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Making sure a business foundation is solid

As I sat in a meeting the other day with an exciting local startup, I was reminded of the importance of business planning.   

Lots of people have ideas, fewer people have great ideas, and even fewer people are willing to follow through with the necessary planning and due diligence to help make their ideas — good or bad, a reality.


In-house statistics gathered by the Hastings Economic Development Corporation reflect about 90 percent of the people who come to our office with an idea or a request for funding assistance never come back when asked for a business plan. National statistics generally state that the vast majority of startup businesses fail within the first three years. Many of these failures are undoubtedly due to an inability or unwillingness to plan.


Today, there is simply no excuse for a lack of planning. At the touch of a button there are a wealth of resources available to any entrepreneur.

On the other side of the most recent economic downturn, countless support networks have popped up for entrepreneurs in a number of different areas: technical and planning education through the community college system, numerous online sites offering anything you can possibly think of— seriously, just Google it and local resources for financial assistance. For those who are willing to help themselves, there is a great deal of help available.


Back to our local startup. It is on the brink of becoming a household name on a global stage, and it is because they haven’t been afraid to help themselves. They have surrounded themselves with business- savvy individuals and an impressive board of advisors. They have sought professional assistance with the legal foundation of their company and their financial projections. They have built solid relationships with suppliers and vendors and they have been financially conservative. Most importantly, they have done their research. They have laid the foundation for a successful future, and they haven’t been afraid to put in the necessary planning to position themselves for success.


For those who are willing to plan, the undesirable statistics surrounding startups may become nothing more than that— numbers.

About the Author

Dave Rippe
Hastings Economic Development Corporation, Hastings, Neb.

Dave Rippe is the Executive Director of the HEDC. He previously did business recruitment for the State of Nebraska and moved to Hastings in 2010. 

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