starting
happycomputer

11 Excellent Free Online Courses for Entrepreneurs

by Sameer Bhatia

  In his recent Reddit AMA, visionary and serial entrepreneur Elon Musk wrote: “It is important to view knowledge as sort of a semantic tree—make sure you understand the fundamental principles, i.e., the trunk and big branches, before you get into the leaves/details or there is nothing for them to hang on to.” Whether you are... Read more »

funding
pitch webinar (3)

Webinar Recap: 14 Tips on How to Pitch and Get Funded

by Jonathan Michael

Last week, Bplans members had the opportunity to attend our free webinar, “14 Tips on How to Pitch and Get Funded.” Our featured speaker was Caroline Cummings, the VP of Business Development at Palo Alto Software. As the former co-founder and CEO of two technology companies, Caroline has experienced both start-up failures and successes, and... Read more »

starting
ProductDesign

10 Tools to Design Your Best Product Yet

by Angelique O'Rourke

This month we’ll be giving away 3 copies of Jon Kolko’s book, “Well Designed: How to Use Empathy to Create Products People Love”—it’s the first book on the list below. To enter the giveaway simply scroll to the bottom of this article and follow the instructions. Good luck!   Are you interested in designing your... Read more »

funding
shutterstock_150187904

17 Venture Capital Blogs You Should Be Reading

by Noah Parsons

Whether or not you’re raising money for your business, getting advice from venture capitalists can be invaluable. But, getting in the doors of a Sand Hill Road VC in Silicon Valley can be an incredibly difficult undertaking. Fortunately, many of the top VCs share their thoughts on their blogs and are full of advice for... Read more »

managing
facebook

Boost Your Facebook Business Page Reach with Engaging Images

by Cyla Panin

Most small businesses who are using social media have a Facebook page, but many business owners and social media managers are facing a problem: Facebook has been making it harder and harder for small to medium-sized businesses to make an impact with their business page. Today it’s next to impossible to avoid using Facebook’s paid... Read more »

funding
businesscredit

8 Quick Tips on How to Establish Business Credit and Get Financing

by Levi King

Have you ever been denied for business financing? If so, you’re not alone. More than 50% of small business owners who apply for financing get nothing. Personal and business credit scores are the primary cause for denial. If you haven’t taken the time to establish strong business credit, now is the time to start. I... Read more »

planning
scienceofbusinessplanning

Business Planning Makes You More Successful, and We’ve Got the Science to Prove It

by Noah Parsons

Should you spend some time developing a plan for your business, or just dive in and start, figuring things out as you go? There has been plenty of debate on this topic, but no one has pulled together the scientific evidence to determine if planning is worthwhile—until now. Over the past few months, with the... Read more »

starting
shutterstock_243293272

Can’t Decide What Business to Start? No Problem, We’ll Tell You

by Candice Landau

Every month over 1 million people visit Bplans. Most of those people are at the very early stages of starting a business and as such, are looking to see what others have done. Some have already decided and are in the process of writing a business plan. They’re asking questions: What should a tutoring agency... Read more »

starting
nametrouble

Why You Should Care about the Name You Give Your Company

by Vince Bridgman

When company names go bad There’s a whole heap of problems that can scupper a business in its plans to develop and grow: poor sales, an interrupted supply chain, industry price-cutting or new competition, a marketing strategy that didn’t quite go to plan, HR issues, sudden increases in overheads, late payments—the list of potential pitfalls... Read more »

managing
Okay, having a funny chef statue isn't on the list.

18 Affordable Marketing Tactics Restaurants Can Use to Bring in More Customers

by Lisa Furgison

The restaurant business will see an uptick in sales this year—according to the National Restaurant Association, sales are expected to hit $709.2 billion in 2015. The report indicates that the recovering economy is making it easier for people to eat out more frequently. To make sure some of that newly flowing cash comes into your restaurant,... Read more »

managing
Large windows and lots of natural light can increase both morale and productivity.

How to Create a Productive Office Space

by Louise Dickens

A recent analysis from the World Green Building Council concluded that there is “overwhelming evidence” linking office design with productivity and wellness. But that’s nothing new, right? There has long been evidence to suggest that this is the case. We all know that our productivity levels drop when we feel uncomfortable—whether it’s the temperature, the... Read more »

starting
A street view in Bali, Indonesia, where the idea for Indosole was created. Photo via: Iryna Rasko

Power to the People: How to Create a Profitable Social Enterprise

by Nina Cresswell

What is it about a job that fans the flame inside you? The obvious answer is money—a healthy bank deposit at the end of the month is a primary motive for working. For others it’s about achieving something meaningful; helping society and feeling rewarded in passion, not pounds or dollars or whatever currency you get... Read more »

starting
youngleader

Top 15 Tips to Be a More Successful Young Leader

by Paula Green

The best way to become a more successful young leader is to disregard it as your goal and focus on your learning journey. That includes a combination of your everyday experience at work, with experiences of your own making. I started my career as an intern in Colgate-Palmolive and was eventually promoted to a position... Read more »

managing
socialmedia

3 Strategies to Inspire Your Social Media Marketing

by Nick Rojas

Social media has become one of the most important outreach and marketing channels available to brands, which in turn means that it’s important to have a social media strategy as a core part of your overall marketing plan. Social media channels offer businesses a cost-effective way to promote their companies, to increase brand awareness, and... Read more »

managing
restaurantstaff

How to Manage Labor Costs for Your New Restaurant

by Ezra Adler

Whether you’re about to open a restaurant or have been running your place for a few months already, there’s no doubt that the process will be expensive. Alongside food and beverages, labor is one of the most costly factors in the equation, but cutting wages isn’t the answer. While you have a limited budget, you... Read more »

funding
pitch webinar_small

14 Tips on How to Pitch and Get Funded [Webinar]

by Jonathan Michael

You made the leap. You’ve taken the steps to start your own business, and it’s more than just an idea. There’s only one problem: you don’t have the capital you need to get it off the ground or take it to the next level. You need investors. When it comes to pitching your business, you... Read more »

managing
Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group.

4 Secrets of Successful Business Owners

by Ryan James

Have you ever wondered how some entrepreneurs and business owners seem almost superhuman, that everything they touch and do practically turns to gold? Take Richard Branson for example. He started Virgin in 1970 and has built numerous businesses across multiple industries over the last 35 years. A company that stands for excitement, uniqueness, and more... Read more »

starting
shutterstock_232599619

A Comprehensive Guide to Creating a Business Website

by Scott Huntington

Time is of the essence when it comes to getting your website up and running. If you want to snag your share of the market, you must act quickly. Today, creating a website isn’t something you should probably do, it’s something you must do. Whether you do it yourself—the affordable option—or outsource the design and... Read more »

managing
shutterstock_231088147

The 7 Key Metrics Every Business Owner Should Monitor

by Candice Landau

Did you know that 28% of businesses fail due to problems with the financial structure of the company? This includes keeping poor accounting records. If you don’t understand your key financial metrics, you have no way of monitoring your business’s health—and you risk mingling assets, incurring penalties for filing taxes late, overlooking expenses, and running... Read more »

funding
shutterstock_168567017

The 10 Best Side Businesses to Fund Your Startup (Plus One Unexpected Suggestion)

by Briana Morgaine

So, you have a great idea for a new business? The thing is, getting started isn’t as straightforward as some people make it sound. What if you need a little help getting it off the ground? In addition to creating a solid business plan, marketing your business, and a host of other details you’ll be... Read more »