Drive and ambition are essential, but even the best founder relies on critical entrepreneur resources.
Try as you might, entrepreneurship isn’t a lone wolf’s game. You just can’t do it alone. Instead, it takes consistent support and all the available resources for entrepreneurs.
You’re not alone in thinking you can do it on your own though. Let me tell you a secret: when I started working on my freelance business, I used to think the Batman-life of working alone would get me where I wanted to be.
But even Batman has Alfred by his side.
I realized this pretty late and I’ve to say I’m ashamed of having assumed that I could achieve mighty things on my own (but let’s keep that between you and I, okay?)
This is especially true for entrepreneurs who are highly motivated for sole responsibility or internal reference. (These are two of the 48 motivations at work that we measure in the F4S app.)
That basically means someone who enjoys working on tasks themselves (rather than collaborating) and with the tendency to trust their own decisions (instead of looking for others to make decisions for them).
As you can imagine, these traits are definitely not uncommon in aspiring entrepreneurs!
But tapping into a business resources list sets you two steps ahead. Because entrepreneur resources help you learn from others’ experiences, mistakes, and struggles.
“Experience is a master teacher, even when it’s not our own.” - Gina Greenlee
So, without further ado, let’s dig into the best entrepreneur resources. You’ll find plenty of support groups, numerous successful entrepreneurs to learn from, and resources for starting a business.
Let’s dive in:
Resources for Entrepreneurs: Let’s start with the most important – support groups
1. Support groups for entrepreneurs
Here’s the stark reality – only 50% of the small businesses in the US survive past their 5th anniversary. Heck, 20% fail in their first year.
But why am I rubbing all these annoying stats in your face? Because I want to emphasize that entrepreneurship without the right support is way tougher than you can imagine.
The Founder and CEO of Fingerprint for Success, Michelle Duval, backs this. She says, “It isn’t possible to create anything of scale beyond one person without first recognizing the need 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, entrepreneurial stress, and get answers to your queries in a support network. So where can you find such support groups?
Michelle recommends forums such as EO and YPO. Facebook groups like Women Helping Women Entrepreneurs and Societygal - A Community for Creative Female Entrepreneurs are also noteworthy groups.
Entrepreneurial communities over at Quora are helpful too.
Business plan resources for entrepreneurs – a business model tool to add to your kit
2. Business Model Canvas
Visualize your business idea in different biz models with Business Model Canvas. It’s like dressing your business in different suits and seeing which serves best.
But don’t get sucked into the business planning trap for too long. Our 20-year study 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 straightforward, and then dive right into the real work.
Advice and mentoring for entrepreneurs
Getting an idea from your mind to the market takes tons of work and a lot of direction. But it’s easy to get lost in the details, which is where a mentor can be the lighthouse that guides you ashore.
Not convinced yet? Even the most successful entrepreneurs like Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, and Bill Gates had mentors.
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,” as Michelle advises.
4. Fingerprint for Success
I like to think of F4S as an adviser that tells my motivations – what energizes me at work, potential talents, and possible blind spots that need attention. Let me explain this a bit: F4S uses science to measure 48 of your unique motivations at work, making it a perfect entrepreneurial resource.
Research at F4S reveals that successful entrepreneurs have the following traits:
- High levels of initiation to take action.
- Higher focus on money and the financial aspects of business.
- Higher focus on big picture thinking.
- Low focus on structure.
In minutes, F4S tells you how high you rank on these and other critical attitudes for entrepreneurs. Knowing this helps you bring awareness to any blind spots, or hire someone with complementary motivations to take on the work you don’t like.
Besides, learning your motivations is a good way to understand whether you’re better suited to be a business builder or an entrepreneur, and even if a certain business idea suits you or not.
Plus, F4S will help you out as you bring together a high performing team of individuals with diverse motivations to complement each other perfectly.
Resources for starting a business website
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 some ideas.
6. Instant Domain Search
(Un)fortunately, repeat domains aren’t a thing. Once you’ve shortlisted potential domain names, check their availability using this tool.
Finalized your domain name? Good. Now buy Namecheap, a reasonable and credible resource for purchasing domain names.
Create your business site or blog with WordPress using pre-baked templates called as themes in WordPress.
Project management resources for entrepreneurs
Get a kanban-style visual board with Trello for planning and managing the tasks on your plate. This way you’ll get a snapshot of what’s due, what you’re working on, and what’s done.
