The Art of the Start
Serial entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, discusses the importance of "Making Meaning". Guy has discovered that the start-ups that set out to Make Meaning will probably make money, and the companies that set out to make money will probably not make money or meaning. ACP also recommends Kawasaki’s best-selling book, The Art of the Start.
IBM SME Toolkit: Deciding on a Business
The IBM SME Toolkit for Veterans is a comprehensive capacity-building tool for small and medium-sized entrepreneurs. Throughout the ACP Small Business Resource Center, you will find links to training sessions in the IBM SME Toolkit. This first section, Deciding on a Business, is designed to help you figure out what is the right type of business venture for you. After you've decided what type of venture best suits you, read the following article to learn how to find a niche within your market. Market segmentation - or finding a niche - allows you to avoid competing in price with big-box retailers.
The Lean Start-Up
Eric Ries discusses the "Lean Start-Up" business model at Stanford University in this hour-long video clip. The basic framework is: build, measure, learn.
Choosing the Right Projects
In this 2-minute clip from Stanford University, Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer discusses how Microsoft decides which new ideas to fund and how to sift through the rest.
The Nuts and Bolts of Great Business Plans
In this how-to guide for writing a great business plan, provided by the Whitman School of Management, you will find detailed information on how to clearly and concisely write each section of your business plan. You’ll also learn to think about the bigger picture for your start-up.
IBM SME Toolkit: Business Plans
This section of the Toolkit provides a comprehensive guide to writing your business plan.
Get Feedback Where You Can
Jeff Hawkins, Founder of Numenta, encourages entrepreneurs to involve people in their problems and to solicit as many qualified opinions as they can in this 2-minute video clip from Stanford University.
Writing a Compelling Executive Summary
Last but certainly not least, Guy Kawasaki offers pointers on writing an Executive Summary that makes your audience want to read the rest of your business plan. The Executive Summary should be written last, and it is the most important component of your business plan.
IBM SME Toolkit: Organization
The Organization section explains differences in types of business organizations. After deciding which business structure is right for your venture, read more about licenses, permits, and business names.
New York Times Small Business Guide
After you've decided the right type of organization for your venture, read the NY Times article below to learn how - and why it is necessary - to register your Start-up. Another important step for Start-up ventures is creating an Advisory Board. Find tips from the NY Times on how to choose members for your Board in "How to Create an Advisory Board."
IBM SME Toolkit: Finance
The IBM SME Toolkit offers a training section on Accounting & Cash Flow as well as a section on How to Finance Your Business. In the Toolkit, you will also find budgeting calculators and a template to help estimate Start-up Costs.
At Revenue Bootcamp, Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, discusses how the internet has made so many things free and publicly available and whether or not this is a good thing for business. Anderson examines the new way to make money in the digital age - the ‘Freemium’. He says many companies have successfully adopted this new business model. The Wall Street Journal uses a Freemium: they give away the most popular content online, and then monetize the niche.