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      Starting a business; what you need and how to get it

      If you're planning on opening a new business, there are more than a few things you to need to know, and a few things you're just going to need.

      Barbara Bahrman just opened her first business in Marquette Township back in May; her own hair salon, The U.P. Hair Company.

      She made that choice after the J.C. Penny she managed for years with her friends suddenly closed down in January.

      They decided they didn't want to split up, so they went into business together.

      "As a group, we sat and collaborated together that we wanted to stick together and we worked well, 'so let's open our own salon'." said Bahrman.

      First, Bahrman recieved business training at a Michigan Small Business Development Center, or SBDC, while learning how to make a business plan.

      She would need that business plan to achieve the next step in business creation; funding.

      "Even though we had been in existence, anybody who was going to finance us would look at us as a new business and you can't get anywhere without a business plan." said Bahrman.

      Now more than ever, funding can be obtained in diverse ways.

      There are crowdfunding websites such as Indiegogo, and matchmaking sites like BoeFly that connect borrowers with lenders.

      These methods are more modern, but they may not always be reliable. Which is why you should always verify their legitimacy before going forward.

      If you want more traditional methods, there's always the bank and alternative lending entities such as Northern Initiatives.

      "Not only will we give you access to capital, but we'll also provide you with technical assistance, so our focus is to help you not only get into business but to help you grow while you're in your business." said Northern Initiatives president Dennis West.

      West also recommended that potential business starters should work in their preferred type of business for at least six months for the experience before starting their own.