Do you want to start your own business that has purpose and meaning? Have you already started your business? As a corporate refugee turned serial and proven entrepreneur, Bryan Janeczko provides you with the guidance, experience and concrete steps to build a meaningful and successful new venture. Sharing his own personal startup journey, he’ll help you leverage your passion to build and grow a business with purpose.
For the past several years, Bryan has been working with thousands of entrepreneurs in connection with Wicked Start, an online “startup incubator” which provides the resources for aspiring entrepreneurs to plan, fund and launch successful new ventures. In conjunction with Wicked Start, Bryan has written and published this book to help you take the steps necessary for creating a meaningful and enduring business.
In "Art of the Start," Guy Kawasaki, the former chief evangelist of Apple and now well-know Silicon venture capitalist, provides a high-level but time-tested framework for starting a business. His book covers the many facets of starting a business, from deciding on your business idea and writing your business plan to establishing your brand. Kawasaki's approach is very high level, but his book is packed with practical wisdom and his enthusiasm is infectious. Kawasaki argues, for eg., that great companies are great because they have "meaning" and "mantras": their ideas and solutions make life easier, people more productive or solve a problem, and their mission, vision and business models are simple and brief. "You make something, you sell it, you collect the money." If you can't say it in 10 words or less, he says, you don't have a business model.
We’ve all heard about disruptive business models that have transformed industries and competitive landscapes. The reality, though, is that many startups struggle to understand how to come up with even a simple business model. That’s where “Business Model Generation” comes into the picture. This handbook by Alex Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur outlines a systematic way to build and improve your business model through the use of the "Business Model Canvas" — a visual strategic tool that employs a pre-formatted grid containing the nine blocks of a business model that you fill in. To make the most out of the tool, read the book (available through Amazon.com for under $20).
This book can help you understand why branding is so important for your business, especially in the startup stages. There's some practical and advice and guidance that you might apply to your own business.
You hear the horror stories all the time of entrepreneurs toiling 24/7 for months if not years on end to make their business a success. However, working harder doesn't guarantee getting ahead. In his bestselling book, "The EMyth Revisited," Michael Gerber provides a great primer for rethinking how to succeed as an entrepreneur — earning more and working less, by delegating and inspiring more!
What belongs in an Executive Summary? Here's what the Small Business Administration thinks should be included.
Looking for a CPA? You can find one through the national organization for CPAs, which has a directory of CPAs located across the country.
If you need help in defining your business model, this Business Model Canvas is a popular document to reference. it's suggested that all Wicked Starters leverage this template. This can be your scorecard as you develop and test your different hypotheses for your product or service.
Determining your startup costs can be complex. But, according to the Financial Wisdom Small Business Resource Center, it generally comes down to making estimates for these three items:
Once you make these estimates, you can calculate the funds you will need by month during the critical start up phase of a business. You can use this calculator to help you estimate your startup costs.
Like Inc.com, Entrepreneur.com is a hub of startup news and information. Subscribe to their daily email for tips that may be important as you get your business off the ground.
This site offers low-cost domain names, as well as free and low-cost website building tools for your website.
1and1.com is a low-cost, easy-to-use site for setting up your website, complete with ready-made templates to choose from. They also provide site design services if you want a more branded look, costing between $299 and $499 based on the number of pages. 1&1 offers a number of other low-cost services, including domain name registration, hosting and email solutions.
You won't get far without a great pitch. 15SecondPitch.com is a great way to get it perfected. Co-founded by Laura Allen, a professional marketing consultant, the site offers a wealth of information and advice about how to craft a clear and compelling pitch. Their easy-to-use "pitch wizard" lets you plug in and practice your pitch for free. You can also order premium-quality business cards with your pitch on them. In addition to public group workshops, 15SecondPitch and Allen provide private pitch coaching for entrepreneurs for a fee.
99designs offers crowdsourced graphic design connecting designers with small businesses who need design projects completed. It also offers ready-made templates at a set fee, but the real draw here is custom-made collateral for which you set the price and then get get different options from multiple designers who compete for business. Logos start at $295 so if you're just starting your company and you want some initial logo ideas, or if you're an established company looking to refresh your logo, 99designs could be a smart, cost-effective solution. Visit www.99designs.com to start your own design competition.
Whether you want to create a print brochure or a website, this leader in multimedia / graphics can help meet your needs. They offer a range of solutions, from premium-priced professional software for graphic design professionals to more affordable entry-level image-editing software for those just starting out. Their end-of-the-year sale is going on now. You can check out their products and special deals here.
Pitch expert Laura Allen shares her tips for creating a compelling 30-second elevator pitch in this short video. Watch it now and learn about the four things you need for delivering your own successful pitch to get what you want.
Dana Mauriello, founder of ProFounder.com, a leading crowdfunding platform, discusses how crowdfunding works so you can consider this as an option for raising capital for your startup. Dana discusses the history and the future of opportunities in the crowdfunding space.
Many aspiring entrepreneurs may be considering "buying" a dream business of their own. Sometimes buying an existing business can be better than starting one from scratch. Hear one story from corporate refugee turned entrepreneur, Anthony Cirone, who purchased Li-Lac Chocolates in New York City.
New entrepreneur, Andrew Fried, talks about leaving Corporate America to pursue becoming an entrepreneur in this short video.
Babybites founder, Laura Deutsh, talks about being a "mom-preneur" and the role of passion in starting a business.
This article contains some very useful one-page templates for developing your marketing plan, based on the work of Philip Kotler, author of "Marketing Management," the world's most widely used graduate level textbook in marketing, and also Michael McLaughlin of The Startup Toolkit. You can use them to help you develop the marketing plan section of your business plan.
Get inspired reading startup tips from our own Wicked "Mastermind" Bryan Janeczko. Every week, you can read about startup experiences, tips for getting going, and best practices so you can launch a successful new business.
Here's a collection of links from About.com, all about getting insurance coverage for your small business. These small business insurance resources range from articles on how to protect your small business from fraud to how to conduct a state-by-state insurance search.
Nolo.com is an online resource for do-it-yourself legal templates, information, and software. This article includes 13 helpful tips you should consider when hiring new employees.
Use this article from this Dun & Bradstreet-owned site to help you develop the financial section of your business plan. If you need more help, you may want to ask your accountant for assistance, locate a free template (take a look at ours), or purchase business plan software to guide you.