1. Clearly define your business idea. Be able to state the purpose and goal of your business using clear and simple language. Know your mission.
2. Examine your motives. Make sure you have a passion for owning a business and for this particular business.
3. Be willing to commit to the hours, discipline, learning and frustrations that are common to owning a business.
4. Conduct a competitive analysis in your market, including products, prices, promotions, advertising, distribution, quality and service. Be aware of the outside influences that can affect your business.
5. Seek help from other small businesses, vendors, professionals, government agencies, employees, trade associations and trade shows. Be alert, ask questions and visit your local SCORE chapter.
You can check out the SCORE website for lots of great resources.