Start a Business

Being self-employed definitely has its advantages.  (clink) Here's to making it work!

Small Business Readiness Assessment Tool   This is a good place to start.  Answer a few quick questions to see if you are compatible with owning a business.

Articles

Business Writing Lynda.com article, Be brief, be bright, be gone.
Embrace Self-Improvement Lynda.com article

"Three Reasons not to Crowdfund"   from Inc. magazine.  In the Financing section below, I list several sources for crowdfunding.  This article offers a dose of caution

Accounting

Accounting Coach is a free tutorial (Better Business Bureau A+ rating)
Accounting in 60 Minutes - a brief introduction
Accounting Tutorial   These tutorials are created by an Amazon veteran and edited by a friend of mine, Alex Nordeen, editor at Guru99. The course covers Accounting Basics like Introduction, Assets and Liabilities, Accounting Equation, Revenue, Expenses, and Drawings. It also introduces Accounting transactions, Journal Entries, Ledgers, Profit and Loss Statement, Fixed Assets, and Depreciation. They also touch on advanced topics Trial Balance, Balance Sheet. Cash Flow Report, and Analyze Financial Reports.
IRS Publication 583 "Starting a Business and Keeping Records"

Blogs

FundersandFounders   a visual startup blog which uses lots of infographics

Business Plans

Delineates the creation and management of your entity:  financing, operating processes, marketing plan, and goals.
bplans.com   500+ sample plans, videos, how-to articles, and business calculators
Inc. a business plan summary
Lean Canvas Course  jump start your first business model
Mission Statements  ideas and inspiration for defining your own mission statement
SBA  how to write a business plan
Virtual Business Plan Template

Finances

Angel List   connect with investors for your startup; here you can also apply to jobs with these startups.
Fundrise   crowdfunding for real estate development; see this May, 2014 New York Times article
How to Apply for a Government Grant   a very short eHow YouTube video from a CPA.
Idea Lab   media innovations and startups,  Bill Gross
Indigogo   crowdsource funding
Innovation Endeavors   venture capital for technology companies
Kickstarter   crowdsourced funding for whatever project you imagine and present
Plug and Play   accelerator for tech startups
SBA Loan Programs  
TechStars   seed funding for startups

Freelancing

Freelance Blogging   find out which blogs are paying for posts
Freelance Writing   good information to get you started
elance.com   find freelance jobs and projects
ODesk  find freelance jobs and projects
List of 20 Helpful Websites   Lifehack.org
Secure Internet   best practices for freelancers

General Resources

About.com  small business info
American Institute of Small Business
BizFriendly   brush up on your business-related digital skills
eBooks for Business   free ebooks on a wide range of career and entrepreneurial topics
ehow.com:
     How to start a small business
     How to start a virtual assistant business
Entrepreneur.com  a little bit of everything
Freelancers Union   includes group benefits and a blog.
Inc. Startup
Investing in a Business Website
Lean Startup   a new entrepreneurship movement; also a book of the same name
myownbusiness.org  how to start one, how to grow one
NFIB  National Federation of Independent Business
Online Business ideas: basics of starting an online business
SBA  U.S. Small Business Administration
Score.org   small business advocate
Yahoo! Small Business   site hosting and ecommerce

 

Marketing

 

10% off with promo code: save10percent2day

AnyPromo   will provide you with promotional items for your small to medium business.

Cafe Press   design and market your own merchandise

Certificate of Social Media Marketing and Management is an excellent course offered at Udemy. I took this course and use its valuable information in my own marketing plan for Tammy's Library. Udemy offers many courses on social media with a wide range of fees beginning with free.  Read up on MOOCs if you're not familiar with them.

Design Crowd is an online marketplace where you access the talents of hundreds of graphic designers for your project, i.e. you need a logo, t-shirt design, or website design. Companies of any size use it.  Simply submit a brief and choose from the many design options presented to you. A typical logo design will cost between $200 and $400 and you will see about 50 ideas from designers. This method of graphic design proves to be cheaper, faster, and more creative options presented than hiring a designer the traditional way.  Access their website by clicking the ads below.  You may be interested in watching their video which explains how the crowdsourcing design process works.

Internet Marketing Ninjas   great teachers, here, and free SEO, web and social media tools

Moo   print business cards, letterhead, labels and more.

 Squarespace Logo  create your business logo and download it for $10.  Use Chrome or Firefox when you do this.

Trademarkia   a free trademark search site

Web Marketing   Eugen is a very personable fellow who offers excellent guidance for anyone wishing to drive their website to the top of the charts.

99 Designs

Supplies

Zuma Office Supply donates 50% of their profits to charity.... their motto is "do good work".... are you sold yet?
Get Free next day shipping on orders over $75 at Zuma Office Supply! Freight items excluded.

 

MOOCs

Massive Open Online Courses that do not fall into specific categories listed on this page are mentioned here. Remember, this is but a sampling of what is out there! See my MOOCs page for additional information.

