If you run a startup, you’re probably so busy trying to get funding and make your company profitable that you don’t have the time to find resources to help you along your way. Never fear! Here I’ve provided five great resources that can help you run your business more succesfully.
Startup incubators are designed to help startup founders quickly ramp up their business skills, perfect their pitch for investors and make contacts that could help them grow. Depending on where you live, you may need to relocate for the duration of an incubator or startup accelerator program, which typically last 6-12 weeks. Here are a few incubators to consider:
2. Crowdfunding Sites
Finding investors who will actually believe in your startup enough to give you capital to grow it is one of the major pain points for startups. But thanks to President Obama signing the JOBS Act, startups like yours may find it easier to get money from what’s called crowdfunding. In a nutshell, crowdfunding refers to getting money for your company from everyday folks. There are many sites dedicated to connecting startups with nonaccredited investors, and each has different requirements. Some will only fund your project if you earn the entire amount you requested, and some will require you to provide perks or rewards to those who give you money. Start with these crowdfunding sites.
3. Free Business Advice
Like any small business, a startup needs all the free advice it can get. Whether you’re looking for business plan templates, a mentor or networking opportunities, organizations like these can provide it.
4. Analytics Tools
Startups need to keep track of web traffic, social media shares and other stats to measure their online growth. These tools do the trick, and are free or reasonably priced.
5. Social Media Tools
Social media is a huge part of any startup’s marketing strategy. But we’ve moved beyond just using Twitter.com and Facebook.com. There are some fantastic tools that help you schedule your social media updates, see which of your updates people are sharing, and find out what kind of reach you have with your followers.
These are just a sampling of all the dozens of tools available to startups. Keep you eye out! It seems like there are new tools popping up every day. The key to success for a startup is to stay proactive and keep learning from blogs, websites, magazines and books.
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