starting
startup

What’s the Difference Between a Small Business Venture and a Startup?

by Candice Landau

When I hear the word “startup,” my mind immediately begins playing a reel of a bunch of twenty-something year old web developers, huddled together in a retro office somewhere in the SF Bay Area. Drinking beer at midday, laughing about the epic, cool culture they’ve got going, and chatting about the fact that they spent... Read more »

planning
pitching business ideas in social situations

Do You Know How to Pitch Your Startup in Social Situations?

by Katherine Halek

You’ve struck stones together and you’ve finally seen a spark. You’ve worked hard to develop your ideas and build something worthy of faith and investment. But finding natural ways to pitch your startup may still seem like the most daunting task you’ve faced yet. Your elevator pitch, for all that it can be perfected,  can come... Read more »

managing
Robin Williams died on Monday August 11, 2014.

[Slideshare] What Robin Williams Taught Us About Life

by Jonathan Michael

As we mourn the death of Robin Williams, I wanted to take a look back to remember the life lessons we’ve learned from some of his most notable performances on film. Featuring images and quotes from Hook, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Morning, Vietnam, Jumanji, Aladdin, Patch Adams, Good Will Hunting, Bicentennial Man, and... Read more »

managing
manufacturing

How to Find an Overseas Manufacturer: A Primer on Global Sourcing

by Laurel Delaney

You have a great new product that you want to take global. Now, you need to find someone to manufacture that product. Do you know where to find a manufacturer overseas? I do. Contract manufacturing is when a company arranges to have a local or overseas manufacturer make all or part of the product. Typically,... Read more »

starting
What Is the Right Age to Start a Business

[Slideshare] What is the Right Age to Start a Business?

by Jonathan Michael

It seems like today’s hottest startups and small businesses are being led by 20-something wunderkinds. So, if you’re over 30, does it mean that it’s too late to start your own business? We asked our Bplans.com executive team, as well as friends on LinkedIn, and they had some interesting answers. “What is the right age... Read more »

starting
day of the dead

How to Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

by Candice Landau

If what you do outside "work" is your true love, then why not consider making it your career too? After all, you do want to love what you do, especially if you’re going to spend most of your life doing it. Here's the complete guide. Read more »

starting
league2

Welcome to Summoner’s Rift: Why a Free Start Can be Better for Business

by Ryder Cochrane

At first glance, the business model sounds insane—a game that you can download and play for free. Not a free trial, not on a basic account, the game can be played forever while never spending a single penny on it. You read that right—the game is free. Anybody can play it for as long as they... Read more »

managing

How to Grow Your Business by Setting Goals [Webinar]

by Sabrina Parsons

We all have goals for our business, but sometimes we forget how important it is to clearly define these goals. This is especially true when it comes to financial goal setting for small businesses, where often financial goals are only vaguely defined or based too heavily on assumptions. Many small business owners may keep a... Read more »

managing
the art of leadership

The Art of Leadership: 11 Quotes on Leading Well

by Jonathan Michael

Are great leaders born to lead, or have they learned what it takes to be great? Included below are 11 quotes from some of history’s greatest known thinkers and leaders on what it takes to lead well. Featuring quotes from Abraham Lincoln, Homer, Vince Lombardi, Mother Teresa, Martin Luther King Jr. and more. Do you have... Read more »

starting
What is an L3C?

What is an L3C?

by Angelique O'Rourke

In recent years, socially-minded entrepreneurs have begun testing a new type of business entity: the L3C, or Low Profit Limited Liability Corporation. A low-profit limited liability company, or an L3C, is a legal structure (a variation on a limited liability company or LLC) that is relatively new to the United States. The United Kingdom began... Read more »

starting
the overnight entrepreneur

How to Become an Entrepreneur Overnight

by Candice Landau

Is it possible to become an entrepreneur overnight? Is there a switch you can flick? And if so, how do you do it? Here's my answer along with 5 key ingredients that I believe contribute to the make up of all the best entrepreneurs. Read more »

planning
Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

Shoestring Marketing Budget? Get Your Customers to Do It For You

by Sarika Periwal

To survive as a business you need sales, and to generate sales you need marketing. It is for this reason that most businesses set aside a sizable chunk of money for advertising, but wouldn’t it be grand if you could generate sales by getting your existing customers to do your marketing for you? If you... Read more »

starting
How To Open a Successful Bakery

The Baker’s Guide to Opening a Successful Bakery

by Lisa Furgison

Are you the one that makes killer cakes for every birthday? Do you churn out to-die-for donuts? If you’re ready to turn your talents into a profitable bakery, you’ve come to the right place. There’s money to be made in the baking biz. The baking industry accounts for $311 billion in total economic output, according... Read more »

planning
Orange is the New Black Season 2 Cast Photo

How to Run a Business in Prison (Orange is the New Black, Season 2)—Minor Spoilers

by Jonathan Michael

The Netflix original series, Orange is the New Black, takes a gritty, poignant, and hilarious look at life inside a women’s federal prison. The show premiered in 2013 to critical acclaim, and in June 2014 Netflix released all 13 episodes of its second season. The show recently won the Critics’ Choice Award for Best Comedy... Read more »

managing

Innovate! 7 Quotes About the Value and Risk of Innovation

by Jonathan Michael

Forget about a “case of the Mondays.” Most weeks, it’s Wednesday when you start to wonder why you’re doing what you do. To get you through hump day with a little more pep in your step, we’ve gathered seven thought-provoking quotes from some of the most famous innovators and trailblazers. Maybe they’ll inspire you to... Read more »

starting
Business ideas

Is Your New Business Idea Worth Pursuing?

by Arlene Soto

I have so many new ideas for my business. How do I determine which ones are the best to pursue? Most business owners want their business to grow, and often growth includes consideration of new products or services. Sometimes, though, brainstorming new possibilities interferes with maintaining the core business by distracting the owner from focusing... Read more »

planning
bad startup idea or sitcom startup

Uh-oh! Do you have a “sitcom” startup?

by Candice Landau

There are two primary reasons that startups fail: One, the execution of the idea is poor (wrong location, poor product, bad service, etc) and two, the startup is not making something that people want. Simply put, it’s not solving a real-life problem. Y Combinator calls these types of startup ideas, "sitcom startups". Read more »

starting

What I Wish I’d Known Before I Started My Business

by Lisa Furgison

If you’re about to start a business, you’ve probably read several how-to books looking for advice on how to be successful. While researching is a great first step, there are some lessons that you won’t find in a book. You need to hear from business owners who have been in your position, who started a... Read more »

planning
ExportBookbyLaurelDelaney

From Market Research to Writing Your Export Business Plan

by Laurel Delaney

Below is the final extract we will be publishing from Laurel Delaney’s book “Exporting: The Definitive Guide to Selling Abroad Profitably.” This book was published in December 2013 and is available for purchase online. If you would like to find out more about the author, the book, or about exporting in general, Laurel’s blog is an excellent... Read more »

planning
8 Quotes That Will Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

8 Quotes to Motivate You to Make a Plan and Stick to It

by Jonathan Michael

Forget about a “case of the Mondays.” Most weeks, it’s Wednesday when you start to wonder why you’re doing what you do. To get you through hump day with a little more pep in your step, we’ve gathered eight inspirational quotes from some of history’s greatest minds. Maybe they’ll inspire you to stick with what... Read more »