One of the first--and most important--steps you should take is starting your business plan. Writing a thorough business plan is not only important for your own purposes--most investors will expect to see it in your pitch, too. You should be able to use all the advice and information found right here on Bplans.com to get a pretty good idea of what a business plan looks like and what should be included. I recommend that you start at our “How to write a business plan” page here:
And, of course, check out our library of free sample business plans:
The success of any business plan is within the quality of the information provided. Once you determine the type of business you want to go into, the plan itself represents the operation on paper as if it already exists: How much revenue is expected, from where, the marketing plans that drive sales, the infrastructure needed to meet the needs of doing business, as well as other related actions and costs. Take your time and talk to as many people as possible for information. Please keep in mind doing your homework up front is like taking on an insurance policy. It increases your chances of succeeding by eliminating the unknowns. In the end there are always other variables.
Good luck with your business!
[Editorial note: We do try to avoid making sales pitches, but this question is exactly why Business Plan Pro was developed and is the market leader. We now also offer LivePlan, an online business planning solution to help you plan and succeed. You can learn more about our products at http://www.PaloAlto.com]