Start Your Own Business
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? Here are some resources to help you evaluate your entrepreneurial success traits, start a business, and keep it going and growing.
First ask yourself why you want to start your own business and how your personal strengths may help you reach that goal.
Pros and Cons
In addition to self-assessment, you may find it useful to read what other entrepreneurs have written about the pros and cons of starting your own business.
Pros and Cons of New Grads Starting a Business (Entrepreneur.com) - This article explores the pros and cons of starting a business straight out of college and opens up a conversation for graduating students thinking about business ownership.
Start Your Own Business for 100 Dollars or Less (ABC News story) - Each budding entrepreneur’s experience will be different, but it can be inspiring to read how others have started a successful business without a lot of capital. In this interview, Tory Johnson describes launching Women For Hire, which offers recruitment services for women, with less than 100 dollars in her pocket.
As you begin to develop and implement your new business plan, be sure to take advantage of local resources in your community. These are just a few examples.
New Work City - New Work City is a coworking space and center for independents. Built as a community first and a business second, New Work City is the collective result of the participation of countless people who believe in its mission and subscribe to its values.
U.S. Small Business Administration (Local Offices) - Delivers millions of loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses. Find your regional office here.
Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce - Offers strategic networking opportunities, business advocacy and leadership development to 1,500 organizations of all sizes, representing virtually every industry in the region.
Jewish Venture Mentoring Service (JVMS) - Brookline, MA, nonprofit that provides free support and mentoring services to entrepreneurs as they navigate through an increasingly complex and competitive business environment. They match prospective as well as experienced entrepreneurs with veteran business professionals who serve as mentors. Ventures range from those developing an idea to those well along in their product launch cycle. Mentors are chosen based on their breadth of experience in areas relevant to the needs of the entrepreneurs. JVMS services are provided in the spirit of tzedakah, at no charge.
There are many free web-based resources at your finger tips. These are just a few suggestions; you will find more online, and in your community, to fit your specific needs.
U.S. Small Business Administration - Delivers loans, loan guarantees, contracts, counseling sessions and other forms of assistance to small businesses.
S.C.O.R.E. - Retired executives and entrepreneurs offering business startup advice.
Center for Women and Enterprise - Nationally known non-profit organization dedicated to helping people start and grow their businesses.
Business Innovation Factory - Non-profit dedicated to helping its private and public sector members learn from the best minds in business innovation and provide opportunities to network and collaborate with organizations that are driven to explore and test new business models.
500 Startups - Provides early-stage companies with up to $250K in funding, their startup accelerator program, and unique events.
My Own Business - Non-profit offering free online courses and resources.
Springwise - Helped by a network of 15,000 spotters, Springwise editors scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds.
Under30CEO - This website focuses on resources, tips, advice, and training for young entrepreneurs, young CEOs and startup companies.
An Entrepreneurial Life - This website is dedicated to shining a spotlight on innovative student entrepreneurs to inspire the next generation of students to do the same. It also offers book reviews, a glossary of business terms, a free newsletter, and a comprehensive list of crowdfunding sites and platforms.
How to Launch a Successful Crowdfunding Campagin - This guide from OnlineMBA.com walks readers through each step, from understanding the market and developing a production plan before launching a campaign to storytelling and donor communication once it is live.
mosaicHUB - This online business community provides entrepreneurs and small businesses with the advice and resources they need to grow. After creating a free account, start out by asking for business advice or read about the latest business trends in the Resource Center. When you know your business needs, search their list of experts for hire and get to know more about them through their dynamic profiles.
As you build your business, be sure to connect with groups and organizations in your community. Online tools and resources can be very helpful in providing information, but the local meetings and groups will help you build your network with savvy entrepreneurs, vendors and customers to help you succeed.
Modified version of an article by Leslie Warner, Associate Director for Alumni Career Services, Tufts University
Business Plans That Win $$$: Lessons from the MIT Enterprise Forum by Stanley R. Rich and David E. Gumpert
Business Coach Career Blog by Tanveer Naseer