by combining skills It was just a hobby/side-thing to make some extra money After about a year, we some saw potential and formed a real business Partners both had real jobs -- Jeremy in school; Clint working
friends, partners Find somebody to learn from What are you going to call it? How are you going to get your name out there? (biz cards, website, collateral) I don't believe in formal business plans. I do believe in thinking things through and putting them into action. A lot of what business is -- experimentation. I do believe in numbers to tell whether those experiments worked.
Read up on the different kinds and choose the best one for you: Sole Proprietor Partnership Corporation Limited Liability Company Each has different tax consequences as well as state and federal requirements The Virginia Department of Business Assistance has a great rundown of entities and step-by-step instructions: http://www.vdba.virginia.gov/
Equip yourself Business requires more than just providing a product or service: Accounting (do it yourself or hire a bookkeeper?) Marketing (printed materials, social networking, website) Learn stuff (lots of free workshops by VDBA and SBDC)
not always right, but you can bend sometimes. Other times, "no" is appropriate. "Why" goes a long way -- teach them something Keeping a customer is a lot easier (and cheaper) than getting a new one. Retention!