps to one purpose: helping you start a business the smart and easy way.

One of the major issues entrepreneurs face in the first stages of business is being overly busy. When you start a business, you'll most likely be working the marketing, accounting and mailroom "departments" as well as sitting in the president's chair. But every startup entrepreneur has to one day make the leap from busyness to business. It's the mark of a true entrepreneur and the milestone that leads to ongoing success. Read "No Excuses!" to discover 10 easy ways you can reach that milestone.

As you embark on your startup adventure, there are several smart and easy tips you should keep in mind during the course of your journey. Read "Startup Smarts" for 10 steps that will help you simplify your business--now and in the future.

Next, we examine how you can break into the retail market--which is one of the most popular venues for new entrepreneurs--without breaking a sweat. With today's technology and innovation, you don't need a sleek Fifth Avenue, Rodeo Drive or even Mall of America storefront to be a retail powerhouse. "Revved-Up Retail" reveals smart and easy alternatives for starting a retail business that you may not have thought of.

If you're looking for extra guidance throughout the startup process, check out the franchise or business opportunity options, which can offer everything from inventory and marketing materials to operational procedures and training. Need help sorting through the advantages and disadvantages of buying a franchise or business opportunity rather than starting a business independently? In "Ready to Wear", we break down the smart and easy way to buy a franchise or a business opportunity, and we introduce you to people who have already done it.

Maybe you have an idea for a product that doesn't even exist in the market yet. How do you handle the research, prototype, manufacturing, distribution and marketing that will transform that idea into reality? "Prepare for Takeoff" will show you how to get your product to market in as little as a year. Who knows? Your product could be the next big thing.

Ask anyone in business, and they'll tell you one of the keys to success is marketing. And one of the keys to marketing is having a solid marketing plan. Don't assume that writing a marketing plan for your startup involves a lot of blood, sweat and tears--in "23 Hours to a Great Marketing Plan", our expert tells you how you can create an effective marketing plan in less than a day.

If you're much more interested in starting a top-notch business the smart and easy way than in getting rich quickly, this is the right magazine for you. And your first step toward owning a business is perhaps the easiest of all: Simply turn the page.