Research While a new business idea may seem perfect in the beginning, doing a little research is the best advice. Take time to research every aspect of a new business idea before moving forward. Learning about the successes or failures of similar businesses may help you create a better business plan, as well as save money and time. Research may also identify issues that cannot be avoided and may force you to change or rethink your business setup. Plan The planning aspect of the setup phase should be the first step in the project. Every possible part or step of a new business should be discussed, researched and outlined in detail. This process will help identify possible issues, allow elimination of unnecessary steps, uncover missing details and help establish an overall plan for the business setup. For example, the planning phase may uncover legal issues such as trademarks, patents, incorporation or licensing that need to be addressed within a certain time frame. Identify As important as it is to carefully research new business ideas, understanding your potential customer base is equally as important. A detailed profile of potential customers can aid in later decisions such as design, pricing and marketing. This information may also offer new ideas or business opportunities not apparent earlier in the process. A perfect example might be the discovery that customer income demographics suggest a higher sales price or the potential for multiple purchases. Fund One of the most common factors leading to new business failure is underfunding. Many new business ventures may not generate income for some length of time, leaving business owners responsible for interim operating capital. While a business may be on track for initial sales projections, an inability to pay suppliers, employees and other expenses can prove disastrous. Determining and identifying the amount of funds required during the setup period, as well as possible outside funding sources will help new business owners plan for success.