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Step by Step

From advertising to zeroing in on your first customers, our A-to-Z list of essential startup steps includes everything you need to do to get your business off the ground.

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This story appears in the October 2003 issue of Start Up.

You're tired of being a cubicle dweller; the mere thought of punching someone else's time clock for another day is driving you insane. Or maybe you've just been laid off, and slipping back into the 8-to-5 world seems as appealing as surgery without anesthesia or as unlikely as snow in August. It's time to strike out with your own product or service. You're on the brink of being an entrepreneur, but then...

The thought of actually starting a company stops you. Even the most gung-ho entrepreneurial wannabes often step back from the edge when they realize everything they'll have to do. There are so many intimidating details--from cash flow and business plans to inventory management and finding your first customer--that it can be easy to put off being your own boss.

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