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Simple Business Plan Templates for Entrepreneurs #investment #news


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8 Simple Business Plan Templates for Entrepreneurs

Writing a business plan is an important step in the startup process. It helps you and your partners decide if you will work well together, teaches you about the marketplace, and lets you brainstorm business and product goals. But because of all the effort and detail involved, many entrepreneurs dread the thought of sitting down and creating this critical but time-consuming document.

While business plans can be frustrating if you re writing one from scratch, there are plenty of online templates available to take some of the pain out of the process. Small business owners can benefit from simple, easy-to-follow business-plan tools so they can spend less time writing and more time launching.

Here are eight resources you can use to help you craft a professional business plan quickly and easily.

$100 Startup

You ve heard about those entrepreneurs who started off by jotting down their ideas on a napkin at a bar, caf or restaurant. $100 Startup s One-Page Business Plan is a little like that, but more organized. Designed for entrepreneurs who are itching to get started, this simple business-plan template asks a handful of questions that you can easily answer in one or two sentences. It covers everything from what you sell and who will buy it to how you will get paid, hustle to find customers, foresee challenges and overcome the obstacles all in a single page. [Writing a Business Plan? Do These 5 Things First]

Copyblogger

Not all small businesses are concerned with credit lines, partnerships and office space at least not in the beginning. So why should their initial business plans include these things? Copyblogger s Remarkably Simple Business Plan doesn t. Instead, it offers a business-plan template fit for the real would-be entrepreneur s world. Whereas most business-plan templates assume all businesses are uniform, Copyblogger s Remarkably Simple Business Plan was created to get to what entrepreneurs really need to know to start a business: the ins and outs of the product or service, how customers will find the business and how the business will make money. Simply copy and paste the template of the Remarkably Simple Business Plan, created by Sonia Simone, co-founder and chief content officer of Copyblogger Media, and you re good to go.

Enloop

Founded in 2011, Enloop is regarded as an innovative player in the business-plan-creation industry. Like many others, the service uses an online interface to help automate your business plan s creation. To get started, users enter basic information about their businesses, including product details. Then, Enloop s software uses metrics to help predict the financial performance of the company in comparison with others in the sector. According to CEO Cynthia McCahon, the goal of the company is to help entrepreneurs make better-informed decisions. Users can get started on Enloop for free; more advanced paid options are also available.

LivePlan

LivePlan is a relatively new entrant to the online business-tools market that helps you every step of the way, from the planning stages through your launch. Like other services, LivePlan allows business owners to craft perfectly formatted plans. From there, users can create the presentation necessary to pitch their business ideas to would-be investors. Once off the ground, businesses can track revenue and expenses against forecasts, and multiple users within a company can work through the LivePlan interface. Pricing starts at less than $12 a month.

The One Page Business Plan Company

Created by The One Page Business Plan Company. this simple business template covers only the key areas entrepreneurs need to address to start a business: their vision for the company, mission for why the business exists, objectives for setting out goals, strategies to make the business successful and action plans indicating what work needs to be done. Unlike complicated business plans, boring blocks of text are not required bullet points will do.

Platform Planner

Are you the visual type? Look no further than Angela Bowman s One-Page Visual Business Plan. Based on the principles of the Business Generation Model Strategyzer app, Bowman s One-Page Visual Business Plan uses sticky notes to help you creatively craft an out-of-the-box business plan. To create a One-Page Visual Business Plan, start by separating a single page into different sections or columns, such as company information and customer segments. Write down your ideas or responses on a sticky note, and then stick it on the corresponding section. You can also color-code the sticky notes for better organization. Then, if your plans change, you can easily remove a note, move it around or add new ones to better fit the direction in which your business is headed.

SBA Build Your Business Plan Tool

The fact that the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has an online tool to help users craft business plans will come as no surprise to anyone who has investigated the SBA s offerings before. The agency has a wealth of free planning, financing and consulting tools and resources, both online and through available consultants. The SBA s online tool for business-plan creation allows a user to enter information on a Web interface that is tied to that user s account. The administration says this is intended to be a live plan that can be referred to and changed as the company s plans progress. The SBA encourages entrepreneurs to use their generated plans to discuss their company s prospects with SBA advisers like those available through SCORE and the Small Business Development Center. The SBA s tool is available online at no cost.

