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Editorial: Open to Business is a good resource

Opening a business is a big step, and for someone who is new to the process, it can be nerve-wracking in the best of times, frightening and frustrating at the worst.

That's why we're excited about Open to Business, a new service offered in Farmington thanks to a partnership between the city and a number of outside organizations.

The service, which officially launches in two weeks, is a resource for people thinking about going into business for themselves, or for current business owners looking to make a change. One day a month, and at other times by appointment, an Open to Business consultant will be available to answer questions, provide guidance and ease fears. For some, that kind of help might make the difference between dreaming and doing. For others, it might make the difference between success and shutting the doors six months or a year down the line.

That is important in a city like Farmington, where small-business owners make up a vital part of the business community. With downtown Farmington looking to draw new businesses to complement what is already there, having a little help on hand might make all the difference.

Open to Business isn't all about pushing potential entrepreneurs to take the leap, of course. In some cases, the best advice the consultant can give might be to step back and wait. If a would-be business owner is not ready, that can be just as important. It's better for Farmington to have one business that succeeds than a series of false starts.

Open to Business has already gotten off to a good start in Minneapolis, and the same partnership that is bringing the program to Farmington is bringing it to several other Dakota County cities.

We believe that is a good thing.