Angelica Crystal of Joliet turned to the Joliet Latino Economic Development Association (LEDA) when she decided to turn her art collective into an art business. However, she found it challenging to narrow the focus of Waywards Art House because she has many facets in the art field. She needed practical help, such as how to apply for an LLC and whether she needed a permit.
LEDA President Alex Paramo said that LEDA is a source of information that helps prevent people from contacting multiple agencies to collect information. By attending community events, Angelica connected with resources and people of common interest.
Paramo suggests five things to start a business. First, write a basic business plan. Second, talk to representatives of an organization like LEDA to define the entity, its legal structure, required permits, and tax burden. Third, develop a marketing plan that works well and grow slowly. Fourth, test the product or service to assess its feasibility and ability to support it before taking out a large loan. Lastly, have a clearly defined goal. It all comes down to your goals and motivations.
Paramo believes that there is no “magic formula” that guarantees business success. However, developing strengths, persistence, and drive can help lay a good foundation.