Wise Bread

Greg Go, co-founder of online finance community Wise Bread, is a big believer that entrepreneurs who are just starting out don t need lengthy business plans. What they actually need, he said, is an internal working plan to get started. The internal working plan consists of four simple questions that make up the simple business plan: What is your product or service? Who are your customers? When will things get done? When are bills due, and when do you get paid? To guide entrepreneurs in completing their four-question business plan, Go provides a simplified way of answering each question in his blog post on the subject.

Updated on May 1, 2015. Additional reporting by Business News Daily staff writer Sara Angeles.

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  • Writing a simple business plan #stock #markets


    #simple business plan

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    Writing a simple business plan

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    What business to start in 2015: Starting a business advice and business ideas #small

    #businesses to start

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    What business to start in 2015

    The desire to become your own boss and work for yourself is growing and in election year the economy will inevitably be a key policy battleground, meaning small business-friendly pledges will be made.

    With signs of revival and chancellor George Osborne’s recent promises of renewed business support and an extra £1bn funding for regional growth some might argue the climate for starting a business has never been better, making 2015 a great time to take the plunge.

    Action point: Need a loan to start a business of your own? See how we can help here and here

    This appetite for starting a business isn’t just hype; StartUp Britain reported a record 581,173 new businesses for 2014. markedly higher than 2013 and 2012, and the UK’s eco-system appears to be in good health with ONS figures showing a 6% drop in the number of British firms leaving the Companies House register.

    Britain is expected to be the fastest growing G7 economy in 2015 – the IMF has predicted a 3.2% overall rise – and while London remains the start-up capital. regional start-up hubs are beginning to flourish with Manchester, Birmingham and Glasgow fast gaining reputations as top cities to start a business in .

    It’s on the back of these positive indicators that we look to the coming months and the hot sectors and businesses opportunities that could prove fruitful for those looking to start a new venture. We’ve studied and assessed businesses which are gaining market traction, sought insight from leading research bodies such as Mintel, and analysed consumer trends to bring you our predictions of 14 top businesses to start in 2015.

    From foods and fitness to technology, cycling, and even cafes with a twist, there’s a host of start-up prospects to suit a range of skills and backgrounds and this extends to part-time businesses that can offer supplementary income such as starting a niche social network .

    With the freelance workforce now over four million strong and more firms than ever before looking to hire freelance talent, we’ve also identified opportunities for freelancers and “solopreneurs”. This includes starting up as a growth hacker ; a combination of smart marketing and tech development which is becoming increasingly sought after in the start-up world.

    While several of the business opportunities listed aren’t new, the potential to innovate and target an established market with a disruptive new solution – take protein products for instance – are plentiful.

    Follow the buttons above and below to find out what business you should start in 2015…

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    50 Creative Corporate Business Card Design examples – Design inspiration #business #analyst


    #business card designer

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    50 Creative Corporate Business Card Design examples – Design inspiration

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    Corporate Business Cards designed in a creative manner gives a professional touch to almost all kinds of businesses. A professionally designed corporate business card can in turn boost the sales or marketing of all companies even if it’s in a small manner. It’s important to have a unique and simple corporate business card before they end up in a garbage bin. Yeah, you heard me right, boring visiting cards end up in the dust bin, keeping in mind the numerous corporate business cards which float in the market and also in your customer’s hand. The message should be short and sweet, so it gets the point across to the customer, it shouldn’t be like, What the hell is this visiting card for? save these beautiful and creative corporate business cards for the most needed inspiration or simply share them with your friends.

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    Keeping Your Business Plan Simple #business #logo


    #simple business plan

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    A Simple Business Plan

    Entrepreneur, Business Planner and Angel Investor

    When I first started working with business plans back in the late 1970s, the average plan was much longer and more complex than what I see today. That might be because business plans are more common than they used to be–they re used more and more often and by more people. It might also be a matter of trends among bankers and investors who read business plans. Or it could be because people have less time to waste wading through documents!

