The essential resources of entrepreneurship are the tools business owners need to operate efficiently and achieve business growth fast. Educational resources can help you learn from other's experiences.
If you're on the road to entrepreneurship, keep reading to find out how the best resources, whether you're in the startup life or have already worked for successful companies.
“Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.” - Gina Greenlee
So let's delve into the best entrepreneur resources.
Let’s start with the most important – support groups
Here's the stark reality – only 50% of small businesses in the US survive past their 5th anniversary. Even worse, 20% fail in their first year.
So I can't emphasize enough that entrepreneurship without the right support is way tougher than you may think.
The Founder and CEO of Fingerprint for Success (F4S), Michelle Duval says,
“It isn't possible to create anything that will scale beyond one person without first recognizing the need for support, and then asking for help.”
In short, the right support system can become a powerful force in growing your business. You can share your struggles, better manage stress, and get answers to your queries in a support network.
So where can you find such support groups?
Entrepreneurial communities over at Quora are helpful too.
Visualize your business idea in different business models with a Business Model Canvas (there are templates you can use in Miro). It's like dressing your business in different suits and seeing which serves it best.
But don't get sucked into the business planning trap for too long. Our 20-year study Can entrepreneurial success be predicted? found that spending too much time planning and organizing the details of your startup correlated with early-stage venture failure.
So ditch your perfectionism, keep your business plan simple, and then dive right into the real work.
Taking your business vision to the market requires tons of work and a lot of direction. But it's easy to get lost in the details, which is where business mentors can be invaluable.
Even the most successful entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates had mentors.
Duval recommends, "The best way forward is to find mentors to guide you in specific contexts and areas. Having just one general mentor is a dated approach that doesn't work as well in today's business landscape.”
I like to think of F4S as an adviser that reveals my motivations – what energizes me at work, my strengths, and the blind spots that need attention. F4S uses evidence-based research to measure 48 of your unique motivational traits at work, making it a perfect entrepreneurial resource.
F4S world-first research reveals that successful entrepreneurs have the following motivational traits:
After you take the F4S assessment, the free report benchmarks your motivations against our research samples of highly successful entrepreneurs who achieved early-stage venture success, or business builders who profitably grew their business for ten years or more.
The F4S report will identify whether you're better suited as a business builder or an entrepreneur. These insights will highlight your blind spots, and you can hire (or partner with) an individual with complementary motivations who can take on the tasks that don't motivate you. The F4S Team tools are also invaluable as you bring together a high-performing team of individuals with diverse motivations that must complement each other perfectly.
Charlie Ill, the CIO of Investible, an early-stage VC firm, known for its remarkable success in seed-stage investing, shares how they use the F4S platform to predict start-up success.
Okay, so you're now past the figuring-it-all-out stage and are ready to set up a website for your business.
Get started with the following:
Picking a domain name can take some effort. Especially, if you're trying to work a keyword into your domain name. Use LeanDomainSearch for sparking ideas.
(Un)fortunately, repeat domains aren't a thing. Once you've shortlisted potential domain names, check their availability.
Finalized your domain name? Good. Now buy using Namecheap, a reasonable and credible resource for purchasing domain names.
Create your business website with WordPress using pre-baked templates called Themes.
Get a Kanban-style visual board with Trello for planning and managing the tasks on your plate. Trello provides a snapshot of what's due, what you're working on, and what's done.
ClickUp is a collaboration and project management tool. Features include communication and collaboration tools, task assignments and statuses, alerts, and a task toolbar.
Hive is a cloud-based project management solution designed for teams of all sizes who need to share files, chat, and automate task management.
Jira is a project-tracking software that's best for agile tech teams. You can choose between various workflows or make one yourself.
nTask is a free task management platform smart teams use to do more. It is a cloud-based task management solution that caters to small businesses and individuals.
One of the best options out there for creating your daily to-do list with due dates and sub-tasks.
As an entrepreneur, your mind is bound to be rocked with a tsunami of ideas. Capture them on a note-taking app such as Bear Notes.
