Are you looking to take the leap into starting your own business in 2012? If you’re just starting to think about it, or if you have been planning it for a while, you still may have lots of unanswered questions. The following 101 resources will help you learn more about entrepreneurship, startups, small business, and much more.
Entrepreneurs & Startups
- Entrepreneur.com – Business ideas and trends from Entrepreneur Magazine. The latest news, expert advice, and growth strategies for small business owners.
- Forbes for Entrepreneurs – Read the breaking Entrepreneurs coverage and top headlines on Forbes.
- Inc. Start-up – Advice for founders of start-ups and start-up entrepreneurs on writing a business plan, running a home-based business, naming a start-up business, how to incorporate, financing a start-up, buying a small business, and starting a franchise.
- Mashable on Startups – Essential technology tips for startups.
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization – The Entrepreneurs’ Organization is dedicated to transforming the lives of the entrepreneurs who transform the world representing 40 countries with 120 worldwide chapters.
- About.com for Entrepreneurs – Help and advice for going from the idea stage to business plan to the marketplace and beyond.
- Harvard Business School Entrepreneurs – A video archives that captures insights from leading members of the School’s entrepreneurial community.
- Young Entrepreneur Council – YEC is an invite only nonprofit organization comprised of the country’s most promising young entrepreneurs.
- Ted Talks on Entrepreneurship – Video archive on talks about entrepreneurship.
- Kauffman Foundation – The Kauffman Foundation works to further understanding of the powerful economic impact of entrepreneurship, to develop programs that enhance entrepreneurial skills and abilities, and to improve the environment in which entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.
- Global Entrepreneurship Week – Global Entrepreneurship Week is the world’s largest celebration of the innovators and job creators who launch startups that bring ideas to life, drive economic growth and expand human welfare.
- Business Exchange on Entrepreneurship – This topic covers all things relevant to entrepreneurs, including information on the latest new ventures and tools that help them reach success.
- SCORE – SCORE is a nonprofit association dedicated to educating entrepreneurs and helping small businesses start, grow, and succeed nationwide.
- Focus – Focus makes the world’s business expertise available to everyone. At the heart of Focus is a network of thousands of leading business and technology experts who are thought leaders, veteran practitioners and upstart innovators in hundreds of different topics and markets.
- The 10 Best Entrepreneurship Courses of 2011 – University courses in entrepreneurship are better—more useful, more real, more likely to produce actual companies—than they have ever been. Here are 10 we’d love to take.
- Entrepreneur Finder – Entrepreneur Finder works by matching your interests, information and requirements with the individuals or companies that you are searching for. After you create a profile, you will have free access to contact other members and take advantage of the user search and matching features.
- Entrepreneur.com on Startup Financing – Need help on startup financing? Find everything you need to know about startup business financing and how to get your business the money it needs to get it.
- How Does Venture Capital Work – A simple guide on how venture capital works. firms and funds, and venture capital in a new company.
- Venture Capital on Alltop – The latest posts from top new sources on Venture Capital.
- National Venture Capital Association – As the voice of the U.S. venture capital community, the National Venture Capital Association (NVCA) empowers its members and the entrepreneurs they fund by advocating for policies that encourage innovation and reward long-term investment.
- Business Loans, Grants and Financing – Fill out this form to find financing for your small business. This form provides a guide to programs for which you may be eligible.
- Business, LLCs & Corporations Center – Starting a small business? Learn about LLCs, business plans, financing, and more. Everything you need to start and run a smart, successful small business.
- Compare Business Types – Use this business structure reference chart to compare common business types. Also see LegalZoom. Both can help you get started with your business filings.
- Bplans – Bplans offers free sample business plans, business plan software, business calculators, and articles on writing a business plan, starting a business, and other small business topics.
- How to Write a Business Plan – Whether you’re just starting out, need funding or want to monitor the health of your business, creating a business plan is your first step on the path to success. Read this extensive how-to to get started on your plan.
