It started with a great idea: a product(s) or service(s) on which, you’re convinced, a successful entrepreneurial venture can be built. Now comes the tough part — actually planning and launching the business.

Along with the entrepreneurial spark, nurturing a start-up business from concept to commercial viability requires painstaking planning and a methodical approach to executing that plan. Here, courtesy of the Financial Planning Association in Denver, Colo., are some key strategic steps to put your new business on the road to prosperity:

Get professional advice. Entrepreneurs who fund a start-up largely from their own pockets will find their business and personal finances inextricably linked. Thus it’s vital early in the planning process to consult a tax/financial expert who can help sort through issues on both sides, says Kevin M. Reardon, CFP, president of Shakespeare Wealth Management in Pewaukee, WI. Access the FPA’s national network of financial planners at to find one in your area. Supplement your search by seeking out strategic advice from organizations such as SCORE ( and the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Small Business Development Center network (, whose experienced advisors provide entrepreneurial consulting services at no cost. Ask friends and colleagues for a referral to an attorney, CPA and insurance agent that works with small businesses.