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Iowa Commerce
is the official publication of the
Iowa Association of Business and Industry.

So you want to go into business for yourself?

Ronald Manning, state director of the Iowa Small Business Development Centers, offers this advice to people starting their own businesses:

• Don’t rush. "Plan it to death–‘til you’re sick of it," he says. Get as much advice as possible. (You don’t have to follow it.) Don’t hesitate to seek help and ask questions. "Too many people think they know more than they know," he says.

• Your business plan should tell "a good story," Manning says. Describe yourself, your background, and every other aspect of the business, including employees, product and/or service, an overview of the marketplace, competition and where your business fits in, marketing strategy, how the product will be manufactured, and why it’s better than anyone else’s. Include financial projections.

• Finding money to start the business may be your biggest challenge. Realize that you may have to go to a lot of banks looking for loans. Credit cards aren’t recommended.

• Constantly challenge and change your business plan. Set goals and meet them. Realize that one person rarely is strong in all the skills needed to run a successful business. "You need to starve for education," Manning says. "Where are you weakest?"

–Kellye Carter

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There are more than 80,000 business establishments in Iowa.
(Source: U.S. Census Bureau)