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12 Months to Startup

Follow these 12 steps to have a business up and running at the end of a year.

What are you going to be doing a year from now? If your answer is "Same old job, same old life," then it might be time to shake things up and start that business you've been dreaming of. To help you out, we've outlined 12 monthly tasks that'll put you on the path to entrepreneurial success. By this time next year, you don't have to be in the "same old job"-you can be in business.

Monthly Tasks

  • Month 1:Take a skills and interests inventory.
  • Month 2:Research and evaluate your idea.
  • Month 3:Choose a business, a location and its structure, and name it.
  • Month 4:Calculate the costs.
  • Month 5:Write your business plan.
  • Month 6:Identify sources of startup financing.
  • Month 7:Work through the startup paperwork maze.
  • Month 8:Develop your marketing and customer service plan.
  • Month 9:Court your first customers.
  • Month 10:Create Your Support Team.
  • Month 11:Execute Your Marketing Plan.
  • Month 12:Hang Out Your Shingle.

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