- Writing a Business Plan – Now that you’ve decided that you’d like to open a small business, you should put your thoughts down on paper. This way, your business idea is expressed in a plan – a living document that outlines every critical aspect of its operation.
- A Simple Guide to Starting a Business – This comprehensive guide from Square, Inc. covers the basics of starting a small business. It explains how to write a business plan and properly register a business. You’ll also learn how to finance a new business through investors and loans.
Accounting & Bookkeeping
- Accounting Basics – Staying on top of your small business bookkeeping is important to your business financing. Learn how to manage your business’ bookkeeping and more.
- Basic Accounting – Advice for start-ups, entrepreneurs, and small business owners on basic accounting, including how to calculate and track cash flow, profitability, earnings, Ebitda, gross margin, and a business’s breakeven point.
- 2012 Best Accounting Software Comparisons and Reviews – Compare the top ten accounting and bookkeeping software products for your small business.
- SBA on Hiring – When you’re ready to hire employees to work in your business, you’ll need to perform a few key steps to be in compliance with employment laws, and to ensure that your new employees understand the work for which they’ve been hired.
- Inc. on Recruiting and Hiring Employees – Advice for small business owners and entrepreneurs on recruiting and hiring employees,
- NOLO on Hiring Employees – When you hire employees, you need to know the rules on job descriptions, interviews, background checks and more. Find out how to gather the information you need and choose the right employee — without violating the law.
- Open Forum on Employee Management – Current archive of over 230 posts on employee management.
- About.com on Human Resources – This section of About covers HR management, workplace communication, job descriptions, policies, leadership, and more.
- Entrepreneur on Managing Employees – Managing employees can be a difficult task. Here is an online guide to managing employees.
- Fast Company on Hiring Employees – These features can help you identify the skills you need your employees to possess, find the employees you need, and how to link them up with the teams that will best bring out their potential.
- Small Business Tax Center – When you’re running a business, you don’t need to be a tax expert, too. But you do need some tax basics. IRS Small Business Advantage gives you the information you need to stay tax compliant so your business can thrive.
- SBA on Taxes – This section helps you with every aspect of the taxes you must collect from your customers, including strategies for tax record-keeping.
- Small Business Tax Strategies – Tax planning is a year-round event if you want to minimize your business’s tax bill. Whether it’s surviving an audit, capitalizing on business deductions, or finding tax-friendly ways to run your business, this Inc.com guide can help reduce your tax obligations and make paying taxes less anxiety provoking.
- KISSmetrics Marketing Guides – This page will get you started with marketing guides for social media (Twitter, Facebook, Reddit, and Digg), Google AdWords, email marketing, PPC, and more. All it’s missing is the Beginner’s Guide to Google+ and Content Marketing.
- The NOOB Guide to Online Marketing – If you’re new to online marketing, this post and infographic explains everything from analytics to social media marketing.
- The Beginners Guide to SEO – This online guide has 10 chapters covering search engine optimization from how search engines operate to tracking success.
- Introduction to Blogging – WordPress’ guide to blogging. Also don’t miss these 70+ Resources for Starting a WordPress Blog.
- Copywriting 101 – This tutorial is designed to get you up and running with the basics of writing great copy in ten easy lessons. Afterward, you’ll get recommendations for professional training, plus links to tutorials on SEO copywriting and writing killer headlines.
- Getting Started – If you are new to social media or you’re not sure you’re doing the right thing, this page is for you. It contains a number of videos and articles to help bring you up to speed.
- Getting Started with Google Analytics – Google Analytics is a free analytics tool to track your website’s visitors and traffic. Take a moment to configure your account and use this checklist as a reference to getting the most out of Google Analytics.
- The Smashing Networks – Need resources on web design? The smashing network includes over a dozen blogs dedicated to web design, CSS, WordPress, and much more.
- 2012 Best Antivirus Software Comparisons and Reviews – Compare the top ten antivirus software products for your small business.
