When you were a new business owner, what’s one resource that you found incredibly helpful for educating you or guiding you on how to run your company? Why would you recommend it to others?
These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at yec.co.
1. Industry Experts
Interviewing experts on my YouTube channel in 2007 to 2008, when vlogging was not popular and podcasts weren’t even a thing, was the least expensive and most effective way for me to access some of the top experts. I still recommend this: Start a podcast or channel and start interviewing those you admire to pick their brains. Be resourceful instead of waiting for resources.
– Devesh Dwivedi, Devesh Dwivedi
2. Online Education Platforms
Online education platforms such as Udemy are great resources for entrepreneurs. They are rich in information that can help you from the initial phases of establishing your brand to expanding your business with the latest technology and software. They can help you develop strategies that will suit your assets and budget and keep up with trends to stay ahead of the competition.
– Bryce Welker, Big 4 Accounting Firms
3. Business Books
I am big on books and would encourage any new or aspiring entrepreneur to make reading books a habit for success. One of the best ones that impacted my approach to running a business with results-oriented leadership was Power, for All. It illustrates how to power-map a workplace and work with individuals who can influence real change in a work setting — quite useful for navigating team dynamics.
– Tonika Bruce, Lead Nicely, Inc.
HubSpot is a very useful resource for business owners (experienced as well as new). It has articles and free tools that can help you learn about marketing and good business practices. You can also take marketing courses online that teach you the basics and beyond of digital marketing, sales, SEO and other important topics.
5. My Personal Network
The best resource you need to work with is your network. Talk to people. Have conversations and see how they handled issues. Relying on relationships can help you grow and learn.
– Zane Stevens, Protea Financial
6. The Small Business Administration
I found the Small Business Administration (SBA) to be incredibly helpful when I just started my business. It has a wealth of resources and information to help entrepreneurs understand the basics of setting up and running a business. That information includes business planning, financing, marketing and sales, taxes and more. They have a lot of free services and training programs too. I highly recommend it.
– Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster
SCORE is a nonprofit organization that provides free business mentoring and education to small-business owners. I strongly recommend this to budding entrepreneurs. It’s made up of a network of volunteer business experts who offer one-on-one mentoring as well as workshops and seminars on various business topics. SCORE mentors have a wide range of business experience.
– Kelly Richardson, Infobrandz
When I started my business, I spent a lot of time on LinkedIn. There are plenty of helpful people and resources on this platform. Create (or access) your account and connect with people in your industry and successful leaders. You can gain plenty of actionable advice and knowledge by browsing LinkedIn for an hour or two each day.
9. An Incubator
We joined an incubator program that helped us tremendously. They had office equipment we could use until we grew large enough to invest in our own. They had mentors and education programs. Incubators link you to loans, grants and other available money. They teach you about marketing, getting government contracts and setting up a business plan.
– Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure
10. A Personal Mentor
I was able to benefit from learning from a personal mentor. For those who have the option, I still believe it offers one of the best foundations you could hope for in business. If you don’t know someone who can serve as a mentor, I recommend forming a partnership or hiring a second-in-command who can specifically provide the years of experience that you need to really understand a market.
I listened to many podcasts on running agencies and being an entrepreneur. While this was not formal training, the interviews and content were absolutely free, and the stories of what mistakes the speakers learned from informed my business plan. Think outside the box when it comes to training and be aware of all the incredible free content out there!
12. Related Communities and Organizations
My business is based on the WordPress core software, so I found it helpful to be part of WordPress communities and organizations. I suggest that you identify your niche and industry and join groups, networks and nonprofit organizations in that area. You’ll be in touch with your peers, get information about industry events and learn a great deal from relevant sources.