Starting up is a big thing. But it needs attention to small details. There is so much to explore and find out when you are doing it on your own. Not every startup is blessed with a team at the commencement. However, we know the pangs and we thought of listing down everything that we could think under the sun and the moon! Well, this is not the end but rather beginning of a series which we will do every month, to serve you a platter of resources. Volume 1 deals with the first phase where we have our thinking caps on. Enjoy the list.
Lean Startup Tools and Resources
Startup weekend : A powerful network for leaders and entrepreneurs to inspire and get inspired. Launch a startup in 54 hours.
The Lean Startup Machine : Launch a startup in 48 hours.
Startup Grind : A global startup community designed to educate, inspire and connect entrepreneurs.
Women 2.0 : Launch a startup, for women
Lean Startup Circle : Get practical help with Lean Startup.
Amazing Lean Startup Resources by Eric Ries : A gamut of resources from the man himself- Eric Ries, who coined the idea of Lean Startup.
Tools and Services for a lean startup : Find the best lean startup tools on this list. You can also add your faves.
Resources for Lean Startup : A library full of useful resources- videos, books and other help!
Small Business Forum :Get answers to every question you have regarding starting up.
The Admin Zone : This is the best place for entrepreneurs to connect. Whether you have a question or an idea to share, this forum is one stop for all of it.
About.com for entrepreneurs : Expect help and advice right from starting up to making a business plan to making a foothold in the market and beyond that as well.
SCORE : A nonprofit organization working towards educating entrepreneurs and guiding them to start their business and grow successfully across the nation.
Lean Startup Circle Google Groups :Read daily to know what lean entrepreneurs are discussing in real-time!
Making a Business Plan
How to write a business plan and Writing a Business Plan : These two are hands-on guide after you have decided to start your own business. Pen down your thoughts and document your business plan in details with the “how-to” guides.
Ten Mistakes to avoid when starting with your business plans : Few mistakes appear like patterns. They are common to every entrepreneur. Know at the earliest what they are and stay off from them.
Tips from the millionaires :Learn from those who have treaded the path already, and became not just successful but millionaires!
Learn about Business from the Leaders
For marketing we will need to cover areas like “Begin with”, “Marketing apps” “Startup Submission App”, “Inbound Marketing” “Sales and Business Development”, “Marketing networks”, “Submit Press Releases”, “Tips to get Beta users”, “A/B Testing”
Snip.ly : To display your ad on every page your customer visits.
MailChimp : You can now reach out to more than one customer at a time. Send out high quality emails and track down how many users have read it with this app.
Campaign Monitor : This is another email marketing service.
7 Ways to Make Your Business Card Your Best Marketing Tool : Your business card is not just card with your name in it. It has the potential to become your marketing friend, only if you know how.
10 Free Business tools too good to ignore : Good things come rare. But here are 10 tools that don’t cost a thing and are extremely valuable to a startup.
60 Awesome Social-Media Tools for Entrepreneurs : Streamline your social media functions and know your customers better.
The Ultimate Marketing Tool Library for Entrepreneurs : To work smart and fast, you need to have the best tools at your disposal.
7 Marketing tips : If you are a bootstrapped startup, then this is just for you.
The NOOB Guide to online marketing : This infographic from SEOMoz explains everything about social media and online marketing. If you are new, this post and infographic will be of great help.
An integral part of marketing involves curating SEO friendly content and marketing them. Organic and paid SEO, both are important.
Beginners’ Guide to SEO : Learn the basics of SEO.
Organic vs Non-organic SEO : Before you start, it is good to just go through the basic details of SEO.
How to write a great blog content : Just writing doesn’t help. A blog that can attract readers and convince them enough to get them converted is what content writing is about.
Tips to write SEo-Friendly Content : If your blog content is not SEO-friendly, your efforts are wasted!
50+ Resources to start blogging on WordPress : This is a basic guide to start working on the most prominent and easiest blogging platform- WordPress.
Copywriting 101 : Start writing great copy with this 10 easy lessons. After that you will also get links to tutorials for SEO, recommendations for professional trainings and also start writing killer headlines!
While it is important to have good content in your blog, it is also important to have good writers join your team. Here is how you can get good bloggers on board.
Also keep an eye on analytics. Keeping track of how many readers visit your blog, how much time they spend on each blog and what is the conversion rate are important. Hear Analytics guru Avinash Kaushik talk on how to break down analytics and track them for your website.
What looks good, sells. Yes, it’s true. It is important enough to make your website look good. It should not just convey your business idea but also be a medium which will connect you to your audience and also have maximum conversions.
Signal vs Noise: This blog from 37Signals is a must check.
Web Developers Handbook: This handbook has everything about web designing and development.
Google Website Optimizer: Maximize your conversions with this free tool.
The Smashing networks : This is one place for web designing resources.
Finance and Legal help
Legal issues do not pop immediately as you start. It occurs as days pass by. Therefore, it is advisable to stay alert and aware of what issues may come up and how to deal with them.
Legalzoom: Get incorporated in a cheap way.
