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There is so much more to starting a successful business than there is to running one.  Running a business requires only that you keep it successful.  Starting a business that will be successful means you have to make it become successful in the first place.  That is the difference in a small business owner and an entrepreneur.  Albert Einstein said it perhaps best of all when he said:

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.” – Albert Einstein

This is true regardless of the circumstance.  Whether trying to decide on a location or looking for equipment financing, there has to be logic paired with creativity for the business to truly be the business it was meant to be, the business you dream for it to be.  If imagination is hard for you, start here.

Consider What Could Be

This is the ultimate first step.  For example, if you have dreams of opening an ice cream parlor, consider how awesome it could get.  You could make your own gourmet ice cream.  You could let customers customize their ice cream.  The sky is the limit.  This is not the time to let limitations come into play.  Don’t worry about financing, equipment, location, or anything else.  There is equipment financing available, there are start-up loans to be had, and there are empty buildings waiting to be filled.  Now is the time to think as big as possible, or even impossible. 

Think Big

At this point, take the considerations in step one and imagine them as big as they could possibly become.  Could it be a chain?  Will there be a roller coaster to ride while waiting on your custom ice cream to freeze?  Probably not, if for no other reason than equipment financing is unlikely to fund a roller coaster.  The point is not let limits bog you down in the early stages.  Consider what could be, and think big.

Logic Has a Time and Place

Now reel it in.  This exercise allowed you remove unnecessary limitations from your scope of planning.  Work backwards, and scratch the stuff that just will obviously not work, like the roller coaster.  Carefully consider what is left and determine what is possible right now, putting those things you want but that need to wait on the back burner until it is time.  For example, you may be passionate about making your own ice cream, but it may not be feasible to included customization in the beginning.  You may want to have 10 freezers, but equipment financing may only be available for five at the moment.  Let logic have its time now, and then move forward.

Starting a business is scary, but the fear that limitations places on the entrepreneurial spirit can stifle imagination to the point that the resulting business is only a shadow of what it could be.  Don't live in the shadows.  Let your imagination soar, make logical decisions about what it comes back with, and make your business all it can be.

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