Here’s some excellent news for entrepreneurs looking to start a business today: many high-quality resources are available for free online. The following links are great sources of inspiration and information for building a platform, website or business.
Modern Tools and Websites
These days, online business content needs to be condensed into bite-sized blogs, videos, or other media. Fortunately, modern tools for creating websites or businesses are much more user friendly than previous ones, which helps business owners put them to good use right away.
- Wix: As of 2017, 110 million people were using Wix to create their own websites. The platform boasts over 500 fully customizable templates and is completely free. To help users make the most of their websites, there is also the Wix YouTube platform with entire tutorial playlists dedicated to Wix Code (beginner up to advanced), WIX SEO, photography, and ADI.
- U.S. Small Business Administration: This government organization provides tools to help entrepreneurs, including loans for qualified small businesses. It also connects owners with mentors and trainers. Their website has myriad resources conveniently broken down by state.
To find out more, watch: An Introduction to the Small Business Administration
- TED: TED is a nonprofit organization dedicated to spreading ideas in short, powerful talks that are easy to digest. With tens of thousands of videos to choose from, there are many TED Talks about starting businesses. Watching these is a great way to soak up information from industry leaders.
There are many professionals who are making important contributions to thought leadership within the business world. The amazing part is that they write articles and create videos about their experiences, successes and tips and, often, make them available for free. Some that immediately spring to mind are:
- “How to Start a Small Business in a Few Hours”: This Inc. article breaks down how to overcome administrative obstacles which may be standing in the way of starting a new business.
- “The 3 Most Important Legal Structures for Startup Success”: The legal structure of startups is explored in this Business Insider article, including overviews of legal entity types and documents needed for startup success.
- “7 Tips for Building a Successful Company”: This Fortune article delves into various ways of building a successful company, ranging from maintaining passion to picking investors.
- “10 Rules to Build a Wildly Successful Business”: This Forbes business article focuses on building a brand and the importance of being radically different, as well as practical tips for conserving funds.
Learn How To Build The Next Billion Dollar Startup from Forbes
Types of Businesses
A critical decision that business owners must make is which type of business model best suits their needs. Due to various legal, tax and reporting implications, choosing can be a bit overwhelming. Check out these resources and tools designed to help make it easier to choose a business structure.
- “A Skill Set for a Successful Sole Proprietorship”: This BizFluent article explores the skills an entrepreneur needs in order to take on the sole proprietorship business type.
- “7 Tips for a Successful Business Partnership”: The exact limitations and goals of a partnership are discussed in this Business Know-How article, along with plenty of pertinent examples.
- “5 Reasons Why an LLC is the Right Structure for Your Startup”: Starting an LLC can be an intimidating prospect, but this Inc. article breaks down why this business type is an excellent choice for early stage startups. The article also delves into taxation, assets and other relevant issues.
- “Getting Your Corporation Started”: The steps necessary to get a corporation off the round are broken down in this Money article, from as basic as picking a name to as complex as deciding on corporate bylaws.
Funding: Credit Cards and Small Business Loans
Funding, such as securing loans, capital investors or credit lines, is an important part of starting or growing a company. Here are some general tips, followed by specifics about credit cards and small business loans.
- “10 Ways to Finance Your Business”: Finding capital is tough but as this Inc. article points out, there are many different financing techniques available to those who wish to pursue them.
- “You Want to Start a Business — How Should You Finance It?”: Steering new entrepreneurs away from legal pitfalls and toward more solid options is the focus of this Entrepreneur article.
Often, credit cards are associated with debt, interest, and fees. However, they can be a solid financing option for entrepreneurs who need the funding to start their businesses. According to a recent survey by Bank of America and the U.S. Trust, “half of millennial entrepreneurs, compared to 31 percent of founders overall, relied on external capital to fund their company.” Here is a good look at some of the ways to obtain money for the purpose of starting or expanding a business.
- “Using Credit Cards to Fund Your Business”: This Entrepreneur article covers specific ways in which credit cards can be used as a source of funding to further expand a growing startup.
- “The 8 best small business credit cards to open in 2018”: This Business Insider article compares the advantages of certain credit cards that are suitable for the needs of small businesses.
Learn more about the Best Way to Finance Your Small Business Expansion from Forbes
Obtaining loans for business use can be a bit tricky. There are many types to choose from, not to mention the other specifics that need to be ironed out before requesting a loan. For instance, consider what the loan is going to be used for, exactly. Other decisions needed include what length the loan should be and which assets can be used as collateral. For more on the subject, peruse the following:
Small Business Loans
- “Getting a Business Loan”: This Money article walks a potential loan-recipient through the entire loan process, from three initial questions to ask up to how to use the assets once allotted.
- “Get More Funding”: The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has many ways to fund small businesses, all of which are explored in this investment-based article.
Find out more about Small Business Administration Loans here
How to Avoid Debt
As many graduates know, debt is a burden that can haunt a person for decades. Student loans in 2017 alone totaled over $5.9 trillion, according to the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. So it should come as no surprise that many Millennial and Gen Z entrepreneurs are not keen to pile on more financial obligations. Here are the best tips and tricks to avoid debt while starting a business.
- “How to Keep from Getting Buried in Debt When Starting a Business”: This All Business article outlines the way in which startups should micromanage their money in order to avoid going into debt.
- “3 Ways to Start Your Business Without Going Into Debt”: This Muse article offers up realistic, actionable ways in which to start a business, without going into debt.
- “5 Strategies for Entrepreneurs to Steer Clear of the Debt Trap”: Five simple methods for staying out of debt are explored in this Entrepreneur article, starting with doing your homework.
How to Invest
Investing can be an excellent way to grow a company. There are many opportunities to watch for and many pitfalls to avoid along the way. Make sure to know which situations to go for and which to avoid at all costs by checking out the following content.
- “3 Early Investments Every Entrepreneur Should Make”: This Entrepreneur article covers three types of investments of which fledgling business owners should take note.
- “How to Invest When You Have Student Loans”: This Financial Diet article shows those currently struggling with student loan debt how to invest wisely, as well as why it is a smart choice in the long run.
Discover the Poor Millennial’s Guide To Investing by Forbes