    For whatever reason, the trend in business plans these days is to go back to the fundamentals, with good projections and solid analysis. An easy to read quickly format is more important than ever. If you want people to read the business plan you develop–and most people do–then my best advice to you is keep it simple. Don t confuse your business plan with a doctoral thesis or a lifetime task. Keep the wording and formatting straightforward, and keep the plan short.

    But don t confuse simple wording and formats with simple thinking. The reason you re keeping it simple isn t because you haven t developed your idea fully. You re keeping it simple so you can get your point across quickly and easily to whoever s reading it.

    With that in mind, let s get down to some specifics when it comes to simplifying your plan.

    Rein in your prose. Effective business writing is easy to read. People will skim your plan-they ll try to read it while talking on the phone or going through their e-mail. Save the deep prose for the great American novel you ll write later. When you re crafting your plan, remember these tips:

    • Don t use long complicated sentences, unless you have to for meaning. Short sentences are fine, and they re easier to read.
    • Avoid buzzwords, jargon and acronyms. You may know that NIH means not invented here and KISS stands for keep it simple, stupid, but don t assume anybody else does.
    • Use simple, straightforward language, like use instead of utilize and then instead of at that point in time.
    • Bullet points are good for lists. They help readers digest information more easily.
    • Avoid naked bullet points. Flesh them out with brief explanations where explanations are needed. Unexplained bullet points can be frustrating.

    Keep it short. The average length of most business plans is shorter now than it used to be. You can probably cover everything you need to convey in 20 to 30 pages of text plus another 10 pages of appendices for monthly projections, management resumes and other details. If you ve got a plan that s more than 40 pages long, you re probably not summarizing very well.

    Of course, there are exceptions to the rule. I recently saw a plan for a chain of coffee shops, for example, that included photos of the proposed location, mock-ups of menus and maps of other proposed locations. The graphics made the plan longer, but they added real value. Product shots, location shots, menus, blueprints, floor plans, logos and signage photos are useful.

    Use business charts. Make your important numbers easy to find and easy to understand. Use summary tables and simple business charts to highlight the main numbers. Make the related details easy to find in the appendices. Also.

    • Use bar charts to show, at a minimum, sales, gross margin, net profits, cash flow and net worth by year.
    • Three-dimensional bars look slicker, but two-dimensional bars are usually easier to read. Make sure the numbers are obvious.
    • Stacked bars make totals easier to visualize. If your sales divide into segments, stack the bars to show the total.
    • Use pie charts for market share and market segments.
    • Show tasks and milestones as horizontal bars with labels on the left and dates along the top or bottom. Most people call this a Gantt chart. Show only the major tasks and milestones, because too many details make these charts hard to read.
    • Always put the source numbers close to the charts in a summary table so readers can reference them quickly and recognize the numbers in the charts. And never leave a business plan reader unable to find the source numbers of a chart. That s frustrating.
    • Don t use a chart without referencing it in the text. If source numbers aren t completely obvious in the summary tables, make sure you specify which appendices contain the detailed numbers.

    Polish the overall look and feel. Aside from the wording, you also want the physical look of your text to be simple and inviting. So take my advice:

    • Stick to two fonts for your text. The font you use for headings should be a simple sans-serif font, such as Arial, Tahoma or Verdana. For the body text, you should probably use a standard text font, like Century, Times Roman or Book Antigua.
    • Avoid small fonts. Only a few of the more readable fonts are fine at 10 points; most of them are better at an 11 or 12 point size.
    • Use page breaks to separate sections and to separate charts from text and to highlight tables. When in doubt, go to the next page. Nobody worries about having to turn to the next page.
    • Use white space liberally. Words crammed together into small spaces are uncomfortable to read.
    • Always use your spell-checker. Then proofread your text carefully to be sure you re not using a properly spelled incorrect word! Double check that your text numbers match those in your tables.

    Copyright 2016 Entrepreneur Media, Inc. All rights reserved.


