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Tips for building a startup company

Those hoping to establish a startup company in Detroit face a number of challenges. Such individuals must design a business model from scratch, learn about Michigan's licensing regulations and find capital to fund their company while still earning enough money to support themselves.

Nevertheless, building a startup can be incredibly rewarding, making it worthwhile and potentially profitable to explore new business ideas. In many cases, the assistance of an expert in business law can make this process vastly easier. There are many other steps entrepreneurs can take to help them get their businesses off the ground.

Government and private grants represent one potentially useful tool for entrepreneurs. Federal grants through Small-Business Technology Transfer and Small Business Innovation research provide money to small business owners who wish to explore and implement new technology. Several grants and non-profit opportunities aimed at assisting prospective small business owners are available within Michigan, including the Center for Empowerment and Economic Development's Small Business Detroit Microloan Program, which offers low-interest loans of between $5,000 and $50,000 to business owners who have difficult qualifying for more traditional startup loans.

Before looking for funding or applying for grants, however, it is important for prospective business owners to first work on building a strong business concept, preferably alongside a prototype or preliminary product or service. This lets them collect direct and meaningful feedback from possible investors or customers. Business owners can even use this tactic to line up tentative sales before their service or product is even complete.

Of course, establishing a startup can be costly at first, making it wise for entrepreneurs to ensure they will have enough money to live on while they start their company. Experts recommend that new small business owners should be able to go at least two years without earning revenue from their new business. One way to make this easier is to ask one's employer for contractor or part-time status, which entails significantly less risk than quitting one's job entirely.

Source: Business Insider, "5 Tips On Getting Your Statup Off the Ground," James Price, Sep. 14, 2012

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