Recently I was reminded how much we have grown in our insight into nurturing our business when a friend contacted me for advice on starting a small business . where to start? what to tell her? my head was swimming . it’s that good kind of “head swimming overwhelmed by knowledge ” moment. I realized that I take for granted the skills we have honed to keep a constant pulse on the economy, and the market. Constantly scanning the competition, studying their branding, packaging and marketing plans . So what did I tell her ? 1. Develop your company name. 2. Visit the small business admin of the United States government website and download the guide to writing a business plan. The more you sweat and wrestle with this, the better it will serve you down the road. 3. Develop your products. Keep the list small and do it well. 4. Test market the products…give th to friends, ask for feedback. Be willing to be flexible and receive critique. 5. Develop packaging that us simple, practical, and scalable. 6. State of Ohio vendors license 7. Business insurance. 8. Develop schedule for production and schedule for marketing. 9. Check on local laws for your product…ie- food is regulated, must be produced in certified kitchens. 10. Buy supplies, find wholesale sources. 11. Determine price of products. 12. Network with other people doing the business. Ultimately Wii will need to develop a channel for distribution, a customer base, a following. And allow for creative brainstorming, that not every idea will fly. Just don’t back down, and do not take no as an answer. Small start up takes a lot of energy, time, and periods of struggle. But it is so worth it. I finally told her to be willing to reach back and help someone rose get started, share what you have learned because it is an investment into the greater good.