University of Wisconsin–Madison
University of Wisconsin–Madison

Welcome to the First Steps Program

Welcome to First Steps to Starting a Business!

Starting a business is exciting. It can also be overwhelming. There are many things to consider as you plan for your new venture. This course will help you understand your readiness and provide recommendations on how to proceed in planning for your business.

This short online course consists of 4 sections:

  1. Entrepreneurial Mindset
  2. Business Idea
  3. Financial Readiness
  4. Next Steps

Each section includes an interactive lesson, short video stories featuring real entrepreneurs, and a self-assessment. Sections 1-3 must be completed before you can view your next steps.

This course is provided to you at no charge courtesy of the Wisconsin Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at UW-Madison

COURSE INSTRUCTIONS

  • The course will take between 60-90 minutes to complete and you can stop and start at any time to fit your schedule. If  you need to take a break try to complete a section before doing so.
  • Sections 1-3 must be completed before you can view your next steps.
  • To get the most out of this course, download and complete the worksheets and view all of the videos featuring real entrepreneurs.

CLICK HERE TO START

Section 1: Entrepreneurial Mindset

In this section you will learn what the key characteristics of a successful entrepreneur are, identify what knowledge is necessary to start and operate a business, learn from other entrepreneurs about their start up challenges and assess your own entrepreneurial skills and attributes.

Section 2: Business Idea

In this section you will examine your business idea, discuss how to communicate your business idea to others, learn from other entrepreneurs about their business plans and assess your skills and attributes.

Section 3: Financial Readiness

In this section you will gain an understanding of a start up business's financial needs, assess your personal financial position in terms of starting a business, learn from other entrepreneurs about their financial challenges and assess your skills and attributes.

Section 4: Next Steps (You must complete sections 1-3 to view this section.)

In this final section you will learn what is the best path for moving forward with your business based on the assessments you took.  You will learn about valuable resources to help you with your start up journey and hear from our entrepreneurs with additional advice to help you as you contemplate your next step.