The climate surrounding small businesses changes on a daily basis. New technology, bits of financial investment advice and fundraising opportunities appear to be around every corner. And, this can be a great thing for a budding entrepreneur looking to launch a new venture. 

Why is this the case? For starters, it means that there are ample chances to turn an idea into a company. That is how nearly all great businesses are founded, and from that original concept comes investors, customers and success. However, it is possible to make some mistakes during these early, formative stages, and the best entrepreneurs understand the ins and outs of turning an idea into a startup.

With that being said, here are four efficient steps to do just that, and create a long-lasting, prosperous small business in the process:

1. Conduct preliminary research
All entrepreneurs think they have the next best thing, and that nobody has ever come up with the idea before. Unfortunately, this isn't always the case, Inc. magazine explained. In order to make sure – and avoid any sticky situations in the future – it is best to conduct some preliminary research before moving forward with a startup. For example, consider checking S-1 and 10-k filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. These documents can show if any other companies are pursuing the same avenue of thought. In addition, it may be wise to look at patent filings as well. If nothing comes up, that concept is free and clear.

2. Run an experiment
An entrepreneur with a new idea will have to double-check to make sure that it is viable. Taking the time to figure out future projections, including a potential financial plan, can go a long way toward ensuring the success of the company. Inc. magazine explained that running experiments can provide key answers. For instance, what would the business strategy be? Are there any competitors? Is it possible for costs and expenses to change drastically? The answers to these questions can determine whether or not the startup is sustainable, or even whether or not the idea is worth pursuing in the first place.

3. Recruit former colleagues
Leaving behind a steady paycheck in order to pursue a small business is a dream of many entrepreneurs. However, that also means walking away from all of those coworkers who may be able to provide some assistance. So, it can help to recruit those same people to a new company, Entrepreneur magazine explained. To do that, they have to be shown respect. This means refraining from broadcasting the new venture until ties have officially been cut, and ensuring that they don't find out about the business from an existing customer. Making sure all relationships are intact upon leaving can guarantee that networking opportunities remain for an extended period of time.

4. Ask for help
On a similar note, entrepreneurs should never be afraid to ask for help when creating a new venture, the news source noted. This can include reaching out to old colleagues and asking for advice, or talking to former bosses about tips and tricks to make it in the industry. In fact, being clear and upfront with these questions can make the process easier, and avoid any confusing scenarios down the line. Believe it or not, there are often multiple ways in which two companies can help each other succeed, even if one of them was created by a former employee. Keeping in touch with past contacts will mean that any problems could be solved quickly.