As any entrepreneur worth their salt will know, you need to take advantage of all the help you can get when starting a small business. Getting a company off the ground requires a number of key ingredients. A good idea is essential to start with and once you have that making it work will demand determination, commitment and good, old-fashioned luck.
However, another key ingredient that entrepreneurs simply cannot fake is experience. Learning from past mistakes and successes can make or break a fledgling business, but how can an entrepreneur who’s just starting out ever hope to accomplish this? Heading online is often a great way to start. There are numerous websites that enable entrepreneurs to share experience, as well as provide advice and help to articulate the market for those not in the know.
To that end we’ve put together a list of top 10 websites to take a look at if you’re keen to build up a small business. If you’re a budding entrepreneur these are simply not to be missed:
This website touts itself as a place where young entrepreneurs meet and start up. As a result it has the kind of young, fresh approach to start-ups you’d expect. It contains content that is practical as well as inspiring, including things like tips for excellence from Google CEO Eric Schmidt and how to live on the entrepreneur’s inherently tight budget.
Founded by two Nicks (Williams and Hignett) this site tends to focus on the rather spiritual side of starting your own business, namely doing something you love. The sacrifices all entrepreneurs make to realise their professional ambitions automatically lead to a lot of soul-searching. Inspired Entrepreneur reflects this and is founded on pillars that embrace authenticity, working for love and money, being of service and releasing your potential.
At Under30CEO their motto is ‘Live the dream’. This may make the site and its founders, Jared O’Toole and Matt Wilson, seem fairly naive but the content is sound, covering off news, advice, trends, upcoming events and examples of early stage businesses. Their Resource Centre can also be a great place to find the building-blocks for your business. including pre-screened designers, SEO consultants, call centre software and more.
As the url would suggest, this website is a primary online resource for anyone looking to set up a start-up. Their how-to guides can prove indispensable whatever stage of the process you’re at and the breakdown of the different stages involved in starting a business can make the whole thing feel accessible and achievable. ‘The ‘Treps’ section is also superb when it comes to getting advice and anecdotes straight from the horse’s mouth.
Based in New York, Inc.com is the online portal of the print Inc. Magazine, which has been published for more than 30 years. The team has a lot of experience in offering readers a broader and deeper understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape, as well as recognising new movers and shakers in this important and growing market segment. The site itself boasts an excellent ‘Tools’ section, incorporating things like business plan powerpoint templates and examples of bulk sales contracts.
This UK-based website it a great resource for entrepreneurs based in Britain, since it largely covers news and developments this side of the Atlantic. Sections such as ‘Legal Advice’ go into a great level of detail about issues that should be key to young entrepreneurs, allowing them to get to grips with the nitty gritty of starting a successful business. The sheer amount of content on the site may be slightly intimidating but it’s well worth a look if you’re keen to keep your finger on the pulse of the start-up market.
7# Making It
Making It is a US-based TV show that documents the stories of entrepreneurs, who are taped on location, highlighting the triumphs and challenges that small business enterprises face. The complementary website is a great place to learn from others’ experiences and find out about fresh ideas across the pond. It is also the home of a blog written by Nelson Davis, which can be a colourful and inspirational read.
As well as boasting a plethora of small business-related articles, this website is the home of the Startups Clinic. This section of the site enables you to ask their panel of experts how to solve your business problems. The great thing about this feature is that they forward featured questions to those with specific expertise in the relevant field. This section also allows you to browse through an archive of previous Startups Clinic questions, to see if somebody else has already addressed an issue you may be grappling with.
This is another UK-based resource that includes all the latest news content, which any entrepreneur should be well-versed in. One of the great features of this site is the ‘Find an Expert’ section, which uses a map interface to enable you to search for people by specialty and location. This can be a superb way to connect with business advice specialists and organise one-to-one advice from an expert in your area.
10# Venture Hacks
Compared to a lot of business-related sites Venture Hacks exudes a great deal of energy and vitality. It is essentially a blog by ‘Nivi’ and ‘Naval’, who boast to have “founded companies like AngelList and Epinions; invested $20M in companies like Twitter; helped start companies backed by Sequoia, Benchmark, Kleiner Perkins, and Atlas; and advised many others.” As well as raw enthusiasm, one of the real draws of this site is the books section, which incorporates lauded recommendations for reading materials to take your entrepreneurial learning offline.
Author Bio:- This is a guest post contributed by Julie Pena. She writes on behalf of www.printerinks.com. Julie works in marketing and design. To find out more follow her on Twitter.