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How to Start A Business — Three Awesome, Free Resources

Free Start a Business ResourcesStarting your own business isn’t exactly cheap. So it’s nice to find a few resources that will help you start and grow your new venture that won’t cost you a penny. Check out these awesome resources that will help you startup and run your new business. Best of all, they are, as promised, completely free.

How To Build a Startup (Udemy). 
This free course is taught by Steve Blank, a well-known Sillicon Valley entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He launched eight different companies, failing occasionally, but succeeding spectacularly. He is the author of two excellent books on entrepreneurship: The Four Steps to the Epiphany and The Startup Owner’s Manual, both of which should be required reading for anyone wanting to start their own small business. That’s the long way of saying, he knows how to start a business.

These days Professor Blank teaches at business schools at Stanford, Berkeley and Columbia. You could pay thousands of dollars at these schools to hear what he has to share. Or you can sign up for this free online course and learn about business models and customer development, developing a minimal viable product, product market fit, revenue models, finding partners, and much more.

Perhaps best of all, this course is self-paced. You watch the presentations on your own time. And if you make the effort to do the exercises, you’ll be ready to launch your new business when you finish the course. This may be the best startup resource available anywhere online. Seriously—check it out.

MicroConf Session Videos
MicroConf is a small conference focused on micro-preneurs and single-founder startups. If you are trying to build and bootstrap an online business, these are your people. The conference is limited to a few hundred attendees and for the past three years has sold out in a matter of hours. It’s hard to get in, but it’s not difficult to hear what is shared at the conference. The conference presenters have posted videos of the conference sessions from the past two years online. The presenters include Hiten Shah, Patrick McKenzie, Josh Kaufman, Joanna Wiebe, and more. These are entrepreneurs who have built their own successful companies (both small and large). And what they share (about SEO, copywriting, attracting customers, finding products customers want to buy, and more) is valuable to anyone running their own small business. Check out the videos from 2012 here. The sessions from 2013 are here.

Startup Nation, Startup Smart, or Another Online Community
Just because you are a single founder, doesn’t mean you have to do it alone. Joining an online community gives you access to other founders working on similar problems. This is a place where you can ask questions, share challenges, and simply find inspiration. You might choose to join a mastermind group, or simply read the how-to articles found on the sight. There are dozens of online communities providing these services for free (or almost free). Find one that works for you and take advantage of everything they have to offer. Startup Nation is here. Startup Smart (based in Australia) is here.

Photo credit: Stuck in Customs via photopin cc

Amber Ooley
Amber Ooley
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