Free beginner guides for entrepreneurs. Pic by James Jordan.

Small Business Startup Guides

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It’s hard work trying to find the time to develop a new business idea, create a business plan, build a website, create content, marketing, promotions, networking, investments, and everything else that has to get done.

That’s why, particularly for new and aspiring entrepreneurs, it’s even more important to get up and running as efficiently as possible with as little time, effort and cost as possible. Knowing the best way to take your idea and turn it into a successful startup doesn’t have to be a long hard slog. In fact, with the right advice and guidance you can be up and running in no time at all.

Here's our list of complete beginner guides designed to help you with setting up the online component of your new business:

  1. How to start a business
  2. How to make a website
  3. Website builders
  4. Online marketing
  5. Email marketing
  6. How to blog
  7. Marketing strategies

Learn everything from how to choose the right Web platform, the basics of internet marketing, email marketing, how to blog (specifically for business purposes), along with a host of advice and tips on marketing strategies, basic technical knowledge, and plenty more.

1. How to start a business (complete beginner's guide)

how to start a business
Getting ready to dive into the deep end and become an entrepreneur? Starting any new business (big, small, home based, whatever) can exciting and fun; but it does require research, structure, discipline and persistent effort.

Here’s a list of topics covered in the guide:

  • Ideas
  • Business plans
  • Working out how to make money
  • Startup
  • Launching
  • Marketing
  • Networking
  • Working with money
  • Becoming operational

In addition to a solid practical focus with links to plenty of step-by-step guides and other useful online resources, this guide is also full of useful advice and wisdom to help first time entrepreneurs avoid many of the common pitfalls associated with startups.

2. How to make a website (complete beginner's guide)

How to create a website
This step-by-step simple guide to creating a website is for entrepreneurs who want a professional site with great design and functionality that's easy and cheap to make.

Here's an outline of what you'll learn:

  • Costs
  • Important concepts
  • Find a domain name
  • Ways to create a website
  • Understand your site's requirements
  • Choose a Web platform
  • Choose a Web host (if required)

The guide is full of factoids and bits and pieces of useful advice on everything related to creating a website. Including advice on how to choose the perfect domain name – without overpaying or inadvertently choosing one that has been penalized by Google, or blacklisted in one way or another.

3. Website builders (complete beginner's guide)

Beginner guide to website builders
Benefit from this compilation of research data into the top website builders; comparing and ranking them on everything from responsive design, to SEO, value for money and even overall popularity.

In case you didn’t already know,

A website builder allows anyone to build a site without knowing anything about the Internet, programming or Web design.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • What is a website builder?
  • Why use a website builder?
  • Top website builder comparison reviews
  • How to select the right website builder
  • Getting started guides
  • Website builder SEO comparison
  • Website builder responsive design comparison

After providing plenty of background and insight into the characteristics of each of the major site builders, you’ll be able to follow along with a complete setup guide to actually get your site online and running in a matter of minutes – regardless of whether it is a blog, professional site or online store.

4. Online marketing (complete beginner's guide)

Online marketing beginner guide
Online marketing can be a completely overwhelming task for small startups. There are myriad different segments, audiences, tools, services and channels to learn about - all with their own quirks and idiosyncrasies.

What you’ll learn in this guide:

  • Understand users & revenue streams
  • Motivation for content and social networking
  • How to build a following
  • How to be influential
  • Networking
  • How to be creative

While most of this guide focuses on a bird’s eye view of marketing on the Internet, there are links to drill-down guides that focus on more specific aspects in detail – in particular email marketing and blogging (content).

5. Email marketing (complete beginner's guide)

Email marketing beginner guide
Email marketing is a popular and effective online strategy for small businesses (as well as large corporates). Like all marketing strategies, email comes with its own set of strengths and weaknesses - but it can also be dangerous for unwary companies.

What you’ll learn from this guide:

  • Why use an email marketing service?
  • Top email marketing service roundup
  • How to create high converting emails
  • How to grow a mailing list

If you’re not yet convinced about whether or not an email marketing strategy is right for your startup, I’d urge you to remember the old marketing adage, “The money’s in the list”. Email marketing has time and again proven to be one of the most sustainable and reliable forms of online marketing there is.

6. How to blog (complete beginner's guide)

How to blog
Learning how to blog is an important business skill that can increase page rankings in Google and bring plenty of traffic to your website.

What you’ll learn in this guide:

  • How to find and understand a niche
  • How to put together a blogging business plan
  • How to write for the Web
  • How to grow a blog
  • SEO
  • Costs & revenue generation
  • How to avoid common pitfalls

Here’s a great definition of a blog to get you started:

A blog is a marketing platform that utilizes quality content, targeted at a specific audience to create social influence, engage readers, build organic search traffic, and generate profits.

7. Marketing strategies

Marketing strategies and ideas
Coming up with marketing ideas for small business can be a challenge. With the wide array of options available, it is important to invest time and money into the most effective marketing ideas to bring the highest returns.

With over 22 creative marketing strategies (complete with guides, how-tos, and plenty of other resources) that you can use, plus links to plenty of other marketing resources and updates coming in all the time, it’s worth checking back on a regular basis to get new inspiration.

Here are a few of the ideas listed:

So that’s the full list of guides for small & home business entrepreneurs and startups to get setup online. Within those guides are plenty of additional advice on virtually every other aspect of starting a business – with everything from how to come up with great business ideas to more advanced strategies in SEO, marketing, writing, networking, PR, business planning and more.

What other resources have you used to help start your own venture? Share your suggestions in the comments.

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Making money online with a fun sidehustle is a dream for a lot of people even if it isn't as easy to achieve as most of them would like.

Whether to choose equity or salary

Deciding whether to take a job working for a startup company is a decision that can lead to fabulous riches or years of wasted effort with little to show.

In short, it's a high risk decision.

So what factors must be taken into account when working out how to take an offer?

This article lists six questions you should ask yourself before considering any job offer - to help ensure you get a fair deal and make the right decision.

Getting great PR for your startup in the media, on social media websites and blogs is crucial to driving enough business to keep you afloat.

There are a range of skills and techniques you must learn in order to use your marketing and PR resources with maximum efficiency.

Small business owners and entrepreneurs tend to have limited budgets to spend on marketing campaigns, so it's important to identify those areas that are most likely to bear fruit early on.

In particular, efforts that create lasting and cumulative benefits such as blogging (for on-site SEO, organic search traffic, authority and PageRank) and building up social contacts (off-site SEO, marketing, business contacts) are important.

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How Google hurt our startup launch with a mistaken phishing warning

You spend years building up an online business, working hard to provide a service that gives paying customers great value.

After a while, your company starts attracting corporate clients who need a bit more than what is available on your traditional offering. And, despite limited resources, you have no choice but to expand the service to enterprise level customers.

But this means a lot of work, and it takes months to properly plan, design and implement the new changes. It's infuriating that Google can mistakenly ruin this.

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Believe it or not, it is entirely possible to hire yourself as a freelance writer and turn that part-time job into a successful business that earns decent mo

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