With the right foundations in place, starting new business ventures can be exciting, fun, and profitable. Also, avoiding early mistakes can make the difference between success and failure. To get a business started on the right track, begin with a solid business plan. This will include all the information necessary for executing business decisions from an educated viewpoint.

Prior to opening a business, create a written plan for success that includes the following information:

1. Goals for this business - this will include a mission statement, and what achievements will constitute success for this plan. Be aware that executing business plans requires flexibility, and that plans will need to be adjusted over time. Review this plan periodically.

2. Personnel - who will be running this business, who will be involved in helping make this business succeed at the basic operational level?

3. Logistics - where will this business be located physically? Will it be an online business operation or in a traditional land location? Present details about space, cost, and number of employees.

4. Finances - executing business plans requires cash flow. Where will cash be obtained, and how will this business be financed? What will expenses be each month?

5. Marketing - Starting new business operations always requires advertising and marketing the business products or services. Who will do this and what marketing events will be planned? When opening a business, many land based stores feature a big grand opening event or sale, with promotional items to give away.

6. Competition - Never underestimate it. Thoroughly research the competitors in your chosen industry. Identify any weaknesses they may have and try to ensure your product or service is a cut above theirs. Competition is a very healthy thing, but you need to do constant research and never be complacent.

7. Marketplace - Make sure that there is a market for your product or service. Just as Texaco wouldn't build a petrol station next door to two others, a start up business should ensure that the market for buyers or users is strong in the area he intends to set up in.

These five points should help get any new business off to a good start. Follow the business plan in detail; it is your map for success!

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