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Steps to Success

Whether you’re starting or growing your business, it’s your life—24/7, holidays and weekends. You have to think about hiring the right people, evaluating the financials, implementing a strategy, increasing your business’s value, creating a successful culture, planning to sell, and more. Whew! Below are the resources that can help get the ball rolling, wherever you are in the game.

1
Get Started

So you want to start your own business?  Good for you! Over 98% of businesses in Illinois are small businesses and they employ almost 50% of the workforce. Nearly 90% of the exports from Illinois come from small businesses.

2
Planning

Ben Franklin is credited for this well-known quote: "If you fail to plan you are planning to fail."

3
Education

Increasing your business knowledge helps your business grow. You can find educational resources on Bridge in the form of blog posts, upcoming events, and information on the provider pages.

4
Municipal Incentives

It's very important to know what incentives and resources are available to you in the community where your business will be or is located.

5
Permits & Licenses

Your business may need to obtain business licenses or professional licenses depending on its business activities.  Illinois provides a comprehensive database of every license and permit that may be required for your business.

6
Financing

You’ve decided to turn your passion into reality by opening a small business. One of the first steps is determining how much money you will need to start this business.

7
Marketing

Marketing is about getting the RIGHT products or services to the RIGHT customers or clients at the RIGHT time and the RIGHT location for the RIGHT price.

8
Legal

Of all the legal issues you may encounter when starting a business, one of the most important decisions is the type of legal structure you select for your company.

9
Accounting

Accounting is an essential part of operating a profitable business and the importance of keeping complete, accurate records cannot be overstated.

10
Location

The location of your business could be your home, a retail location or office, online, or some combination of these. No matter where your business is located, there are a number of issues to consider

11
Buy/Sell Business

Buying or selling a business is a complex process that requires careful planning and analysis. It will probably involve one or more outside professionals -- an accountant, attorney, real estate agent, lender, or others.

12
Refresh Business

Is your business stagnating? How can you tell? The easy answer is to look at your bottom line -- an important indicator but one that may not tell the whole story.

Upcoming Events

Get yourself connected! Check out these upcoming events in our community—you’ll bring home a ton of knowledge, build important relationships through networking, and share your war stories and triumphs with like-minded business owners in the C-U.

Tools and Resources

Quick—what’s the difference between a good business and a great business? You got it—having access to the right tools and resources. From video tutorials to webinars, you’ll discover a treasure trove of info to learn more about growing your business.

Providers

Our network of local resource providers offers services and assistance to help you out. Go on, don’t be shy—tap into them! They’re here to support and help grow your business at all stages.

Connecting with the Illinois SBDC at Champaign County EDC is a great first step for new and established businesses that are looking for resources to...
The City of Champaign is happy to help you Plant Roots and Grow Your Businesses right here in one of the most dynamic and thriving cities in the...

Local Rockstars

Success starts with a dream and a drive to succeed. Now these small businesses and startups have taken center stage in our community. If you're looking for some inspiration, check out their growth stories. Chances are, they've started out a lot like you. Read on, rock on.

BusinessUSA

To be honest, navigating the government side of business can be, well, tough. Not to mention tedious! Get quickly connected to the right information with the resources from BusinessUSA. Designed by businesses, for businesses, it’s your entry point to all things government.