Resources on Other Sites
Comprehensive List of Online Resources for Startups
A number of sites around the web provide lists of services and resources that are helpful to startup entrepreneurs. One you might check out is Entrepreneur Resources for Business Starters and Educators. This is a one-page listing of helpful web-resources for startups. Because one purpose of the page is to help educators instill a greater spirit of entrepreneurship in their students, the listings are especially valuable to people who are putting their toe in the entrepreneurial waters for the first time.
BRS Business Plan Write
If you are looking for web-based guidance on writing the elements of a business plan, you should visit this site. On a single page it brings together the essentials you need to understand in putting together a well-designed business plan.
Along the left side of the page is the outline of a complete business plan, broken into 13 sections (some of which you will probably not need) and dozens of sub-sections. When you click on any section or sub-section, a description of that element of the business plan is displayed, with specific instructions on how to complete it.
Because it is so compact, yet so detailed, this is a handy one-stop reference to rely on as you put your business plan together.
Handy Checklist for Evaluating Business Opportunities
Goldman Sachs has published a helpful small business opportunity evaluation guide. It's part of the toolkit in their initiative to help 10,000 small businesses become more competitive.
The guide is free and provides a great checklist of key questions to ask when evaluating any opportunity before your business.
In many ways, completing the evaluation is like writing a mini business plan. Even if you do not write out the answers, simply thinking them through will help you make much better decisions.
Keep this two-page guide nearby whenever you are considering a new product, a new service, or a joint venture with another business.
Free Online Course for Encore Entrepreneurs
Eventually StartupsAfter50.com will have extensive online courses addressing various elements of starting a business in your 50s, 60s, and 70s. In the interim you can take advantage of a quick online course, free of charge, on the website of the Small Business Administration.
The course, entitled Encore Entrepreneurs: An Introduction to Starting Your Own Business, is just one of several free courses found at the link above. These include courses on writing a business plan, franchising, and understanding the technology which can make running a small business more efficient and cost effective.
Review Your Website with This Checklist in Hand
Are you exploring the best way to make use of a website for your business? Do you want to give your website as much impact as possible? Then you might spend some time working through The Essential Small Business Website Checklist at EConsultancy.com.
Even if you are something of a web design novice and you depend on someone else to create your web pages, this checklist can help you review the final product and evaluate it.
Your business may not be mature enough or structured in such a way that you can incorporate every element of this checklist on your site. But the more of these elements that you include, the better you position your site to serve you well.