The best part is you can list your ideas or any sub-categories of a major idea in a checklist format.
Evernote is another note-taking app to try. You can also use it to make gratitude lists and save links to details you want to refer to later on.
Workflowy is a notes app. It's best suited to entrepreneurs who prefer plain text (read: simple) design over a complex visual layout so they can focus on their thoughts and ideas. This makes this list-based note app a good one for brain-dumping sessions.
Speaking of a brain dump, as I already mentioned, Miro is a great collaboration platform for distributed teams. It's excellent for research, ideation, brainstorming, planning, and strategizing with your team. (Psst… Guess who uses Miro? Netflix!)
Set up a Toggl timer as you get to work to track where your time is going. Don't forget to pause your time for occasional breaks and to take a few moments to reflect.
Duval suggests, “Even a few minutes of reflection, awareness of your breathing, and stillness can have potent benefits for productivity and creativity.”
An entrepreneur's life can be nothing short of living in a stress bubble. In a Gallup survey, 45% of entrepreneurs confessed they were stressed. Another 34% said that they were “worried all the time.” That's just under 80% of entrepreneurs that are dealing with stress.
With Calm you can slow down for a moment and take a few minutes to meditate. You can also practice mindfulness by walking, running, doing yoga, or gratitude journaling.
Even having an active love life can help. Duval explains, “Oxytocin from connection and intimacy translates into dopamine, which not only makes us feel good but reduces the risk of stress-related illnesses.”
Headspace is similar to Calm. It's mainly for meditation and mindfulness, which you can learn in small doses daily.
Grammarly plugs into all your work tools and picks up your grammatical mistakes as you write, so you can maintain a professional first impression as you send out emails, or prepare your pitch decks.
Hemingway App is another writing resource for entrepreneurs. It helps tighten your writing to ensure it cuts through.
You need to wear multiple hats as an entrepreneur. Fortunately, taking courses is a simple way to sharpen your skill set. Simply pick a course from Coursera and get started.
Udemy is another online courses platform. Pick from a wide variety of options and choose any of the 65 available languages.
A great platform offering video courses by industry experts. You'll find courses ranging from beginner to advanced level.
Tidio has produced four free eBooks for e-commerce businesses; Replicate in-store shopping experiences with chatbots, Prepare your business for AI-assisted customer service, Sales Tactics Bundle for Your E-commerce Growth Strategy, and Automate Sales and Lead Generation with AI & Chatbots.
SimilarWeb reports on your competitors' web analytics. It shows where your competitors are getting their traffic from, and which referral sources are working in their favor.
Your product or service will only sell well if it solves your audience's problems. Ask Your Target Market helps you survey your audience by giving you access to tons of respondents around the globe.
Ahrefs shares intel on your competitors' organic search traffic. You can report on what's working for them and find what you can do to outrank them. It allows you to set notifications for keywords you're tracking for your business. Plus, you can receive alerts when your competitors win or lose a backlink.
LiveChat provides a chat pop-up on your website so your visitors can instantly reach out to you for any questions they may have. Remember, 6 out of 10 people prefer self-serve tools such as online chat.
Manychat is a Messenger chatbot that keeps your customers happy – one that's widely applauded for its engagement rates.
Intercom is a customer messaging service that lets you connect and engage with your existing customers and customers-to-be via your website, email, and social media.
You can set up both live chats as well as bots with this tool.
Did you know that 81% of small businesses focus on email as their main customer acquisition channel? Email also tends to be the main channel for retaining customers for a whopping 80%. Drive growth for your business by automating your email campaigns using Mailchimp.
ConvertKit allows you to grow your email list. You can easily design landing pages and website forms to convert site visitors into subscribers.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing platform, but one that's focused on personalization. This makes the software most suitable for advanced startups planning to launch highly targeted and personalized email campaigns for customers in various stages of their journey.
Buffer automates your social posts at scheduled times so your followers get your updates even on busy days when you don't have the time to log in.
Create social media graphics, blog banners, animated videos, business presentations, reports, and the whole kit and caboodle with Canva.