This one’s a work operating system for report teams that lets you do everything from tracking time to preparing timetables and automating workflow.
Asana is another project management system for teams. Assign tasks to your teammates, set timelines, and make lists of what’s due.
12. Atlassian Jira
Jira is a project tracking software that’s best for agile tech teams. You can choose between various workflows or make one yourself.
This software is your go-to project management and internal communication tool. Not only does it allow you to make lists and schedules, but it also offers a group chat and message board with automatic team check-ins.
Productivity resources for entrepreneurs
One of the best options out there for creating your daily to-do list with due dates and sub-tasks.
15. Bear notes app (for iPhone, iPad, and Mac only)
As an entrepreneur, your mind is bound to be rocked with a tsunami of ideas. Capture them on a note-taking app like Bear Notes.
The best part is you can list your ideas or any sub-categories of a major idea in checklist format – that’s something I do when my mind is on a blog posts idea-churning spree.
Evernote is another note taking app to try. You can also use it to make gratitude lists and save links to pieces you’d 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 brain dump, Miro is a great online whiteboard 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 catching a few moments to reflect.
F4S’s Founder 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 over almost 80% of entrepreneurs sharing a common space with stress and worries.
But you’ve got to poke this bubble of stress. How? Cut back on the hustle a little and take a few minutes of meditation – Calm can help you here. You can also practice mindfulness by walking, running, yoga, and gratitude journaling.
Even having an active love life can help. Michelle 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 bits daily.
Writing resources – everyone needs them (even writers)
A sentence that reads, ‘may I’ve you’re attention’ can damage your impression significantly when all you wanted say was, ‘may I’ve your attention.’ But hey, there’s no shame (and no worry) in written errors, typos and punctuation fallacies.
Grammarly picks all these mistakes as you write so your impression remains intact, even brilliant, as you send out emails or prepare your pitch deck.
23. Hemingway Editor
This is another writing resource for entrepreneurs. It helps tighten your writing so it is easy to read, and therefore, understandable.
Entrepreneurial learning resources – so you can be a proper master of all trades
Admittedly, you need to wear multiple hats as an entrepreneur. But here’s an insider secret – who’s to say you’re good at everything you do? Fortunately, taking courses is a good way to sharpen your skill set, especially, if you can’t afford to delegate everything you dislike on a running salary. 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.
26. LinkedIn’s Lynda
Another course platform, which offers video courses by industry experts. You’ll find courses ranging from beginner to advanced level.
Competitor research – because you’ve got to be ninja-level alert
SimilarWeb gives you access to your competitors’ web analytics. This way you can tell where your competitors are getting their traffic from, which referral sources are working in their favor and so on.
Your product/service will only sell well if it solves your audience’s problem. Ask Your Target Market helps you survey your audience by giving you access to tons of respondents around the globe.
Ahrefs shares where your competitors’ search traffic’s source(s), what they’re doing that’s working for them, and what you can do to outrank them. It allows you to set notifications for keywords you’re tracking for your business. Plus, you can get alerts for when your competitors’ earn or lose a backlink or two.
Customer communication resources for entrepreneurs – everything boils down to how fast and how well you respond
LiveChat gives you 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 like online chats.
Lets you set up a messenger bot so you can make the most of messenger marketing – 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.
Email marketing resources – because the ROI is on fire
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%. It’s best you make the most of it by automating your email campaigns using Mailchimp.
ConvertKit allows you to grow your email list too. You can easily design landing pages and website forms to convert site visitors into subscribers.
ActiveCampaign is also 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.
Social media marketing resource for successful entrepreneurs
Buffer automates your social posts on scheduled times so your followers get your updates even on busy days when you don’t have the time to log in.
Branding resource for entrepreneur – so your business has a visual personality too
Create social media graphics, blog banners, animated videos, business presentations, reports, and the whole kit and caboodle with Canva.
Blogging resource list for entrepreneurs – you’ve to keep learning
38. I Will Teach You To Be Rich by Ramit Sethi
You can get every financial advice and then some here. Ramit also covers other topics like time management and making money by blogging.
I like to think of Foundr as an all-in-one resource for entrepreneurs that provides everything under the sun. Get your hands on webinars, in-depth blog posts, colorful magazines with an entrepreneur posing on the cover page, and learn from case studies too.
40. James Altucher’s blog
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 find lessons James has learned from his mistakes, his thoughts on entrepreneurship, and more.
