Where to Start
Thinking about starting a business? How do you know if you have what it takes?
Many entrepreneurs start businesses, convinced they have a winning idea, without ever evaluating the idea’s potential to succeed.
Find a feasibility worksheet on page 30 and a step-by-step business startup checklist on page 28 of the Illinois Department of Commerce & Economic Opportunity’s Starting Your Business in Illinois Handbook, in addition to general information about all aspects of starting a business.
Need help with ideation or business modeling? Or, need to do a SWOT analysis?
Use Canvanizer to sort through your thoughts.
Write Your Business Plan
A business plan approximately comprises 20 pages describing the potential goods and services to be offered. It is also your roadmap for the next three to five years. It generally includes:
- A summary of the plan with details to follow
- Overview of the company and its industry
- Goods and services to be offered
- Market analysis
- Marketing strategy
- Business operations
- Management structure
- A schedule for starting the business
- Assessment of risks
- Financial analysis and worksheets
Find books at the Lake Forest Library on business plans in the Lake Forest Library Business Collection Room at number 658.4.
The SCORE online guide includes template documents such as basic business plans, sample cash flow worksheets, and marketing plan guides. SCORE, previously known as Service Corps of Retired Executives, is a nonprofit organization committed to helping entrepreneurs develop and grow their small businesses. Learn more here.
Or, page through a guide curated by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). The SBA also has a free tool to help you write your business plan.