Findlaw: Get your hands on the US Lawyers’ directory.
Accounting Basics: Get introduced to the basics of accounting principles, concepts and terminology.
Docstoc: Looking for ways to reduce your legal fees? Here is a place where you can lay your hands on free legal documents and templates. You can do quite a bit yourself as well, thanks to Docstoc.
Basic Accounting: A ready help for startups, entrepreneurs and SMBs on how to calculate and maintain a track of cash flow, earnings, gross margin, profits, Ebitda and breakeven point of a business.
You’ve Been Sued: What do You Do? : This has everything you were looking for under the term “sued”.
Tackling legal issues when starting off: Starting with the name of your business to its logo , structure and operation- everything has legal issues involved in them. This article comes handy to have a knowledge about such issues.
When we are talking about Legal Issues, it is vital that we talk about Tax issues as well.
Small Business Tax Strategies: Tax paying may nudge your anxiety. To make tax paying less obligatory, this Inc.com guide is very useful.
Small Business Tax Center: Being a tax expert is not mandatory. But being aware of the basics is a must. IRS Small Business Advantage gives you this basic information about taxes that adds to the years your business will thrive.
GOVT.UK : Finance and support your business, if you are in UK.
Six Sources of Startup Business Financing :Tips to Help you Find Startup Financing for your Small Business.
Grants for starting a business- What small business grants are available? :Business startup grants are hard to come by; here’s an overview of the new business grants available for small businesses and entrepreneurs.
How does Venture Capital Work? : A simple guide on how VC works.
National Venture Capital Association (NVCA): NVCA is considered the voice for US VC community. Members and entrepreneurs funded by NVCA also receive guide on innovation policies. Along with that comes long-term investment as well.
Business Loans, Grants and Financing : Via this form you can search for finance for your business. It also provides a guide to programs for which you might be eligible for.
While the above mentions are essentially money related, an Inc.com article on 3 unconventional ways to attract invstors definitely secures a place in this handbook.
While talking of money, or to be more precise, funding- you might want to check out this as well- The Side Effects of Funding
Build your skeleton team
Hiring your first employee : If you are considering of building a team, this is a must read to understand when and how to kickstart your hiring!
ADP : Check this out to save yourself from the hassles of payroll!
Recruiting and Hiring employees : A help from Inc.com
Entrepreneur.com : One stop for business ideas, trends, news, advice and strategies.
Forbes for Entrepreneurs : Stay updated about entrepreneur coverages and news.
The Four Steps to Epiphany :A book full of resources- “The bestselling classic that launched 10,000 startups and new corporate ventures – The Four Steps to the Epiphany is one of the most influential and practical business books of all time.”
The Lean Startup by Eric Ries :The coiner of the term ‘Lean’ for startups, Eric Ries explains most beautifully why an MVP is essential.
The Innovator’s Dilemma by Clayton M. Christenen :Harvard Professor and owner of more than one company explains how a business can vanish even after doing things “right”. Get the insights from the leader himself.
How to win Friends and influence People by Dale Carnegie : A consistent assistance to rich and successful business men for last 80 years, this book is the “grandfather of all-people-skills books”.This book has been a guide for entrepreneurs for years on how to tackle people and influence them.
Wall Street Journal’s Small Business How to Guide :Starting with funding to selling, WSJ has everything in it.
Reuters on SMB :Small Business advice and tips.
Midas Touch-Why some entrepreneurs get rich and-why most doesn’t :Know whether you have it in you to make it big.
Check out : 14 Books every entrepreneur should read in 2014
Videos to watch
Ted Talks on Entrepreneurship : A video library capturing entrepreneurs and thought leaders speaking on being an entrepreneur, and more.
Steve Jobs 2005 Stanford Commencement Address : Inspiring as he was and still is, Steve Jobs spoke about overcoming the odds one faces while starting up. An encouraging speech from the most innovative man the world had seen.
Harvard Business School Entrepreneurs : Another video library comprising of lectures from the leading minds belonging entrepreneurial community of the school.
Steve Blank at Stanford : A video on Customer Development by Steve Blank.
Eric Ries at Stanford : An introduction to Lean Startup Resources from the author of bestseller-The Lean Startup.
Developing the CEO within you :Professor Joseph Bower from the Harvard Business School talks on how to nurture, train and evolve the CEO within you. A perfect interview to hear for aspiring entrepreneurs.
RSA Animate – Drive: The surprising truth about what motivates us :This lively RSA Animate, adapted from Dan Pink’s talk at the RSA, illustrates the hidden truths behind what really motivates us at home and in the workplace.
Muhammad Yunus: The Social Business Model :Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace Prize winner and founder of The Grameen Bank, explains his “social business” model, a plan for addressing social issues through entrepreneurship.
Seth Godin: Ideas That Spread, Win :Entrepreneur and best-selling author Seth Godin speak about the importance of marketing via this simple phrase- “Ideas that spread, win”.
Entrepreneurial advice from Billionaires :Hear from the mouths of billionaires the secret to success.
Did we miss something? Leave your comments!
Don’t worry we will bring another list next month.