There are loads of financial resources and then some here. Ramit also covers other topics such as time management and making money through blogging.
Foundr is an all-in-one resource for entrepreneurs. Get your hands on webinars, in-depth blog posts, colorful magazines, and case studies.
When it comes to entrepreneurship, the struggle is #real. And no one knows this better than James who shares, “I've started 20 companies, 17 of which have failed!” – that's so honest, it hurts! On his blog, you'll see business advice James has gained from his mistakes, his thoughts on entrepreneurship, and more.
Forleo's blog is a gem for entrepreneurs. It covers career changes, reversing negative thoughts, and more.
Noah's blog is another fab resource for entrepreneurs. Learn about starting and growing a business, productivity, self-improvement, and marketing among other of Noah's musings.
Company of One shares a simple message: staying small is the next big thing in business. Find out how to launch a profitable business by keeping your business intentionally small.
You can't organize your desk, let alone kick off a business if you don't build good habits. And that's precisely what Atomic Habits is for. It shares neuro-science-backed frameworks and tips for starting positive habits – the first step on your path to success.
As a hustling entrepreneur, it's easy to get caught in the weeds of details. But this means you can lose sight of the big picture. The Magic of Thinking Big teaches you how to remain on track.
The 10% Entrepreneur teaches you how to live an entrepreneur's life without diving head first into entrepreneurship. This way you can reduce the risks that come with entrepreneurship while learning what it's all about.
James Clear's Thursday newsletter is, frankly, my day's highlight. It's a quick, easy-to-digest letter with three ideas from James, two quotes from others, and one thought-provoking question for you.
This newsletter covers topics ranging from emerging economies to startup news and women's design. You can tailor your newsletter according to your preference so emails delivered to you align with your interests.
Weekly emails come packed with the legal information every entrepreneur needs. Let's admit it, the legal side of business isn't everyone's jam. In fact, legal stuff can be confusing – even overwhelming. But this newsletter breaks the jargon down for you and explains things in plain language.
Barbara Weltman sends out one email daily with one idea only. This means it is ideal for busy entrepreneurs who don't have the time to wade through long newsletters.
In addition to our list of the 6 must-listen podcasts for entrepreneurs, here are some more of our favorites:
Science says our brains are wired for stories. In each episode, Ryan speaks with successful entrepreneurs about their business ups and downs.
Mailchimp is all about celebrating people and their businesses, which is exactly what this podcast brings you. But they aren't your typical success stories.
These are moving success stories that leave you shaken to the core - I may have shed a tear or two.
Another moving podcast but one that features only female entrepreneurs who share how they've struggled on their way to the top. If you're tuning in, get ready for authentic, truthful, and raw stories that'll fill your inspiration tank to the brim.
The I Made It podcast offers what it indicates – stories about how individuals made it in business. Undeniably, Jay Acunzo is an incredible host who can pull you right into the show as you hit play. Not to mention, he has a talent for making Q&A sessions sound like a conversation between two friends.
Did you know that you talk *6 times* faster than you type? Loom is video recording software. You can share your Loom videos with anyone – investors, clients, clients-to-be, teammates and more.
Ranked highly among communication tools, Microsoft Teams lets you chat with your team, host video meetings, and more.
Slack is a team collaboration tool. You can connect with each team member individually as well as chat with all of your team in various public channels such as #sales, #growth, #coffeechat, or even #happyhour.
Zoom is a video communication tool. It allows you to host webinars, video conferences, and video meetings.
Whereby is a video communication tool. You can host video meetings with anyone from your team, prospects, or clients.
Linktree houses all the links you want to share with your community. A link-in-bio solution for social accounts such as Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, or your LinkedIn accounts.
Google Analytics is an essential tool for learning where your website traffic is coming from. This way you'll understand your audience better and can tweak your campaigns according to the audience-backed insights you gain from GA.
Email Analytics is an analytics tool that allows you to track your email use (or your team's) and visualize the Gmail metrics that matter.
It's like Google Analytics for email.
And that's a wrap! Hats off if you've reached this far in our list of resources for entrepreneurs – you're well on your way to success!
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