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General Business: 7 Steps to Success


Write a Business Plan

  • How to incorporate, securing start-up financing, marketing plans, pricing strategies, budgets and money management are just a few of the areas you’ll want to have figured out before committing to a business idea.
  • SCORE can help guide you through the entire process from “What is a Business Plan?” through “Crafting a Business Plan”.
  • Already have a comprehensive Business plan? Great! Catapult and/or the Small Business Development Council can assist you in implementing your plan further!

Identify the Perfect Location for Your Business

  • There are many factors to consider when determining the location of your business such as proximity to customers, similar business clusters, parking needs, proper zoning, and tenant build-out, to name a few.
  • Before signing a lease or purchasing a property, we strongly urge you to contact a City of Lakeland Planner at 863.834.6011 to discuss your potential location and business type.
  • Keep in mind that all businesses are unique and each potential location may have different needs based on zoning, previous use, scope of work and the improvements you are proposing.

Choose the Appropriate Team to Complete Your Scope of Work

  • Once you’ve identified the best location for your business and consulted with the City, pick your team of professionals to complete any necessary work.
  • Time is money, and it is often better to hire the appropriate professionals from the start. Picking a qualified team can get your work done right, the first time.
  • The City of Lakeland's Houzz.com page is a great place to start when looking for professionals to start work on your new business.

Finance Your Business

  • Debt & Equity Financing
  • Small Business Grants & Development Incentives
  • First Time small Business loan
  • Small Business Administration Loans

Determine Your Legal Structure

  • Sole Proprietorship
  • Limited Liability Company
  • Partnership
  • Corporation

Register Your Business

It is important that you register your business for State & local taxes & get your Federal Tax ID Number:


Obtain Business Licenses & Permits