Resources for Starting a Business

There is a lot of practical support out there for people considering starting their own business. Some of it is free or at very low cost, and I realize money is tight at the beginning. Here are some good starting places, available across the U.S.

Inspiration for Starters

Before you start thinking about all the practical steps, which can seem overwhelming, I encourage you to get inspired and learn that you can do this. Some good resources for inspiration:

Articles:

Books:

Practical Support Resources (Free or Low-Budget)

Try not to get panicked as you start reading about all the things to think about. Sit down with someone knowledgeable (such as a free business counselor available at all the below links) and get help navigating. It doesn’t have to be that hard.

For clarity, these services are designed to help with the practical side (e.g., understanding business plans and loans).

They are not designed to help you clarify your calling, or address the fears or personal concerns about starting a business. That’s where a business coach or business support group comes in.

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Tools for Business Plans

Yep, you need at least a sketch of a plan. Without a plan, how will you know if it’s worth investing time and money? How will you know what to charge? How will you know what to promote? Once you have a plan, all the later steps get a lot easier!

Sometimes, you need a specific type of business plan if you’re seeking loans or investors. Even if you’re not doing that, you still want to have a plan for yourself.

A business plan is simply your notes about your goals and the information you need to reach those goals. You’ll outline what you’ll be doing, for who, and how. Here are some basic tools to help:

Naming a Business

Naming your business is NOT one of the first steps even though you are probably trying to name it now anyway. There is too much to consider before you name it. You want clarity of your key audience, your offerings, your mission, your values, etc., before you name it. But when you’re ready, here’s a good tool for naming a business.