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Phelps County merchants supply everything from necessities to the unique; you’ll find an enjoyable "Main Street America" shopping experience.

Steps to Start-Up & Succeed in Business

Quick Assistance Links:

Prefer it on paper? Print the brochure HERE


Step #1 – Plan for Success

Get your ideas on paper! Brainstorm, scribble, dream, and write until you have a clear picture of what your business looks like

Choose a Business Structure

Talk with a lawyer to check laws and regulations - If your business will employ five or fewer people and you cannot afford an attorney to help you establish your company you may be eligible for assistance from the Community Economic Development Clinic at Creighton University. Details of the services available can be found here. Click on micro-enterprise.

Choose and Register Business Name

Draft a Business Plan

Writing a business plan is a fairly intense process. But, the blood, sweat, and tears are worth it. The research you conduct in order to write a business plan, either gives you confidence or minimizes pain. Confidence comes when the plan you have on paper provides a healthy income.

  • SBA Guide to Business Plan
  • Get a Professional Opinion – Schedule a One-on-One Consultation with PCDC, SCEDD, or NBDC to evaluate your business plan. See Business Assistance Partners list at the top of the page.

Market Research

This requires you to get more specific about your intended product or service, allows you to analyze the competition, gets you thinking about the costs of doing business, and makes you cognizant of the marketing involved.

Meet with a Financial Planner

  • Business Valuation (transitions only)
  • Create an Asset Inventory
  • Estimate your Start Up Costs
  • Draft an Anticipated Budget

Step #2 – Take Action

Pursue Financing

  1. Meet with your Bank
  2. Apply for a small business loan through REAP – Dena Beck, Business Specialist
    Phone: (308) 528-0060
    denab@gtmc.net
  3. Contact PCDC for Gap Financing

Find a Location

Organize Book-keeping Systems or hire a CPA

Fulfill Tax Responsibilities

Hire and Document Employees

Create a Website

Launch Advertising Schedule


Step #3 - Find Support

Your fellow business owners can be a great resource for working through strategies and avoiding pitfalls. Networking can make the difference between success and a mediocre business.

Find a mentor

regional or friendly competitor

Join the Chamber

to find new ways to network and grow your business

Attend Business in Motion Network

to connect and learn with other local business owners monthly

Subscribe to Entrepreneur.com

Join the Better Business Bureau

Partner with GROW Nebraska

to expand retail market access

Hire a CPA

to handle your finances more strategically


Roughly 50% of small businesses fail within the first five years due to: lack of experience, insufficient capital (money), poor location, poor inventory management, over-investment in fixed assets, poor credit arrangements, and unexpected growth. If you start to struggle pull out your business plan, resource list, and start asking for help.


Step #4 – Plan your Exit

Believe it or not, it’s never too soon to start planning your exit. Business valuation relies heavily upon actual performance. Businesses who creatively hide earnings from Uncle Sam find that the business is easily undervalued when a buyer is on the line. Business owners who let their inventory get old or defer building maintenance find themselves in a precarious position as retirement looms. A strong plan will allow you to take the profits with you into retirement rather than locking the door and walking away from your investment.

Work with your Financial Planner

  • Develop a transition plan
  • Start a retirement fund

Business Valuation

to help you increase the value of your business before selling

Consider an apprenticeship

by applying for an InternNE Grant

Identify your successor

at least 10 years in advance