The road to business success is littered with failures. On the other hand, it is also paved with success because people like you and me dared to venture and do it inspite of the obstacles. Starting your own business is not for the faint-hearted because it takes a lot of enterprise and sheer hard work.
To be honest, these days’ obstacles aren’t many, except the ones you create yourself. There are so many resources that show you how to start your own business. Starting your own business starts with a germ of an idea. We covered that when we saw 8 Websites for Creative Business Ideas If You Want to Be an Entrepreneur.
Let’s now take a look at how to start a business with the guidance of these ten websites.
The link lands you on the page which talks all about building your own business. How-to guides, startup basics, startup financing, business ideas, and success stories are well covered. A series of articles on how to lay the groundwork for your startup business are worth a read. Also, check out the Two Weeks to Startup page for some step-by-step hand holding. Whenever I am on this site, I always make it a point to read the success stories for some much needed inspiration.
This is a business education website run by a nonprofit organization founded by philanthropist Phil Holland. The business education courses on the site can teach about the nitty-gritty of starting your own business. They have two certificate courses on Entrepreneurial Education and Advanced Business Growth. You can also read through the course without the free registration. Both are free. The course pools together the collective wisdom of many successful entrepreneurs, so expect to read and see (via videos) lots of first-hand advice.
The business website has tools, resources, and a knowledge bank for starting, growing and managing small and home-based businesses. You can start with business ideas and move through the other tabs to reach the one which says “Start Business”. Unfortunately the forum is closed, but you will find many tools like worksheets for starting your business, startup checklist, calculate your startup costs…and more.
Sometimes you can’t do it alone. That’s where SCORE.org can help out by putting you in touch with a mentor who can guide you along the first steps of starting a business. The About page mentions two statistics which just might reassure you – SCORE is a valuable network of 13,000+ volunteers who offer small business entrepreneurs confidential business counseling services at no charge. Dedicated volunteers on SCORE represent over 270,000 years of experience across 62 industries. The non-profit organization is also allied with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA).
If you are planning to be a small business owner (or a big one), start with the ‘Getting Started’ section on this business how-to site. The site focuses on small businesses and supports them through insightful feature articles written by a network of bloggers. If you are interested in being a franchisee, head to the ‘Franchise AllStars’ section for spotting business opportunities. The site also has a large collection of videos with advice and tips for business owners.
Putting down a business plan is one of the more basic steps when starting on a new business. The site is all about business plan templates and also about other business tips. There are more than 500 sample business plans available for you to use, all neatly arranged in categories. Also, don’t forget to catch the business planning videos on the site.
The online business magazine has an entire series of how-to guides that cover everything from running a business to innovation. Another useful section you can always tap is ‘Ask Inc’ where you can have your business queries addressed by experts. The ‘Tools’ page is a library of sample forms, job description templates, interactive worksheets, spreadsheets, and contracts. Some documents available from DocStoc may be tagged with a buy sticker, but you can always look through them for ideas.
The Small Business page on WSJ is filled with nuggets like How to Decide if Entrepreneurship is Right for You and How to Start a Business with a Partner. The how-to guides are very well authored and supported by podcasts. The above to example posts are all part of the ‘How-To Guide for Small Business’. The powerful search engine should also come in use if you are searching for business or franchisee opportunities to start your business.
There are two things (among a few more) to really go through on this site. The 10 Steps to Open for Business gives you a step-by-step plan to plan your first foray. The Small Business Braintrust is a series of video lectures for those who prefer to watch rather than read. Of course, there are other vital sections like the community on the site as the screenshot shows.
The U.S. Small Business Administration site is the electronic gateway for all your business information needs if you are in the U.S. From financing to entrepreneurial assistance, the organization is a support group for the businessman. For instance, SBA promotes free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses in over 1,800 locations throughout the United States and US territories. It has various other programs like the SBADirect which is like an answer engine for your region specific business needs. The Business.gov official government site has also moved here.
Information is available at a surplus if you want to know how to start a business. Share your business story with us in the comments. How did you start? Which were the resources that helped to bolster you in the early days?
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