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Consumer Watch: Starting a small business

Oklahoma City is considered small business friendly according to a new survey. (MGN FILE)

If you've ever had a potential business idea, the best place to make that idea into a reality is Oklahoma City according to a WalletHub survey released this month. The biggest lesson learned by many entrepreneurs is that planning and organization is paramount, but doesn't guarantee success.

Ted Hughes has a successful small business in Oklahoma City. He is co-president of Hughes Warren, an investment advisory firm. No matter what your business idea is, Hughes says they often all start the same way.

"Most small businesses start with a great idea. What you need to do first, I believe, is answer a few questions," says Hughes.

If you are still unsure about moving ahead with your small business idea, here are those three questions to ask yourself:

1.Is it something no one has done before?

2.Who are your potential customers?

3.Can you offer something better or cheaper than your competition?

Once you have these answers, Hughes says you can consider moving forward.

"There is a lot of planning that is involved. I think you always need to get an attorney and CPA involved to help you determine what kind of legal entity you'd perform," says Hughes.

WalletHub's panel of entrepreneurship experts say the biggest challenge for budding entrepreneurs boils down to money. So, it's important to focus on managing cash flow and not growing too quickly. Starting a business will require money at some point. There are several ways to finance a business, including getting a business loan or home equity loan, but some will just save the money and pay for it themselves or look for investors.

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