Udemy offers an excellent FREE course "Leadership, Management, & Entrepreneurship in the 21st Century" icon
This seven hour Leadership course places career skills in the context of life in our tech-oriented and economic uncertain century. This course is one that would benefit everyone, regardless of your career path. Because I took this course, I was offered a sale when that instructor offered a new course: Advanced Communication. Of course I'm thrilled and will be taking that one too! Most Udemy courses have a fee, but even many of those are inexpensive. Udemy has frequent sales, so once you've taken a course you will receive emails regarding specials.

This seven hour Leadership course places career skills in the context of life in our tech-oriented and economic uncertain century.  This course is one that would benefit everyone, regardless of your career path.  Because I took this course, I was offered a sale when that instructor offered a new course: Advanced Communication.  Of course I'm thrilled and will be taking that one too!  Most Udemy courses have a fee, but even many of those are inexpensive. Udemy has frequent sales, so once you've taken a course you will receive emails regarding specials.

Business and Management courses at Coursera. They offer 70 topics. Coursera classes are all free, unless you want CEU Continuing Education Units. A passing grade of 80% will get you a Statement of Accomplishment. If you also do the Action Learning assignments, you will receive a Statement of Accomplishment with Distinction.  The Signature Track is when you wish to receive formal credits and you pay for the course.

Developing Innovative Ideas for New Companies: The First Step in Entrepreneurship is the top Coursera entrepreneurial course; they also have numerous business courses.

Digital Marketing   a FutureLearn free course

Effective Meeting Management   from informal meetings to parliamentary procedure, tournaments, and large conventions  -  World Mentoring Academy, create an account in order to see the content

Entrepreneurship   World Mentoring Academy, create an account in order to see the content

Financial Analysis of Entrepreneurial Ideas   Novo Ed free course

Ed2go has so many business and career-related courses, it's best to take a look at their list of categories on their homepage:

ed2go

Brainbench is a testing service for certification in various knowledge areas. They offer 600 skill tests you can purchase while other certification tests are free. When you pass, present their well-recognized certificates to potential employers.
Brainbench

Business Courses from Approved Colleges

Online Communities

Small Business Bonfire  "where smart entrepreneurs gather to spark change"

Taxes

Online Small Business Tax Workshop   IRS


Book Suggestions

Check these out at your local public library -- woohoo! or purchase a copy online from one of these booksellers. 

25 Ways to Make Money Online

75 Green Businesses You Can Start to Make Money and Make a Difference

Blog, Inc.: blogging for passion, profit, and to create community

Building Your Business the Right Brain Way: sustainable success for the creative entrepreneur by Jennifer Lee

Copywriting: successful writing for design, advertising, and marketing

Freelancer's Bible:  everything you need to know to have the career of your dreams on your terms by Sara Horowitz

FT Essential Guide to Developing a Business Strategy: how to use strategic planning to startup or grow your business,  2013s 

How to Create a Porfolio and Get Hired: a guide for graphic designers and illustrator  by Fig Taylor

How to Write a Business Plan  by Mike McKeever   NOLO

Internet Marketing from the Real Experts  by Collins and Ward, 2010

It Starts with One: changing individuals changes organizations, 3rd ed.  by Black and Gregerson, 2013  available from FTPress

The Lean Startup: how today's entrepreneurs use continuous innovation to create radically successful businesses  by Eric Ries

Mom, Inc.: the essential guide to running a successful business from home  by Meg Ilasco 2012

No A**hole Rule   Robert Sutton, Stanford business school professor

Power of Impossible Thinking: transform the business of your life and the life of your business  by Wind and Cook, 2006  available from FT Press

Prototyping and Modelmaking for Product Design  Laurence King Publishing, 2012

Research Methods for Product Design  Laurence King, 2013

Small Business for Dummies, 4th ed.  by Kimball and Ross

Small Business Management: launching and growing entrepreneurial ventures, 16th ed., 2012

The Small Business Start-Up Kit: a step-by-step legal guide by Peri Pakroo  2012, 7th ed.  NOLO

Smart Policies for Workplace Technologies: email, blogs, cell phones, & more by Lisa Guerin  2009  NOLO

Startup Playbook: secrets of the fastest-growing startups from their founding entrepreneurs  by David Kidder

Strategic Thinking for Advertising Creatives by Alice K. Taylor, 2013

Using Thematic Thinking to Achieve Business Success, Growth, and Innovation: finding opportunities where others don't look  by Froehlich, Hoegl, and Gibbert, 2014   available from FTPress

Wall Street Journal Complete Small Business Guidebook

Web Marketing All-In-One for Dummies (for Dummies)  by John Arnold, 2012

Will Work from Home: earn the cash--without the commute  by Tory Johnson

Work at Home Now by Christine Durst and Michael Haaren  2009

The Work at Home Sourcebook by Lynie Arden  2009

The Work from Home Handbook by Diana Fitzpatrick  2008

Work at Home Success Bible by Leslie Trux  2009

Writing a Business Plan: FT essential guide pdf ebook: how to win backing to startup or grow your business  by Vaughan Evans, 2013    available from FTPress

Zero to One: notes on startups, or how to build the future   by Peter Thiel, 2014   (PayPal founder)