It hasn't happened to me yet with brewing, but from the little -the VERY little- I know about running a small business, the first thing I would do an apprenticeship, internship, or residency. Ideally, this would involve keeping my day job and getting a part-time position in a local brewpub or micro, even on a volunteer basis if it would expose me to all aspects of the operation. In other words, in exchange for my sweat in cleaning, sanitizing, and doing all the grunge jobs, I would be paid in being informed on all other aspects of the businesss- licensing, obtaining premises, public health, taxation, accounting, etc. After a year or two of regular work at something like that, I think I'd be able to start considering either trying to line up financing....or run away screaming.
“Malt does more than Milton can / To justify God’s ways to man”
-A. E. Housman (1859–1936). A Shropshire Lad , 1896.