Yoda tells us: “Do or do not. There is no try.” Well, that’s easy for a Zen-prone Jedi master chilling on a deserted, foggy swamp planet to say, but for those of you who are living in the fast-paced and competitive world of entrepreneurship and business startups, things might seem a tad more complicated than that.
Entrepreneurs have it pretty tough today. Between coming up with an innovative idea, raising capital, developing a minimum viable product, and generating a client base through branding and marketing, it’s a miracle that startups ever launch at all. With all of these challenges—not to mention the threat of obsolescence—facing business trendsetters today, wouldn’t it be great if there were some kind of comprehensive list of resources that entrepreneurs could turn to in order to help them streamline the startup process?
Oh, wait … there is...
Podcasts are an especially convenient well to tap for all of you budding entrepreneurs who are constantly running from meeting to meeting, trying to get your start-up off the ground while struggling to maintain some semblance of a personal life—in other words, they’re quick, information packed, and mostly entertaining tutorials you can fit into the length of a car ride. While we’ve already supplied a list of some great options for the business professional in a previous post (Podcasts for Entrepreneurs and Startups), this is an update focusing on a few gems that offer viewpoints on everything from product development to crowd funding and beyond.
This Week in Startups – In the realm of startup podcasts, this one is king. Providing an overview of the growing business world on a global scale, this inspirational and insightful podcast is hosted by an investor who started his career as an entrepreneur and now interviews the most influential names in the game for your benefit.
Mixergy – Yes, we covered this heavyweight in the original post, but there’s a reason we’re doubling down: combine the sheer volume of episodes available with their archive of transcriptions and the fact that they offer courses to premium subscribers, and you’ve got an impossibly rich resource for the true beginner.
The Full Ratchet – Where better to receive the inside scoop on what will entice big players to gamble their money on you than from the mouths of the people with the money? Primarily focusing on interviews with venture capitalists and angel investors, this podcast offers the ultimate peek into the minds of people who know smart investment and who will walk you through every aspect of their strategic approaches.
Entrepreneur on Fire – This podcast wasn’t awarded Best of iTunes (2013) for nothing. Not only does it deliver pure gold from an informational standpoint, but it does so while keeping you completely engrossed in the conversation with a truly engaging format, including incredibly successful entrepreneurs’ biggest failures and “Ah ha” moments.
How to Build a Rocketship – True to its name, this podcast is all about breaking the process down step by step, covering startup foundation from the ground up. With topics covering everything from product development to branding and crowd funding to customer feedback analysis, you’re sure to find answers to your most pressing questions here.
2. Social Networks
If you want to get your name out there, build on your knowledge base and gain access to the big names and ideas developing in your field NOW, then social networks are the way to make it happen. Sure, you could just start a LinkedIn account (which you should) or build a Facebook page for your friends to “like,” but if you want to run with the big dogs, these are just a handful of the sites you should consider checking out:
Startup Nation – Not just a social media site, Startup Nation allows you to access multiple resources via one platform, including blogs, forums, tutorials/seminars, and podcasts, not to mention competitions—truly an excellent resource for entrepreneurs who are just starting out.
Entrepreneur Connect – Brought to you by the people who offer Entrepreneur Magazine, this network is specifically targeted at entrepreneurs and other small business owners. While functions on this site may mirror others (networking, idea sharing, group creation, etc.), Entrepreneur Connect also allows you to create a blog that can be shared on your main page and encourages idea sharing as opposed to self-promotion.
PartnerUp – This is another great resource for anyone seeking to round out their team. Startup founders will have access to potential partners, accountants, and marketing professionals while also being able to search commercial real estate through their “MoveUpSM” feature. Of course, the standard social networking benefits apply here as well.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t include a list of great online tools for helping run your business once it’s launched. The following selection covers apps that will keep you organized, fund your startup, streamline your team functions, and help you process payments:
Kickstarter & Indiegogo – You’ll need funding before you can take your ideas to the next level, and these well-known crowd funding apps will help you get it. While Kickstarter is the go-to for selling your offerings prior to launch, Indiegogo is a great option for the arts and other creative projects that aren’t permitted on Kickstarter.
Docracy – Want legal documents without the usual hassle, fear and confusion? Docracy provides open, customizable legal documents submitted for public use by lawyers and other organizations.
Dribble, Fiverr, & Upwork – Every startup needs a good team of various personnel to make the cogs turn. These sites offer up a great selection of designers and other freelancers to help you round out this team according to your budget and specifications.
Mailchimp – Connect with customers and grow your business efficiently with multiple e-commerce resources in one location, including professional email campaign templates, marketing automation, analytics, and multiple integration options.
Basecamp – This is a great go-to for project management of remote team members. Assign tasks, create to-do lists, share files, and create message boards all on an easy-to-use platform that even non-tech-savvy collaborators will understand.
Clearly, there’s plenty of valuable information to sift through here (and we haven’t even touched on the value of old-school hand-to-paper options, like Forbes, Wired, and Fast Company). With this collection of resources, however, you should be on your way to launching your next startup with greater confidence and wisdom than ever before. Call us if you need help. We like creative, driven people.