This companion article to our introduction to finding your startup goals, ideas and values is a practical exploration of these issues and can be used as a worksheet to help you find the answers to these questions for yourself as you go about starting up your own business. We’ve also got a list of resources and background reading to help you explore these topics in more depth if you need to go deeper on any aspect of your business and planning. Finally, if you really want to complete this worksheet we suggest you download this PDF version - it has formatted with spaces to write in and will make the process easier for you.
This worksheet is to help you think clearly about the foundation of your business – your goals, values, inspiration, ideas, challenges and Strengths.
In this section you need to think about why you are starting this business. What is the goal? Where do you want to end up? How will it affect you and your family and friends? Where will it take you in
Blog Posts by Owen Linderholm
- Owen Linderholm | Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Wed, Feb 26, 2014 4:37 PM EST
This companion article to our introduction to finding your startup goals, ideas and values is a practical exploration of these issues and can be used as a worksheet to help you find the answers to these questions for yourself as you go about starting up your own business. We’ve also got a list of resources and background reading to help you explore these topics in more depth if you need to go deeper on any aspect of your business and planning. Finally, if you really want to complete this worksheet we suggest you download this PDF version - it has formatted with spaces to write in and will make the process easier for you.Read More »from The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1- Goals, Values and Ideas
Resources for the Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1- Goals, Values and IdeasBy Owen Linderholm | Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Wed, Feb 26, 2014 4:36 PM EST
The final part of this first week of our Smart and Simple Startup Series is a resource list. If you missed the first parts, here is the introduction and here is the worksheet to help you with understanding the goals, values and ideas for your business. The following articles all have information about planning and thinking about your startup business. Read them for more background or for additional information to help you flesh out your ideas. We also recommend the books in the book section.
The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future
The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses
The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most Small Businesses Don't Work and What to Do About It
ArticlesRead More »from Resources for the Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1- Goals, Values and Ideas
- Owen Linderholm | Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Wed, Feb 12, 2014 1:53 PM EST
This is the resource guide – a list of links and resources – to accompany our articles on understanding your costs when starting your business. You can find the overview here, and the workguide here. Please read both – the overview will help you understand the issues and give you a grounding before you dive into the workguide to build the costs section of your budget.
http://www.microsoft.com/business/en-us/resources/startups/startup-financing/5-tips-for-estimating-your-startup-costs.aspx?fbid=rfAouBicxiyRead More »from Resources for researching and understanding fixed and variable costs for your business
Hubspot, the hot online marketing platform has created a fun little toy that actually could be useful for any regular bloggers stuck with a deadline and a content requirement but suddenly without any ideas. The tool, called the 'Blog Topic Generator' could just as easily be called the blog title generator since that is what it does. Given a few nouns to use as seeds from which to grow possible ideas it kicks out five suggested blog post titles for you to use.
Here's an example. I seeded the tool with the nouns 'small business', 'sales' and 'startups'.
The tool gave me the following.
Blog Topic GeneratorNow, allowing for the obvious singular versus plural issues, these aren't necessarily bad suggestions. The first one is probably a bit more in line with an investment blog than one devoted to advice for small businesses. The second is kind of interesting in an abstract way, but perhaps not really helpful right now. If we turn the third one to a plural then it's a great idea - although a lot to pull off if I'mRead More »from Hubspot tool a boon for ‘blogger’s block’
This fantastic infographic (well really a huge categorized list) from Andrea Ayers of Launch Grow Joy is chock full of ideas for using the hot visual social platform in clever ways to help promote and grow your business. The only thing I am going to add to her fantastic advice is that you need to make sure your images and visuals are as good as they can be. Be clever and smart to make them stand out from the pack.Read More »from 142 Ideas for using Pinterest for Business
- Owen Linderholm | Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Mon, Dec 23, 2013 6:41 PM EST
[Part two of a series – The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business. Part one is here: Is it time to start up that startup business? and The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1- Goals, Values and Ideas and Resources for the Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 1- Goals, Values and Ideas]
The key to creating a solid foundation for your business is not your idea or even how innovative you are – it is your business concept. This is much more than your idea – it is your idea transformed into practicality – something that will work in the real-world business environment in which you will operate. You can get an introduction to the topic here and also a resource list for further reading here. You can also download a worksheet version of this article with some additional tables and guides for working on your business concept here.
Innovation or increment?Read More »from The Yahoo Smart and Simple Guide to Starting a Business: Part 2: Defining your business concept.
Look at your business idea. Is it an innovation or an increment? Keep that in mind as
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Mon, Dec 16, 2013 5:12 PM EST
Shawn PrezThe holiday season marks the time when companies begin bombarding consumers with expensive commercials and marketing campaigns. Toys “R” Us, for example, spent $88.3 million on marketing for the holiday season in 2012. Small businesses, with more down-to-earth budgets, often get lost among the multi-million dollar campaigns for major retailers and brands.
This year, small businesses should focus on using unique marketing methods to reach a larger audience, instead of trying to compete with big retail advertisements and glitzy marketing campaigns. The following are five cost-effective and creative marketing tactics that will help your small business get recognized this holiday season:
- Social Media Marketing: Seventy-seven percent of adults in the 30-49 age bracket use social media, according to Pew Research Center. Since this age range represents a significant portion of those in a household with purchasing power, make sure you target your audience through social media platforms such as
- Owen Linderholm | Yahoo! Small Business Advisor – Sun, Dec 15, 2013 1:14 PM EST
Influenced by the spectacular success of companies like Facebook, there has been a recent trend to imply that youth is the secret to success for startups, especially in the tech sector.
Two of the factors driving this are perceptions that Venture Capitalists think that older people don’t have the entrepreneurial drive of the young and a series of articles they spawned that promoted the idea. But there was an immediate backlash with perhaps the most public and high profile discussion taking place on Quora .
It is worth noting that to the Silicon Valley crowd, 35 was the age being highlighted as over the hill in entrepreneurial terms! Outside the tech industry the same attitudes also prevail, even if the age at which people are ‘too old’ is somewhat higher.
It turns out that there is research to show that not only do more older people start businesses but also that businesses started by older people are actually more successful on average. A study by the Kauffman Foundation that surveyedRead More »from Older Entrepreneurs: The startup mentality is not bound by age
While Facebook and Twitter are the heavy hitters of social media for business, there are lots of other possibilities, from LinkedIn to Google+ to Pinterest. Each has its own uses as well as foibles and quirks as a social platform for business. But Pinterest stands out as especially valuable for any business where visuals count heavily. Studies have shown that in some areas Pinterest results in much higher rates of lead generation and sales.
So how to make use of Pinterest?
This infographic from Launch Grow Joy should give you some ideas.
You can see the original here - or click on the image above to make it larger.Read More »from Making the most of Pinterest
- Owen Linderholm | Profit Minded – Wed, Dec 4, 2013 5:13 PM EST
Ooma Call LogOne of the few universal requirements for a small business is a phone system – or at least some way for customers to call you. Without it any business is cutting off the single most used way for potential customers (and thus potential revenue) to reach your business.
Until recently, small business options have been limited to three basic choices. The simplest is to just use your personal phone systems for your business (home phone or mobile phone). This is fine if you are a one person business with no plan to grow further and if you are fully capable of separating your business and personal life. The second option – and the one used by most businesses - is to call the local phone company and get business service at a minimum cost of $35 a month or so plus paying for equipment and for any additional service (long distance typically is not included in basic business plans). The third option is one of the newer VoIP business plans that is based in the cloud (essentially all operated andRead More »from Ooma puts some oomph in phone systems for small business