Use Illinois workNet as your planning tool to find information and resources for starting your own business or helping your business grow.
- Employers can use labor market information to make strategic decisions about their business and industry. In addition to some of the information below, you may want to link to the Illinois Department of Employment Security Labor Market Information to identify long-term employment trends, largest employers within your industry, and more.
- Part of having your own business involves dealing with business financing, funding, and lending. Find government-backed loans, venture capital, and research grants to help you get started. Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity has as step-by-step guide, Starting a Business in Illinois as well as resources and tools ranging from financing a business to locations available for a business.
- Learn to leverage social media as a means of expanding your customer base by watching our Illinois workNet webinar series.
- Recognizing that small businesses are the backbone of the Illinois economy, there are a number of tax credits and incentives to help boost your business.
Start Your Business
70% of people who start a business are people with a skill. After working for someone else, they decide to strike out on their own.
To do this successfully, you need three business functions for your business to succeed.
- The Entrepreneur – someone who takes an idea of any size and creates an opportunity.
- The Manager – the person who keeps everything organized.
- The Technician – the person who does the job.
Some individuals have the luxury of planning their businesses' start for several years. Others make the decision because of a change to their employment status. Whichever position you are in, check our resources below for assistance in helping you succeed.
Search our resources to Start a Business or consider Business Opportunities. You may consider a For-Profit business or a Non-Profit entity.
Counseling services are available to those wanting to start a new business. Here are several organizations that can help. Find other Business Counseling and Business Advocacy resources listed below.
- Small Business Administration is dedicated to helping you and your small business succeed. There are a variety of online trainings which cover many business topics for you to learn.
- Small Business Development Centers are local offices with staff and resources available to small business start-ups and existing businesses.
- Small Business Advocacy Council is an organization that advocates with elected officials on behalf of small businesses in Illinois.
- Senior Corps of Retired Executives is a group of retired business people who serve as mentors to individuals in business.
- Career, Wages and Trends* information on our website can help you prepare job descriptions and find out other trends in employment when you are ready to hire employees.
*Source: Illinois Career Information System (CIS) brought to you by Illinois Department of Employment Security.
Business success is based on creating and following a plan. It should include the following components:
- Mission/Vision statement
- Product/Service Description
- Market Analysis
- Management Description
- Marketing Plan
- Opportunities and Challenges
- Cash Flow statement and Revenue Projections
Click "View More" resources below to form a Business Plan and the other essential following items:
- Location selection
- Business Operations
- Business Registration
- Business Financing
- Business Lending
- Business Funding (Grants)
- Human Resources