41. Marie Forleo’s blog
It’s hard to say if someone’s not heard of Marie – even if it’s just in passing. For entrepreneurs, in particular, her blog is a gem that covers lots including career change, reversing negative thoughts, and more.
42. OkDork by Noah Kagan
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.
Books for entrepreneurs
43. Paul Jarvis’ Company of One
Company of One shares a simple message: staying small is the next big thing in business. You find how you can raise a drop dead profitable business by keeping your business intentionally small. You’ll learn from examples and pick a lot on customer/client experience as well.
44. James Clear’s Atomic Habits
You can’t organize your desk, let alone kick off a business if you don’t build good habits. And that’s exactly what Atomic Habits is for. It shares neuro-science backed frameworks and tips to plant good habits – the first step in your staircase to success.
45. The Magic of Thinking Big by David J. Schwartz
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 plan in your mind. The Magic of Thinking Big teaches you how not to fall for the details and train yourself to think big.
46. The 10% Entrepreneur by Patrick McGinnis
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 is all about.
Newsletters – great entrepreneur resources for learning & building your network
47. The 3-2-1 newsletter
James Clear’s Thursday newsletter is, frankly, my day’s highlight. It’s a quick, easy to digest letter with 3 ideas from James, 2 quotes from others, and 1 thought-provoking question for you. If I were to describe it in one word, I’d call the email, “refreshing.”
48. The Startup Digest
This newsletter covers almost all topics ranging from emerging economies to startup news and women design. You can tailor your newsletter according to your preference so emails delivered to you align with your interests.
49. Annette Stepanian’s newsletter
The weekly emails come packed with the legal info 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, covering everything including client contracts.
50. Idea of The Day newsletter
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 slither through essay-long newsletters (unless they’re truly worth it).
Podcasts for entrepreneurs – bliss for an audio-loving entrepreneur’s mind
In addition to our list of the 6 must-listen podcasts for entrepreneurs, here are some more of our favorites:
51. Ryan Robinson’s The Side Hustle Project
Science says our brains are wired for stories. So, by extension, it makes sense to say that entrepreneurial minds are hooked on inspiring success stories. In each episode, Ryan invites successful entrepreneurs and asks about their business’s ups and downs.
52. Going Through It by Mailchimp
Mailchimp is all about celebrating people and their businesses, which is exactly what both this podcast brings to you. But they aren’t any success stories.
These are moving success stories that leave you shaken down to the core (definitely not over-exaggerating, but I might have shed a tear or two. Hey! Don’t look at me like that).
53. Career Contessa’s The Femails
This one’s another moving podcast but one that features only female entrepreneurs who share how they’ve struggled their way to the top. If you’re tuning in, get ready for real, truthful, and raw stories that’ll fill your inspiration tank to the brim.
54. Podia’s I Made It
The I Made It podcast is a relatively new one. It offers what it indicates – how individuals made their 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.
Communication and video conferencing tools – because communication is key
Did you know that you talk *6 times* faster than you type? Yea, me neither. I learned this when I first checked out Loom’s website. Loom is a video recording software. You can share these videos with anyone – investors, clients, clients-to-be, teammates (if any), and so on.
56. Microsoft Teams
Ranked highly among communication tools, Microsoft Teams lets you chat with your team, host video meetings, and more.
This is a team collaboration tool. You can connect with each team member individually as well as chat with all of them in various channels like #writingwork, #websitework, and even #coffeechat or #happyhour.
Zoom is primarily a video communication tool. It allows you to host webinars, video conferences, and video meetings with one and all.
This one’s also a video communication tool. Host video meetings with anyone from your team, prospects, or clients. In fact, host a video conference of as many as 50 people at one time.
Analytics tools - so you know what’s up with your KPIs
It can be disgusting to share a hell lot of links. But Linktree makes it easy and eye-catching to share all your links, for instance, one’s to your Goodread’s profile, IG and Twitter accounts, and LinkedIn ID too.
61. Google analytics
Google Analytics is a handy tool for learning where your website traffic is coming from. This way you’ll understand your audience better and tweak your campaigns according to the audience-backed insights you get from here.
And that’s a wrap! Hats off to your enthusiasm If you’ve reached this far in our list of resources for entrepreneurs – you’re well on your way to success!
62. Email analytics
EmailAnalytics is an email 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.