Category Archives: Startups

Is starting a business right for you?

Starting your own business can be an exciting and rewarding experience. It can offer numerous advantages such as being your own boss, setting your own schedule and making a living doing something you enjoy. But, becoming a successful entrepreneur requires thorough planning, creativity and hard work.

Consider whether you have the following characteristics and skills commonly associated with successful entrepreneurs:

  • Comfortable with taking risks: Being your own boss also means you’re the one making tough decisions. Entrepreneurship involves uncertainty. Do you avoid uncertainty in life at all costs? If yes, then entrepreneurship may not be the best fit for you. Do you enjoy the thrill of taking calculated risks? Then read on.  Continue reading

Do you need a business license?

Different types of businesses need different types of licenses. It can get pretty complicated, so Washington State has created an online tool that will help you create a personalized Business Licensing Guide based on your answers to a few questions.

To give it a try, click here…

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Then leave a comment to let us know what you think.

Are you thinking about starting or growing a food truck business?

The Washington State Food Truck Association was officially launched in April of 2015, as a 501(c)(6) non-profit advocacy organization.  They are committed to serve as a central hub of communication & information, a catering referral source, and will provide state-level proactive lobbying and advocacy.

Want to know more? Visit their website at www.wafoodtrucks.org.

A 6-Step Checklist for New Business Ideas

a-6-step-checklist-for-new-business-ideasBut the big question after coming up with a great new idea is this: What now? This, in fact, is where most entrepreneurs stumble without ever getting started. Many of them start writing business plans, spending money and thinking about patents and trademarks. But that’s not what you need to do first!

Here is a six-step checklist of things to do before you can even justify writing a business plan, let alone investing money:

Step 1: Road Test Your Idea

This critical but often-skipped step has saved many a business owner or startup entrepreneur from certain failure. Before you write one word of a business plan, you need to honestly assess the validity of your idea, or the promise of your product in the real world. Think of it as a reality check on whether your idea is really the basis for a successful business, or more wishful thinking than you first thought.

A business plan won’t tell you this. That comes later once you’ve proven your concept. But that plan is guaranteed to be vastly more effective with the road test behind you. The steps that follow here will help you with your “road test.”  Continue reading

Great resources are available to veteran businesses owners.

The federal government and non-government organizations provide all sorts of information to help Veterans start and grow businesses. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, veterans are 45% more likely than their civilian counterparts to become successful entrepreneurs.

Getting Started

If you want to start a business, but don’t know where to begin, the SBA’s Business Plan Resources is a great place to start. It walks you through how to set up an organizational and management structure, develop marketing and sales plans, and provides information on  how to request funding and create financial projections. SBA also offers information specifically tailored to veterans such as growing a business, mentoring and training and selling to the government.  Continue reading

Did you move from a big company to a startup?

An engineer describes what it was like to ditch his job at Microsoft for a startup with just 25 employees.

Before Michael Borozdin left his job at Microsoft in 2006, he was an outstanding performer at the company.

He was in charge of some Windows-related projects, and said he received raises and promotions that gave him more responsibility.

But Borozdin left that position after working at the company for more than three years to try something new. He joined DocuSign, a service that lets you sign documents using your mobile device.

Read more at buisnessinsider.ocm.

What does the “typical” startup look like?

by Rieva Lesonsky for score.org

What-Does-the-Average-Startup-Look-Like

More than other countries in a recent global survey, Americans actually make good on their intentions to start businesses.

There’s good news about entrepreneurship in the United States: It’s on the rise. According to the just released 2014 Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) from Babson College, 14 percent of Americans were involved in starting or running a new business last year. That’s the highest rate of entrepreneurship the Monitor has recorded since 1999—the height of the dotcom boom.

Americans seem to have recovered from their recession-driven fears that caused the rate of new business startups to take a nosedive in recent years—12 percent of those surveyed plan to start a new business.  Continue reading

Learn how to build a startup. 

Take a free online class at Udacity.

Course Summary

In an introduction to the basics of the famous Customer Development Process, Steve Blank provides insight into the key steps needed to build a successful startup.

The main idea in this course is learning how to rapidly develop and test ideas by gathering massive amounts of customer and marketplace feedback. Many startups fail by not validating their ideas early on with real-life customers. In order to mitigate that, students will learn how to get out of the building and search for the real pain points and unmet needs of customers. Only with these can the entrepreneur find a proper solution and establish a suitable business model.

Building a startup is not simply building an execution plan for a business model that the entrepreneur thinks will work, but rather, a search for the actual business model itself.

Continue reading

Get “The Bootstrapper’s Bible” by Seth Godin.

On page 102 of The Bootstrapper’s Bible by Seth Godin, you will find the following…

English: American entrepreneur, author and pub...

English: American entrepreneur, author and public speaker Seth Godin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You are given the unlimited right to print this manifesto and to distribute it electronically (via email, your website, or any other means). You can print out pages and put them in your favorite coffee shopʼs windows or your doctorʼs waiting room. You can transcribe the authorʼs words onto the sidewalk, or you can hand out copies to everyone you meet. You may not alter this manifesto in any way, though, and you may not charge for it. 

So, click the link above for your free copy.