Small businesses are easy to set up and they used to be easily funded.

Take control of your life and start your own business.

How do you do that in a down economy? First, by creating and perfecting a business plan.

Today with all the regulations, local, state and government taxes, reports and compliances make the process much more difficult. The good news is that if you find a niche, your business may have a higher growth rate.

Your business does not have to be complicated or expensive to start-up. Walk pets. Bake cupcakes. Paint houses. Move furniture. Sell other peoples’ ‘stuff’ on eBay. Write e-books and publish them on Amazon. Teach a language. Find something that people may be able to obtain or do on their own but are willing to pay for it instead.

If you need help there are lots of resources on line including the American Associations for Small Business, SCORE, etc. Starbucks is partnering with the Opportunity Finance Network to empower individuals to promote entrepreneurship in our country.

5 Steps to making the banks help your business:

  1. Create a business plan. Here are 500 free samples that can assist you.
  2. Take your business plan bank to a bank and apply for $250,000 or more. This tells the bank you are serious. It requires their attention.
  3. The bank will review, refine and most likely turn you down. That’s what banks do these days. They say no!
  4. Don’t let a denial discourage you because you just got ‘free’ business advice from the bank! It’s worth a lot of time and money. Normally you would pay accountants, attorneys and other business advisers to evaluate your plan but you just got it for free.
  5. The bank will end up telling you how to get the most of out of your business. They will pick apart your business plan and point out the weaknesses to you. This is when you take advantage, ask questions and find out what you need to do to refine your business plan. Now that’s the way to leverage your thinking.

Find a way to get back your entrepreneur spirit, discover a path and create a way for you to take control of your life. And smile. The bank is paying you a dividend. Bank on it.