This area contains information on starting your own business and figuring out if this is really what you want to do. We also have information on Free Agents & Franchising as well as Steps in Starting Your Own Business. We also have some suggestions for Home-Based Businesses you might consider.
If you've decided that the self-employed life is for you, then be sure you understand what's it like to work for what we call "1099 income."
- Self-Employment Key by Lawrence K. Jones, Ph.D., NCC
- ...Dr. Jones, the brains behind the CareerKey (see our Self-Assessment page), has created another great site and useful tool, this time geared towards the person who is considering self-employment. You can read several quick articles for free, but I found it worth the modest fee to take the online test and get a better idea of my personal interests and characteristics and how they can translate into my job as a private consultant. (I'm an Artistic-Social type myself, which fits into my background as a librarian and musician!) The test will take you less than 10 minutes on a DSL or Cable line and it is a very simple yet insightful tool if you are thinking about telling the boss to take a hike.
- ...information for the small business owner, including tips on hiring and franchising. From the publishers of Entrepreneur Magazine.
- ...a public-private partnership formed by The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the U.S. Commerce Department's International Trade Administration (ITA), Entrepreneurship.org is focused on leveraging best practices in entrepreneurial leadership to advance economic growth around the world. This site has an enormous amount of content for global entrepreneurs, policy makers, investors, and the like. I suggest you start with the Resource Center for your best view of the possibilities here and then start thinking about your own specific needs.
- Inc Magazine
- ...the magazine for the small business. Inc Magazine dedicates many issues to topics which hit the heart and pocket of the entrepreneur and ranks the Inc 500 each fall. This is definitely a publication and online site to watch.
- The Wall Street Journal Online: Small Business
- ...a site dedicated to the small business, the self-employed and / or the entrepreneur. Like everything else they do, it is a great resource with resources and articles from the WSJ.
- The Business Forum
- ...information for the small business, including articles and research links.
- Guerrilla Marketing Online
- ...a weekly web magazine for small business, entrepreneurs, sales people and marketers of all kinds.
- IdeaCafe, The Small Business Gathering Place
- "A Fun Approach to Serious Business. Yes, we firmly believe there's a clear need for some whipped cream topped with a cherry in every entrepreneur's diet! Small business owners work harder than anyone else, they seldom get any credit, so at Idea Cafe, we give them a perfectly legitimate excuse to take a well-deserved break . Here, you can solve your problems and have some fun too! And you get the chance to network with others who know exactly what you're going through. " This site is filled with the information and resources you need to get your business up and running and keep it going, but it also recognizes that small business owners are some of the hardest workers around and very much in need of some de-stress. The Legal section is filled with forms and tips covering all your needs from Agreements to Billing to Taxes to HR forms. You'll find this helpful as well as fun.
- Edward Lowe Foundation
- ... an organization dedicated to "encouraging business owners to get involved with entrepreneurial peer-networking organizations and to think about their businesses in new and creative ways."
- ... helps entrepreneurs and people who are interested in starting a business find business partners, board members, executives, skilled professionals, engineers, advisors, and more. People who are interested in getting involved in these up-and-coming businesses can also post profiles and network with other members. Registration and basic membership are free. PartnerUp is headquartered in Eden Prarie, MN.
- Working Solo
- ..Terri Lonier, an expert in small business matters, operates this site to support SOHO businesses -- Small Office / Home Office. It's fairly basic but does offer good advice on how to decide if you should start your own business, steps to take before you quit your day job, and naming your new business. (I particularly like that last item after attempting to track down so many small businesses, particularly technology firms, with generic computer names.) Nice links to supportive sources.