1/8: Starting a Business Intro

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​ (DCEO) has a 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.

If you're looking for more resources, check out DCEO's First Stop Business Information Center, your local Small Business Development Center (SBDC), or workNet's Tips, Tools, & Resources section.

2/8: Benefits of Starting a Business

​So, you've thought about starting your own business. However, that raises one big question: how? Entrepreneurship is an incredibly broad topic, and it's easy to get overwhelmed if you don't know where to start. Running a business can be incredibly rewarding for people who really have the passion to do it. Before we discuss how exactly to get started, here are some of the benefits of being your own boss.

3/8: What to Know Before Starting a Business

If you're reading this article, you probably have one question on your mind: "How do I start a business?" However, the first question that needs answered is whether you should start a business. While it does have several benefits, business ownership isn't for everyone. Some people enjoy working for an employer because of the structure it gives them, as well as the divide between work and life. If you own a business, you'll be responsible for everything, and your work can become your life.

4/8: What to do Before You Start a Business

​Now you've decided you want to start a business, you'll need to get started. To ensure you don't get over your head in the entrepreneur world, you should make sure you have the right info and a plan of action. Here are a few things you can do to prepare.

5/8: Get Going on Your Small Business

Now that you've prepared to launch your business, you're ready to get going! However, the process of getting your company off the ground can be complex. Here are some things you'll need to do to start your business.

6/8: Running Your Business

Now that you've officially launched your business, you're ready to start being an owner! Running a business is an active, highly involved process with countless aspects to it, so you'll need to be prepared. Since running a business is a complex topic, we will cover some common areas below. Make sure to do additional research to ensure you have all the steps covered. Let's get started!

7/8: Building an Online Presence

​Now that your business is up and running, you should start thinking about your online presence. The internet is a staple commodity when it comes to running a business today, and it isn't going away any time soon. Here are some tips for establishing your business online.

8/8: Growing Your Business

The first thing you should know about growing your business is to never stop growing. While we mentioned this in the previous article, we can't stress enough how important this is. Growing means constantly changing, expanding, and evolving. Never let your business become stagnant. If you do, it could spell bad news, after all. There are several ways you can grow your business. Here are a few examples to get you started.