- 2012 Best CRM Software Comparisons and Reviews -Compare the top ten customer relationship management solutions for your small business.
- Microsoft Office – Everything you need for Microsoft Office including learning resources, templates, graphics, and more. Not ready for Microsoft Office? Try Open Office or Google Documents as free alternatives.
- 2012 Payment Gateway Services Comparisons and Reviews – Compare the top ten payment gateway services for your small business.
Small Business Blogs, News & Guides
- OPEN Forum – A wealth of resources for business owners – videos, articles, blogs, podcasts, and expert advice to boost your business, sponsored by American Express OPEN.
- NYT Small Business – Find breaking news & money news on mortgage rates, mutual funds, the stock market, bonds & notes, company research, earnings reports and market insight.
- Mashable on Small Business – Essential technology news and tips for small businesses.
- Inc. – Get advice, tools, and services that help your small business grow.
- BusinessWeek on Small Business – Get information for small business startups and entrepreneurs. Find helpful resources about small business management, financing, marketing & technology.
- Small Business Trends – Small Business Trends is the premier source of information, news and advice covering issues of key importance to the small business market.
- CNN on Small Business – Latest financial news on small businesses, including tips for small biz owners, small business loans, management, startups and entrepreneurs.
- Wall Street Journal’s Small Business How To Guide – WSJ small business guide covering how to fund, start, run, buy, sell and manage your small business.
- Reuters on Small Business – Reuter’s blog section for small business and entrepreneurial advice.
- Alltop Startups – Alltopstartups is dedicated to profiling startups, reviewing new and top internet and mobile products.
Books for Small Business & Entrepreneurship
- Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap… and Others Don’t – Over five years, the team analyzed the histories of all twenty-eight companies in the study. After sifting through mountains of data and thousands of pages of interviews, Collins and his crew discovered the key determinants of greatness — why some companies make the leap and others don’t.
- EntreLeadership: 20 Years of Practical Business Wisdom from the Trenches – Whether you’re sitting at the CEO’s desk, the middle manager’s cubicle, or a card table in your living-room-based startup, EntreLeadership provides the practical, step-by-step guidance to grow your business where you want it to go.
- The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It – In this first new and totally revised edition of the 150,000-copy underground bestseller, The E-Myth, Michael Gerber dispels the myths surrounding starting your own business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business.
- Breakthrough Entrepreneurship – Using examples of companies large and small (Zipcar, Parenting Magazine, Wal-Mart, Google), Burgstone and Murphy teach readers to find and fill an unmet customer need, plan for profitability, strive for sustainability, establish credibility, gather necessary resources, lead and manage effectively, and maintain balance. (Publication Date: March 2012)
- Midas Touch: Why Some Entrepreneurs Get Rich-And Why Most Don’t – Through two of the world’s most successful and influential entrepreneurs’ real life stories of success, failure, perseverance and purpose, you’ll discover how they do it and whether or not you have what it takes to drive your own entrepreneurial success.
- 12 Business Lessons from Your Favorite Cartoons – As we grow older and more wise, it becomes clear that these cartoons taught us how to not only be good people, but also good business people.
- 20 Business Lessons Learned from Monty Python – Skeptical that there are indeed lessons to be learned from Monty Python? These 20 pearls of Pythonic wisdom will show you the light.
- 60+ Unexpected Business Lessons – In business, you can learn something new and unexpected at virtually any time or any place. With that in mind, the CarolRoth.com contributor network of entrepreneurs, advisors and experts have shared their most unexpected or unusual business lessons.
- 5 Best Business Lessons From Warren Buffett – Small-business owners can learn a lot from the leaders and innovators in big business, especially the Sage of Omaha.
- 10 Business Lessons From a Snarky Entrepreneur – Here are 10 positive lessons I learned from more than 12 years as an entrepreneur.
- 3 Business Lessons From The Godfather – So what can you learn from The Godfather? Here are some valuable lessons.
