Running a small business can be a challenging task. But some entrepreneurs will tell you that the most difficult part of launching a start-up is simply knowing where to begin. Having a great idea is one thing, but putting a plan into motion is another.

It's easy to tell yourself that owning your own business is just a pipe dream, but below are a few surefire ways to help turn a dream into reality:

1. Do something

Whether you start drafting the first paragraph of your business proposal, or zeroing in on the specifics of your product or service, it's imperative to do something. Taking even the smallest of steps can be the motivation you need to start taking your idea more seriously.  This is also the time to conduct the research you will need to branch out into different areas, including marketing, advertising and business financing.

2. Know what has worked in the past

The old adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it," carries a lot of weight and relevance when drafting a business model. Having an innovative idea can prove crucial when you get your small business off the ground, but until then, don't try to re-define how a company operates when you're just starting out.  If research shows that a company thrives by having a clear chain of command, don’t redefine the org chart. If successful businesses in your industry all use a certain kind of software, put that first on your list of software choices. It's important to be creative and do what works for you when launching a company, but this doesn't necessary mean overhauling the basics that can jump-start a business.

3. Solicit advice from others

Entrepreneurs undertaking their first business venture can learn a lot of trade secrets from those who have launched a business before.  Even the best-prepared entrepreneurs who have conducted extensive research may be missing key information that only comes through experience. Speaking to those who have already passed the trials and tests of a new business can provide entrepreneurs with new insights that may impact their business decisions. In addition, current business owners may pose questions or provide feedback that can help entrepreneurs circumvent potential issues.