How to Start a Business -- Guidelines and Resources for Entrepreneurs

Assembled by Carter McNamara, MBA, PhD; Authenticity Consulting, LLC; Applies to for-profits unless otherwise noted.

Sections of This Topic Include

Should You Really Start a New Business?
Want to Start a New Product or Service, Rather Than a New Organization?
Want to Expand a Current Organization, Rather Than Start a New Organization?
Guidelines and Checklists for Starting Your New Business
Business Incubators
Buying a Business
Buying and Financing a Franchise
Selling a Business
Financing a New Business
Laws and Regulations Regarding Your New Business
Useful Resources

Also see
Related Library Topics

Also See the Library's Blogs Related to Starting a Business

In addition to the articles on this current page, also see the following blogs that have posts related to Starting a Business. Scan down the blog's page to see various posts. Also see the section "Recent Blog Posts" in the sidebar of the blog or click on "next" near the bottom of a post in the blog. The blog also links to numerous free related resources.

Library's Business Planning Blog
Library's Building a Business Blog
Library's Consulting and Organizational Development Blog
Library's Leadership Blog
Library's Strategic Planning Blog
Library's Supervision Blog


"Should I Really Start a New Business?"

If you're the type of person that conventional wisdom calls the "entrepreneur", then you might be very eager to "roll up your sleeves and just get started". However, conventional wisdom also suggests that most new businesses fail within the first five years. If you truly want to start a business that will succeed for the long term, then there really is some preliminary thinking that you really should do. If you have not read the following document, then do so now. The following will help you think about:
- Whether you have what it takes to be an entrepreneur
- What alternatives exist to starting a new business
- If your finances are ready for starting a new business
- Whether there is really a need for your new service/product
- What type of business are you starting?
- What skills and resources do you need?

You don't have to decide these matters in detail at this time. But you should be aware of them and "plant them in your head" to think on as you have time.
Entrepreneurs -- Are You Really Ready to Start a New Organization?
10 Reasons to Start a Business
Why Businesses Succeed and Fail

Want to Start a New Product or Service, Rather Than a New Organization?

If you already have an organization in which you want to start a new product or service, then see
Product Development

Want to Expand a Current Organization, Rather Than Start a New Organization?

If you already have an organization that you want to grow or expand, then see
Business Development

Guidelines and Checklists for Starting Your New Business

The following links provide a variety of perspectives on the activities involved in starting a new for-profit business. All links are to rather basic information that you could review in a timely fashion.

Basic Checklists and Considerations to Start Your Planning

Start-Up To Do List
FAQ for Success in Entrepreneurship and Starting a Small Business
Preparing for a Small Business
30 Do's and 20 Don'ts in Starting a Small Business
What Kills Startups?
Creating a New Business: The Old Way or the Smart Way
8 Tips for Entrepreneurs from CEOs Who Have Created Huge Enterprises
What Are The Key Challenges Faced By Start-Ups In The Launch Stage?
How to Pick a Co-Founder
Why You Should Register Your Business Name with Your State
Common Small Business Startup Mistakes
How to Start a Small Business | Inc.com's Start-up Guide
Why So Many Startups Fail
Low-Cost Startups and Business Plans
The Business Plan

More Comprehensive Sources of Information to Round Out Your Planning

SBA - 20 Questions Before Starting a Business
Before You Start Your Business (also includes well-designed subtopics)
How To Start a Small Business (covers business ideas, plans, facilities, financing and legal forms)
Starting a Small Business -- 101
Start a Business FAQ
Starting a Small Business Steps

Business Incubators

Business incubators are usually facilities that help businesses share resources as low-cost means to getting started.
What is business incubation?
Business Incubator Development Program

Buying a Business

There are certain advantages to buying an already established business. See
Buying a For-Profit Business
Buying a Business: The Safer Alternative
Top 10 Mistakes Made When Buying a Business
Questions to Ask When Buying a Business
Buying a Business: What You Need to Know
Process of Buying a Business
Buying a Business: Due Diligence Checklist
The ABCs of Buying a Business
Funds for Buying a Business
Setting up a Buy Sell Agreement
How to Find a Business Broker
What to Look For in a Seller
How to Negotiate When Buying a Business

Buying and Financing a Franchise

Franchises - Pros and Cons
pros and cons
many articles and other resources from www.franchise.org
many other articles and resources from franchisedirect.com
About Franchising Guide
The Franchise Agreement - 7 Points To Be Crystal Clear On
Can You Sell a Franchise?
A Fresh Take on a Franchise Start-up
Franchising

Selling a Business

When You're Ready to Sell the Business
Entrepreneurial Exit Strategies

Financing a New Business

About Financing for For-Profit Organizations
Financing Your Business Part I
Getting Bank Financing Part II
Obtaining Debt Capital
Obtaining Venture Capital and Growth Capital

Laws and Regulations Regarding Your Business

The laws and regulations that your business must follow depend very much on what state you live, the legal form of your business and the nature of your product or service. Consequently, there is no comprehensive, up-to-date checklist of laws and regulations that you can "walk through". However, the following links will give you a good sense of what laws and regulations to find out more about. To identify the laws and regulations your business will have to follow, contact your state's Attorney General's office.

Law-related topics in the library

As noted above, the laws and regulations that your business must follow depend very much on what state you live, the legal form of your business and the nature of your product or service.
Advertising / Marketing Laws ("truth in advertising", etc.) Basic About U.S. Law
Basics (basic introduction to the legal system)
Business Contracts (if you enter into a contract with suppliers, lawyers, etc.)
Employee Law (major topics and laws, employee contracts, at-will, noncompete, etc.)
General Resources (sites with multiple areas of legal information)
Lawyers (getting, using, power of attorney, etc.)
Nonprofits (additional information for nonprofit organizations)
Intellectual Property (patents, trademarks, copyrights)
Enterprise Law (starting organizations, legal forms of organizations, etc.)
Telecommunications Laws

Useful Resources

There are many online resources that provide free materials and information for entrepreneurs. The following link is to many other links that will help you get started.
Megalist of Resources for For-Profits
Basic Guide to Management and Supervision
Basics for New Managers and Supervisors to Manage Themselves
Business Start-Up Articles
Franchise Gator: Thousands of Franchise Opportunities
Franchising Articles and FAQs
List of documents pertaining to Entrepreneurship Management
helpful links Starting A Small Business
Starting a Small Business - BusinessTown Small Business Assistance
Starting a Business Tips and Advice from AllBusiness.com
America's 10 Most Helpful SBDCs

Also see
Supersites


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For the Category of Entrepreneurship (For-Profit):

To round out your knowledge of this Library topic, you may want to review some related topics, available from the link below. Each of the related topics includes free, online resources.

Also, scan the Recommended Books listed below. They have been selected for their relevance and highly practical nature.

Related Library Topics

Recommended Books

Starting a For-Profit Business

Starting a Nonprofit Organization



Starting a For-Profit Business

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Also see

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Business Development -- Recommended books

Financing Your Business -- Recommended Books

Product Development -- Recommended books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books



Starting a New Nonprofit

The following books are recommended because of their highly practical nature and often because they include a wide range of information about this Library topic. To get more information about each book, just click on the image of the book. Also, a "bubble" of information might be displayed. You can click on the title of the book in that bubble to get more information, too.

Also See for Nonprofits

Strategic Planning -- Recommended Books

Social Entrepreneurship (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Capacity Building (Nonprofit) -- Recommended Books

Fundraising -- Recommended Books

Program Management -- Recommended Books

Planning and Project Management -- Recommended Books




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