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    Work-at-Home Businesses #vending #machine #business


    #at home businesses

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    Work-at-Home Businesses

    Want to be your own boss? Earn thousands of dollars a month from home? Ads promote many different work-at-home jobs and businesses, but often the message is the same: they promise you’ll earn a great living from home, even in your spare time.

    Don’t take their word for it — many of these “jobs” are scams, or don’t deliver on the claims they make. So do some research, and learn about common work-at-home scams.

    What to Know About Work-at-Home Businesses

    When money’s tight, a work-at-home opportunity might sound like just the thing to make ends meet. Some even promise a refund if you don’t succeed.

    But the reality is many of these jobs are scams. You end up paying for starter kits or certifications that are useless, find your credit card is charged without your permission, or get caught up in a fake check scam.

    Other work-at-home offers just don’t deliver on their promises. The ads don’t tell you that you may have to work a lot of hours without pay, or don’t disclose all the costs up-front. You might spend money based on promises you’ll quickly earn it back — but you don’t. People tricked by work-at-home ads have lost thousands of dollars, not to mention their time and energy.

    Common Work-at-Home Scams

    Internet businesses

    You’re told you can earn thousands of dollars a month starting your own internet business. The company says that no experience is necessary because they have experts to coach you, and you’re pressured to pay for the opportunity right away. Once you pay, the company says you won’t succeed unless you pay for more pricey services. Many people who pay for these “businesses” are left with a lot of debt and not much else.

    Other work-at-home offers tell you that you can make money doing tasks like internet searches on prominent search engines and filling out forms. You just have to pay a small shipping and handling fee. Later on, you learn that the company isn’t connected with a well-known search engine like it claims — scammers are just lying to get your credit or debit card information. If you pay them even a tiny fee online, they can use your financial information to put additional charges on your card.

    Envelope stuffing

    For a small fee, the ad says, you’ll make lots of money stuffing envelopes. But after you pay, you find out there is no work. Instead, you get a letter telling you to get other people to buy the same envelope-stuffing opportunity or some other product. You earn money only if those people respond the same way you did.

    Assembly or craft work

    You see an ad that says you can make money assembling crafts or other products at home for a company that has promised to buy them. You may have to invest hundreds of dollars for equipment or supplies — like a sewing or sign-making machine from the company, or materials to make items like aprons, baby shoes, or plastic signs. Then you spend many hours making the “product.” But after you’ve bought your supplies and done the work, the company doesn’t pay you — supposedly because your work isn’t “up to standard.” Unfortunately, no work ever is, and you’re left with equipment and supplies, but no income.

    Rebate processing

    The ad says you can earn money by helping to process rebates. The fee for training, certification, or registration is nothing compared to what you’ll earn, the ad promises. The “#1 certified work-at-home consultant” behind the program will show you how to succeed like she did. What you get instead are poorly written and useless training materials. There are no rebates to process, and few people ever get a refund.

    Medical billing

    The ads promise a substantial income for full- or part-time work processing medical claims electronically — no experience needed. When you call the toll-free number, a sales rep tells you doctors are eager for help. In exchange for your investment of hundreds — or thousands — of dollars, the rep says, you’ll get everything you need to launch your own medical billing business. including the software to process the claims, a list of potential clients, and technical support.

    But the companies rarely provide experienced sales staff or contacts in the medical community. The lists they give you often are out-of-date and include doctors who haven’t asked for billing services. The software they send might not even work. Competition in the medical billing market is fierce, and few people who make the investment are able to find clients or generate any income — let alone get back their investment.

    Mystery shopping

    Ads for mystery shoppers say they want people who are willing to shop at certain stores or dine at certain restaurants, and then report on their experience in exchange for money. While there are some legitimate mystery shopping jobs, many are scams. Scammers might tell you that you need to pay for worthless certifications, directories, or job guarantees. Others are running fake check scams — they ask you to deposit checks and wire some of the money back, before you and the bank find out the check is fake, and you’re responsible for paying it back. You should never have to pay to get into the mystery shopping business.

    Multilevel marketing

    Another type of work-at-home opportunity is a multilevel marketing (MLM) plan. In multilevel or network marketing, you’re supposed to sell products to the public — often by word of mouth and direct sales. In legitimate MLM opportunities, you’ll earn commissions for the products you sell, and for sales made by people you recruit.

