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updated 2/18/2011 1:19:19 PM ET 2011-02-18T18:19:19

If you want to say goodbye to corporate America and embark on a journey to entrepreneurship, we can help. From coming up with the perfect business idea to creating your business and marketing plans, follow this two-week action plan to start a new venture.

Day 1. Finding the Right Fit

Day 2. Research and Evaluate Your Idea

Day 3. Calculate Your Costs

Day 4. Write Your Business Plan Day 5. Find Financing

Day 6. Name Your Business

Day 7. Develop a Marketing Plan

Day 8. Build Your Support Team

Day 9. Execute Your Marketing Plan
 

You've done all the legwork. All your permits and licenses are in hand. Your dedicated business line is set up with a professional voice-mail greeting. You've marked the calendar with a few prospect meetings and networking events. You've got your shelves stocked and even a few projects lined up. Now it's time to open your doors to more opportunities and much success as an entrepreneur.

You'll want to create a sales check list so you have a plan that can serve as a quick reminder of the essentials. Use it as a review before and after each sales call to make sure you cover all the bases. Your sales checklist could include a list of all sales materials, a reminder to research the account and identify the decision makers, and a sales script that covers the key selling points.

Closing a sale is often a matter of overcoming a customer's objections. But first you must identify them. Problems are often opportunities. If you can identify a problem, you can provide real-world solutions and new ideas. Learn how your customers run their business. Learn about their customers, their competition and the obstacles to their success. This kind of sales focus can turn you into an asset. The best sales professionals invest substantial time and energy in positioning themselves as experts in their field.

Keep your energy level high. When you call on a customer with energy and enthusiasm, it means that you believe in your product or service, and are excited about what you have to offer. It's hard to discount the power of our attitudes when it comes to selling. Your customers will appreciate a positive approach more than you realize.

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