In the News
Starting Your Own Business
Start me up: Smart resources for getting your idea off the ground
With the economy sputtering, more and more people are starting a business. Here, resources for getting the job done cheap and well.
Think Web From the Get-Go: Web marketing is critical for businesses of all shapes and sizes. For most, it’s an important marketing tool; at the very least, it’s a way to describe your products and services as well as give nuts and bolts info like driving directions. When you name your company, make sure you can get “yourbizname.com” as a website, and register the domain name with a web service provider like godaddy.com or networksolutions.com for at least the next five years. This costs as little as $10 a year, a small price to pay for the security of keeping your name.
Get Good, Cheap Design: Web design can easily climb into thousands of dollars. Save money by looking for a student who can do your site. I paid half the going rate by having our town’s high school valedictorian do my site; he thought the pay was lavish and appreciated the opportunity to burnish his web skills. Stipulate that lessons on how you can update the site yourself are part of the package so you aren’t tied into a monthly retainer. The technology or computer science teacher at your local school can suggest a candidate.
Write a Business Plan: This is the step that scares anybody who doesn’t have a background in finance. No worries. You don’t have to fly by the seat of your pants. You can download a business-plan template from the Small Business Administration. Fill in the blanks and you’re on your way to assessing your company’s solvency and future.
Ask an Expert: SCORE has more than 11,000 business-counselor volunteers at 370 chapters nationwide to help fledgling business owners. You can meet face-to-face, attend a workshop, or work with a mentor online. The advice is free, and like the MasterCard ad, it can be priceless.
Find Hiring Help: Investigate specialty job boards like Real Match, where employers and job seekers post free. You pay only if you find a candidate you want to interview. SnagaJob.com specializes in hourly and temporary help.
Look Into Women-Only Opportunities: Government grants, loans and other programs for women-owned businesses can give your company a leg up. Learn about them on womanowned.com
Read more about careers and starting a business: Looking for Work and What It’s Like to Turn a Wall Street Layoff into a Dream Job