Starting and successfully running a business comes with a daunting set of challenges and sometimes it seems like you, the entrepreneur, must carry the weight of the world on your shoulders.
In order to help ensure this is the year you successfully start your business (or improve an existing business), enjoy these free resources each month focused on the most important areas related to a venture's success.
Make sure to subscribe to the newsletter to get these new articles delivered to your inbox each week.
Here's what you can look forward to:
How do you choose the right business? In January, we'll look at resources and research that will help you select a business that meets your needs, goals and appetite for risk.
February: Business Plan
Does the idea of writing a business plan seem daunting? We'll break it down into a series of manageable steps, plus provide templates and seasoned advice from those who've been there.
Funding these days can take many forms: you can bootstrap, secure a loan, look for an angel, attract venture funding, get into an accelarator or incubator, or even seek cash from the crowd. But which funding sources will support your business in the right way? And what financial details do you need to nail down before you talk to banks and investors?
April: Starting Up
In April, we take the plunge and look at the real perils and rewards of starting up. Is your business one that can benefits from principles of the "Lean Startup"? We'll cover many facets of this challenging phase of a business' genesis, including stories from those who have been there.
Turning your business' value proposition into an indelible brand will be the backbone of May. We'll talk about emerging and low-cost digital means of getting the word out, including social media and email marketing.
June: Customer Acquisition
What are some of the best strategies for acquiring customers and getting them talking about your business? We'll continue an exploration of marketing and outreach in order to help equip you with the best possible tools to build a strong base of users.
One of the biggest challenges entrepreneurs face is how to manage their time and do great work. We'll look at different approaches for staying organized and dispatching that to-do list with aplomb. And because entrepreneurs are known for their single-minded determination and focus, we'll look at ways for staying balanced and staying sane.
August: Customer Service
There's a big difference in companies that merely "get by" in the realm of customer relations, and those that inspire wow-factor word of mouth. We'll look at the most inspiring customer-centric enterprises (like Zappos) and take away principles that can guide all of our business, large or small, to a higher level of customer relations.
If there's one critical skill every entrepreneur needs to possess, it's knowing when to quit. Quitting, of course, doesn't need to mean failure when it gives us the opportunity to pivot and respond to market forces with something new. So what's involved in a pivot?
There's no doubt about it: most startups fail. So how do you deal with setbacks and still keep plunging ahead. We'll look at strategies for constructively dealing with challenges in cashflow, staffing, vision and much more.
You've done everything right. You wrote a business plan, crunched the numbers, marketed your business with aplomb, and now have a good base of customers. But how do you scale to make sure next year is bigger than this one? In November, we'll talk about planning to scale and thinking bigger.
December: Taking Stock
Congratulations! You've made this your year of entrepreneurship. Learn about how to measure your progress and translate that into goals that will help you have an even better next year of business.