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Researching Your Idea and Developing a Business Plan

Step 2
Researching Your Idea
And Planning for Success 

Write a Business Plan

Every prospective business owner needs a business plan to help transform a great idea into a viable business. A business plan walks you through the process of gathering as much information as possible about crucial aspects of your potential business: customer demand, industry trends, the target market and your competition. A business plan will also help you to develop a strategy and plan for marketing, financing and managing your new enterprise. Business plans are often requested by financial institutions, investors, creditors, potential employees and partners and you owe it to yourself to complete one before investing your hard-earned time and money into this new venture. 

Resources to assist with the research and development of your business plan include:

Plan Your Location

Regardless of your business model, you will have to work somewhere. This might be at home, in shared office space, in a rented office or in a buidling you purchase. Carefully consider the impacts of each of these decisions to find the one that is right for you.

Research County requirements for basing a business in your home. Home Occupation guidelines are available from the Montgomery County Department of Permitting Services. 

Shared offices offer options for many types of business owners from traditional office settings to collaborative work space. Our interactive map will help you find potenial locations in the county. 

If you determine renting space is the best option for your business, take some time to research best practices for tenants and consider the assistance of professionals -- attorneys and commercial real estate agents that represent tenants. In additon to ensuring that you understand the contract you're signing, you also should be aware of County rules that relate to zoning and Use & Occupancy. Be sure that the location you are considering is zoned for your type of business, that there is a current Use & Occupancy Certificate for the location and that reflects your intended use. If you plan to alter the space you plan to lease, you may also need to obtain a commercial building permit.

Many of the same considerations apply if you plan to purchase space for your business. in addition to zoning and use considerations, plan on obtaining a building permit to construct or renovate a property. Be sure to contract with vendors that have experience building or renovating in Montgomery County and understand the process here.
 
Altering or building new construction are complex endeavors and the Department of Permitting Services offers a preliminary design consultation to help you make the best decisions from the start. 
 

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