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by Center for Personal Finance editors



About 600,000 businesses are formed every year, even in today's economy. About half will fail within their first five years. Don't let that reality deter you from following your retirement dreams. With a can-do attitude, you can retire from your "normal" job and turn your passion into a career, working for yourself.

According to, an online resource for small-business owners, these strategies can help make your small business a success:

Choose your industry wisely

Consider barriers beyond start-up costs such as regulatory hurdles, the need to hire staff or a sales force, and navigating vendor relationships.

Focus on their problem, not your solution

Many people fall so in love with their product that they become blind to hurdles and criticism. Successful business owners are flexible about finding a solution to a need.

Know when to get help

Don't try to do something yourself to save money if it's something a professional can do better, such as drafting legal documents.

Use free or low-cost resources

Take advantage of literature and other resources available on the Internet and in your community about running a small business. Find networking groups that will offer honest feedback about your product or service. Universities and community colleges can offer free or low-cost coursework, books, and seminars.    

Build credibility

Learn the industry's nuances and develop relationships with vendors, retailers, and contractors before launching your business. Gather information from industry reports to learn industry best practices.

Apply your strengths

Use knowledge from other jobs and situations when developing your business. You can apply the same business skills in multiple industries.

To learn more, read the Small Business Administration's Small Business Planner.

Published March 29, 2010

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