You have an idea, you have done your research, and you think you have a winner. Now it is time to do the other part. You know, the part where you do some work and create your vision in reality. When starting a new online business, it always helps to use online tools to get up and going fast. You need to have all the right paperwork to make yourself a legal entity. You need to brainstorm, hire contractors, create designs, and get the website launched or updated.
Below are some resources for online entrepreneurs to help you get up and going fast. From legal, to design, and development – these websites can shave weeks off your schedule and save you thousands of dollars. (I concentrated on Internet-based businesses for this post.)
Findlaw.com has a special section for small business. It is located at http://smallbusiness.findlaw.com/.
There are tips on everything from naming your businesses to business plans. They will also tell you the differences between a S-Corp and a LLC, if you need a refresher on the finer points of incorporating a small company.
If you want to get going fast, you can buy an existing, operating online business at BizBuySell. Also, if you are ready to sell out of your small business, you can sell a small business here, too.
Get that big-company phone number for a small company price. They provide a 1–800 number and answering service.
A good looking logo can separate the serious business from the people that are just playing business. Customers pick up on professionalism. You need a great logo. Design and create your own logo online. LogoYes has on online interactive design studio to let you play around with designs until it is just right. If you are so inclined, this tool can help you build that perfect logo for your next enterprise. If you don’t want to do it yourself with LogoYes, and you are not artistically inclined, then see number 5.
Collaboration is crucial. Basecamp is a cost effective way to manage a dispersed group of entrepreneurs. Bootcamp facilitates project management online.
When you need some code written or any other jobs done for your startup, you can post the job to eLance. Freelancers will bid you your job. You can then select the best person for the price and get some work done.
Keep track of who you talked to and what you said with this online CRM system. Organize your sales calls, or your contact with contractors. You can also do things like review each other’s notes, see follow-ups, and set reminders to contact clients later.
3. A Good Web Host
I recommend HostMySite, but there are many good hosts out there. The host and plan you need depends on what you need to build. If you think you will need a little more horsepower than a shared plan can provide, but don’t want to pay the price for a dedicated server quite yet, you can check out the newer VPS (Virtual Private Server) plans that give you some of the benefits of a dedicated server without the price of a dedicated server.
2. A Domain Name
There are many good sites to register your domain name. I recommend GoDaddy or Network Solutions. These companies both have control-panels that let you manage multiple domains. This gets useful when you end up managing several domain names.
1. Legal Zoom
LegalZoom lets you set up your corporation online for a relatively low cost. They can also file trademarks for you. This site can save you a bundle of money and time when you need to get the legal paperwork done.
Republished from the Outside the Valley Blog, June 26, 2007
|If you found the above post interesting, you will probably be interested in my new book, Online Tools for Small Businesses where I discuss these sites and over 200 other links that are useful for small businesses. This book is mainly for small businesses like consultants, realtors, insurance agents, and the many, many other small businesses that already know their stuff in their particular area of expertise – but want to find out about what the Internet has to offer them.
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