- 14 Inspiring Life and Business Lessons From Richard Branson – If there’s one guy I’d want to trade lives with for a day it would probably be Richard Branson. He’s made a fortune, has had a blast doing it, and still seems to be going strong. These are just 14 incredible life and business lessons from him that really inspired me.
- Top 10 Business Lessons from Bill Gates – He’s retired from his role as Microsoft’s CEO and instead devotes himself full-time to philanthropy through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Below, you’ll find 10 business lessons from the life of Bill Gates.
- 12 Most Compelling Business Lessons from Rock Stars – Business is a lot more fun when you learn from rock stars instead of text books. If your ears are open, you’ll find that many essential business lessons are coming through your speakers.
- 11 Business Lessons Steve Jobs Taught Me – Although I’m young and haven’t been following Jobs’ career as intently as others, he has taught me a lot about business in the last five years. Here are 11 things I’ll never forget that Steve Jobs taught me.
- 14 Business Lessons For Every Entrepreneur – A quick and easy read with 14 tips for every entrepreneur.
- Top 30 Inspirational Entrepreneur Quotes – The following is a compilation of various motivational quotes from famous entrepreneurs and are in no particular order, nor are they a definitive list of the best quotes ever.
- What is a Social Entrepreneur – Social entrepreneurs are individuals with innovative solutions to society’s most pressing social problems. They are ambitious and persistent, tackling major social issues and offering new ideas for wide-scale change.
- 12 Most Damaging Myths About Social Entrepreneurs – They’re the answer not only to our economy but to issues such as obesity, institutional racism, poverty, sustainability, and other social concerns. Unfortunately there are many misperceptions about social entrepreneurship that are keeping many people from embracing this growing trend.
- Forbes’ List of the Top 30 Social Entrepreneurs – For the first time in Forbes’ 94-year history, we’ve assembled the Impact 30: a list of the world’s leading social entrepreneurs. We’re defining “social entrepreneur” as a person who uses business to solve social issues.
- Skoll Foundation – One of the leading foundations in the field of social entrepreneurship.
- Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship – The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship provides unparalleled platforms at the regional and global level to highlight and advance leading models of sustainable social innovation.
- Business Week on Social Entrepreneurship – Social Entrepreneurship is still in its infancy and has a lot of growing up to do before it will have major impacts. Read updated news, blogs, and resources about Social Entrepreneurship.
- Social Entrepreneurship on Alltop – The latest posts from top new sources on Social Entrepreneurship.
Top Entrepreneurs 2011
- Top Young Entrepreneurs 2011 30 Under 30 – Inc.com’s annual list of the top young entrepreneurs in America. See featured profiles and video in this year’s 30 Under 30.
- Top 10 Female Entrepreneurs – From healthcare to baby food to technology consulting, these female entrepreneurs have forged their way to the top of their fields.
- Top 10 Black Entrepreneurs – These 10 Black entrepreneurs from around the country bootstrapped their firms and built fast-growing enterprises, earning them a spot on the Inc. 500.
- Top 10 Latino and Hispanic Entrepreneurs – With family roots that trace back to Spain and Central and South America, these Latino and Hispanic entrepreneurs have built some of the fastest-growing American companies.
- Top 10 American Indian Entrepreneurs – From IT solutions to military services, these are the top small businesses run by CEO’s of American Indian heritage.
- Top 10 South Asian Entrepreneurs – From IT services to industrial supply, these are the top small businesses run by CEOs of South Asian heritage.
- Top 10 East Asian Entrepreneurs – From mobile accessory designer to media outlet, these are the top small businesses run by CEO’s of East Asian heritage.
- Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs 2011 – For our annual survey of the most promising technology entrepreneurs, Bloomberg Businessweek’s editors and writers weighed input from venture capitalists, angel investors, and other representatives of startups.
We know there are many more resources for entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses out there. Please share your favorites in the comments!
About the Author: Kristi Hines is a freelance writer, blogger, and social media enthusiast. Her blog Kikolani focuses on blog marketing, including social networking strategies and blogging tips.