    But not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. Some MLM companies tout luxurious lifestyles and suggest you’ll earn enough money to quit your job or meaningfully supplement your income. But are their claims for real? Be wary and ask for written information about how much money most people make (after deducting their expenses). Also, if anyone suggests recruiting is the real way to make money, know this: MLMs that survive on recruiting new participants rather than retail sales are pyramid schemes. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.

    How to Know If It’s a Scam

    Promises of a big income working from home, especially when the “opportunity” involves an up-front fee or giving your credit card information, should make you very suspicious. It doesn’t matter if the ad shows up in a trusted newspaper or website, or if the people you talk to on the phone sound legitimate. It still could be a scam.

    If you’re thinking about following up on a work-at-home offer, do your homework. The FTC’s Business Opportunity Rule has safeguards in place to make sure you have the information you need to tell whether a work-at-home opportunity is a risky business. Under the Rule, sellers have to give you a one-page disclosure document that offers key pieces of information about the opportunity. Use the information in the disclosure document to fact-check what the seller tells you. In addition to reviewing the disclosure document, here are some questions to ask:

    • What tasks will I have to perform? Are any other steps involved?
    • Will I be paid a salary, or will I be paid on commission?
    • What is the basis for your claims about my likely earnings? Do you survey everyone who purchased the program? What documents can you show me to prove your claims are true before I give you any money? Note: If a seller makes a claim about how much money a person can earn, the seller also has to give you an earnings claim statement with more specifics.
    • Who will pay me?
    • When will I get my first paycheck?
    • What is the total cost of this work-at-home program, including supplies, equipment, and membership fees? What will I get for my money?

    The answers to these questions may help you determine whether a work-at-home program is legitimate, and if so, whether it’s a good fit for you.

    Check them out

    It’s a good idea to research other people’s experience. Try entering the company or promoter’s name with the words “complaint,” “reviews,” or “scam” into a search engine. Read what others have to say. After all, it’s your money on the line.

    You also might try checking out a company with your local consumer protection agency. your state Attorney General. or the Better Business Bureau — not only where the company is located, but also where you live. These organizations can tell you whether they’ve gotten complaints about a particular work-at-home program. But remember: just because there aren’t complaints doesn’t mean the company is legitimate. Dishonest companies sometimes settle complaints and change their names or move to avoid detection.

    Report a Scam

    If you have spent money and time on a work-at-home program and now believe it might not be legitimate, contact the company and ask for a refund. Let company representatives know that you plan to notify law enforcement officials about your experience. If you can’t resolve the dispute with the company, file a complaint with:

    • The FTC at ftc.gov/complaint or 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357).
    • The Attorney General’s office in your state or the state where the company is located. Find yours at naag.org. The office can tell you if you’re protected by a state law that regulates work-at-home programs.
    • The advertising manager of the publication that ran the ad. The manager may be interested to learn about the problems you’ve had with the company.

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    Good business names #free #business #forms


    #good business names

    #

    10 Ways To Come Up With A Killer Name For Your Company

    www.jawshark.com

    First things first – your startup needs a name! This may seem a silly and frivolous task, but it may be the most important decision you make.

    The name of your business has a tremendous impact on how customers and investors view you, and in today’s small world, it’s a world-wide decision.

    Please don’t send me any more business plans with TBD or NewCo in the title position. Right or wrong, the name you choose, or don’t choose, speaks volumes about your business savvy and understanding of the world you are about to enter. Here are some key things I look for in the name, with some help from Alex Frankel and others.

    If you are still unsure of yourself after reading through the tips, you should know that there are many dedicated firms, like Igor and A Hundred Monkeys. that can relieve you of $1M of your hard-earned funds to come up with just the right appellation. Hmmm. I wonder how much they spent on their own names?

    View As: One Page Slides

    Read the original article on Startup Professionals Musings. Copyright 2010.

