Some people ask, “What’s the big idea?” In small business, here’s a better question: “What comes AFTER the big idea?”

Many small businesses have come and gone — or not even gotten that far — despite an extraordinary concept because they were teamed with less-than-ordinary planning. Here are five key tips for tending to a burgeoning small business:

1) Set goals. Be prepared to spend considerable time on this step, as it lays the foundation for various facets of your enterprise. Your goals should start more macro and long-term and become increasingly micro and short-term as you move through the planning process.

2) Find a mentor. Present your big idea to a successful small business owner who’s willing to provide constructive feedback. You’ll walk away with helpful suggestions and perhaps even a beneficial new business relationship.

3) Pinpoint your story. Amid a mass quantity of small businesses looking to quickly grow, it’s important to not only determine your unique story of inception and progress, but also communicate it quickly and effectively.

It may help to reflect on what inspired the business in the first place and how it will make a difference in customers’ lives.

4) Don’t hire hastily. With a lot at stake and few resources to rely on, a new small business owner must be quite certain of a position’s necessity and the prospective employee’s value before hiring. If it doesn’t work out, the ramifications could be devastating.

Careful review requires time and networking, but it’s worth the effort if you end up with a talented employee who passionately pursues your company’s mission.

5) Take great care of your best leads. It may take multiple rounds of narrowing down potential clients before you develop a manageable list. But once you have the list, it’s a valuable tool that helps drive your marketing efforts.

Whether you absorb it through life experience or in a higher-learning setting, such as at the