Are you thinking about becoming an entrepreneur or solopreneur? If so, then you are certainly not alone.
There are thousands – if not millions – of people who dream about pursuing their passions and becoming their own bosses. And indeed, thousands of people in the U.S. strike out on their own each year.
Taking those first steps towards becoming an entrepreneur and starting a new business may seem a little scary to you. This may be especially true if you’re choosing to leave a secure job with a decent paycheck and benefits.
For the most part, though, an entrepreneur who is ready to take that leap of faith is also more than ready to exchange his or her cubicle and commute for flexibility and fulfillment.
If this sounds like you, keep reading!
How to get started as an entrepreneur…even when you have no idea where to start
A person who wants to become an entrepreneur in today’s modern world has one key advantage: the internet. There are thousands of places where you can go online and find information about becoming an entrepreneur and starting a business.
I’ll get to some of those resources soon.
When you are first getting started as a new entrepreneur, though, you’re usually in a nebulous state where you have all sorts of various ideas running around in your head (or on many pieces of paper).
One of your first steps involves organizing all of those thoughts and narrowing them down. You also need encouragement and motivation to take the next step(s).
In her article for Entrepreneur, “So You Want to Be Your Own Boss…” Tamara Monosoff shares eight more excellent tips to “get you going, even if you don’t know where to start.”
Here are those eight tips:
- Take a stand for yourself.
- Identify the Right Business for You.
- Business Planning Improves Your Chances for Success.
- Know Your Target Audience Before You Spend a Penny.
- Understand Your Personal Finances and Choose the Right Kind of Money You Need for Your Business.
- Build a Support Network.
- Sell By Creating Value.
- Get the Word Out.
So you’ve gotten organized, you have a business plan in place…and you’re ready to be an entrepreneur?
Just like most other significant choices you make in your life, being an entrepreneur doesn’t end with making the decision to become one. Nor will you become an overnight success just because you have something that everyone needs.
It’s important to note that most entrepreneurs experience constant growth and learning. One reason is because it’s important that the entrepreneur keeps up with trends in his/her industry and target market.
Staying on top of the trends that matter most requires access to excellent and trustworthy resources. As I mentioned above, there are literally thousands of websites and articles that you can learn from. And each site offers value to a budding entrepreneur, at least to some extent, but there is no one-size-fits-all solution.
However, there are trustworthy sites which can provide a new entrepreneur with the basics, as well as more detailed information as he/she grows.
Here are five reliable online resources for a new (or even a not-so-new) entrepreneur:
By its name alone, you know this site is going to be a good one to bookmark. This popular go-to resource for entrepreneurs provides current news and articles which are well-written and entertaining as well as informative. Entrepreneur also hosts educational live events and webinars which any business owner – whether just starting out or seasoned – may find useful to attend.
This is a fantastic site designed specifically for entrepreneurs. This free online resource is hosted by the Kauffman Foundation which is a private foundation which provides grants for education and entrepreneurship.
The site’s library shares abundant information about the following topics:
- Accounting & Finance
- Marketing & Sales
- The Entrepreneur
- Business Operations
- Products & Services
- Human Resources
- Public Policy
I wanted to include this site since it’s one of my personal favorites. Are you asking yourself, “What is a “noobpreneur”? The founder of Noobpreneur.com, Ivan Widjaya, defines it for us:
It is a term I’ve coined to describe myself as – Noobpreneur = Newbie Entrepreneur. I define a newbie entrepreneur as someone who is ALWAYS a newbie (first-timer) in his/her entrepreneurial journey. In other words, a noobpreneur is someone who is not afraid to learn new knowledge and try new things.
If you’re a noobpreneur, too, who is short on time, but who also wants to stay in-the-know, then this multi-authored blog site is perfect for you, too. The authors from this site share their knowledge through relevant and informative articles. The result is an invaluable resource for any entrepreneur, “newbie” or not.
This site offers a wealth of free, easy-to-access information to help new entrepreneurs “learn everything there is to know about running a business.” You’ll find dozens of definitions and current articles covering various topics which include “how to start a business,” and “how to sell online.”
The Small Business Administration (SBA) is a United States government agency which provides support to entrepreneurs and small businesses. Since its founding on July 30, 1953, the U.S. Small Business Administration has delivered millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.
Their site offers a wealth of information related to starting and managing a business, as well as an extensive “learning center.” The SBA Learning Center covers other important topics for entrepreneurs including marketing and financing.
Are any – or all – of these resources on your list? Do you have others you would add? Please feel free to let me know your thoughts and suggestions in the comments below.