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    Design Your Own Custom Business Cards #harvard #business #journal


    #business cards

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    1085 x 635 pixels

    Vertical

    2.12″ x 3.62″
    54 x 92 mm
    635 x 1085 pixels

    Finished artwork should use the full bleed dimensions for best results.

    Paper Stock:

    With our new heavyweight paper stocks, your card will look fantastic. Make it really pop with our new premium matte paper or glossy stock.

    Matte Stock
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    Premium Matte Stock
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    Add a high-gloss to the front of your card to brighten colors. Make your logo or photo stand out.

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    100% Post-Consumer Waste, 100-lb. (265g/m2) Premium Matte Recycled Paper

    Premium paper is used for our Brilliant Finishes: Raised Print, Spot Gloss and Metallic. Learn More


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    Tri-C Business Management – Small Business Management: Cleveland #international #business #jobs


    #small business management

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    Business Management – Small Business Management

    Area of Study: Business Management
    Degree/Certificate: Associate of Applied Business degree in Business Management with a concentration in Small Business Management

    This program is designed for those who aspire to be entrepreneurs, as well as for those already operating a small business. Fundamentals of entrepreneurship are emphasized. A solid management foundation is provided.

    Do you have a great idea for a new business but need professional support and resources to help get you started? Learn more about the ThRIve program at Tri-C.

    Learn more about Tri-C’s small business program

    Small Business Management at Tri-C

    How to reach us

    Ask a Question

    Do you have additional questions about this program? Complete this form and someone will provide you with the information you need.

    Additional Information

    Transfer Programs

    Does your academic plan include earning a Bachelor Degree? Tri-C is a great place to start. View the list of partnerships we have with four year institutions. You can search by school or Tri-C major.

    Program Information Sheet


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    10 steps to starting a business: Starting a business advice and business ideas #business

    #starting a business

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    10 steps to starting a business

    Starting a small business is easy using our step-by-step guides. The 10 steps below will teach you how to start a business, taking you through each of the key stages of the start-up process – from evaluating your business idea and choosing a company name through to designing your business cards, developing a website and, finally, getting ready to launch.

    Starting a business? 7 things you need to do first

  • How to start a business: What you need to know

    Key topics

    Need a loan to get your business started? A website design? Or maybe some separate business broadband? Get quotes and start saving now with our Startups Resources

    Field research is a key part of analysing your market and will help you build a successful business plan and brand. Here’s how to carry it out effectively.

    Sole trader, partnership, limited company or LLP? We look at how to choose the right legal structure for your start-up

    Choosing the right start-up name is extremely important. Here’s a practical guide on how to pick out the best name to ultimately build a better business

    Five fundamental points your logo should convey to your customers

    Looking to raise finance for your new business? Join the 30,000 plus Start Up Loan recipients today…

    Tips from Startups on how to pick the number cruncher that’s right for your small business

    What exactly do you need to consider when looking for the perfect premises?

    John Paterson rounds up the free and low-cost software options available to help you start your business

    Dealing with business red tape? Startups has complied the five key legal issues and how best to deal with them…

    What types of selling do you need to use? Startups covers a few of the most important selling techniques for your business

    You’ve got a business idea but what are the next steps? Startups has compiled a launchpad guide to help you put the foundations in place for business success

    Startups answers the key questions you should ask before starting your own business

    Latest on Startups

    To celebrate 10 years of its Business IP Centre, on September 27 the Library is holding a free day of workshops from the likes of Julie Deane OBE.

    A professional musician who’s preformed alongside the likes of Lana del Ray and Beyoncé – Katie Sayles talks about her new pre-school members’ club

    Research from the FSB suggests the introduction of the minimum £7.20-an-hour rate has led many small firms to increase prices and reduce staff hours

    App which operates via Bluetooth connected handleba device backed by TrueStart, Seedrs, and mayor’s London Co-Investment Fund

    Purple Cow ” rel=”bookmark”>The business book you need to read this month: Purple Cow

    With a focus on ‘transforming your business by being remarkable’, entrepreneur Daniel Keighron-Foster advocates Seth Godin’s seminal book

    Useful business start up tools

    Forum post of the week

    Want to run a more profitable business?

    More from Startups


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