How To Start Your Own Business While You’re Laid Off
Big Break: Free Business and Career Resources
Ever thought you could start your own business as a solution to unemployment? Guess what? Some motivated and enterprising people have done just that. One of our recent blog posts covered a free online website domain name PLUS hosting offered through Microsoft—MS Office Live Small Business—that literally gives away the essential components anybody would need to launch an online business. Seriously, you could be up and running in a few hours. Wow!
So what about that business idea you’ve always wondered about? What if you could pull together enough of the right resources for free or on the cheap that could make a small business, online or not, a reality?
Right here, let’s see what other free and unbelievable business resources can we dig up.
The Small Business Administration may have no more imperative task than it does right now—aiding small business owners, many of them mired in recession muck and looking for advice and direction. But the SBA provides a critical number of free online learning resources and courses, including a “Small Business Primer: Guide to Starting a Small Business,” “How to Prepare a Business Plan,” and “How to Win Customers in a Slowing Economy.” Self-study courses cover areas such as marketing, government contracting, finances and accounting, and ecommerce.
SCORE is a not-for-profit organization that pairs small business mentors with small business owners and individuals looking for business help and advice. The services are free—you can submit questions to counselors online who then respond or you can talk directly to a counselor in your regional SCORE office. Besides the one-on-one support, you get tons of free online business tutorials that range in topic from controlling your business debt to starting up during a recession. Again, all free.
Have no idea how to even begin to write a real business plan? And a business plan is your success blueprint, an absolute essential first step in a new start-up. BizPlanIt has a free business plan resource that literally breaks down, step-by-step the components you need in a business plan and advice on how to do it right.
If you’re starting an online business consider the strategic advantages to using Google Analytics on your websites and/or blogs. This is a huge powerful metrics system that you can use to pinpoint traffic into and out of your website, blog, email, and AdWords campaign. Model the data in countless ways to make it more meaningful for your business goals, but in a nutshell GA can help you really target your content and control ecommerce funnels.
These are some super freebie essentials. Anybody with half a business idea could take the collection of above resources and parlay them into a successful launch. Good luck.